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How to Prepare for a Hurricane

Power - by Rachael Maloney - updated on 8/16/2018

Overhead view of a hurricane

The 2017 hurricane season brought widespread devastation. Thousands were displaced from lost power, evacuation orders, or having their homes demolished. Almost a year later, thousands in Puerto Rico are still without power. We'd like to remind you to keep you and your family safe this year by taking these simple steps to be prepared for the peak of hurricane season.

Sign up for local weather and emergency alerts

It's essential to stay informed on the status of the weather and any emergency orders given from your state or local government. Contact your local government office, or do an internet search, to see what alerts are available in your area.

Get your car ready for an emergency evacuation

If the weather becomes dangerous in your area, your state or local government officials may issue an emergency evacuation. Keep your car up to date on recommended services such as oil changes, make sure your gas tank is full, and get your battery tested for free at your local Batteries Plus Bulbs. We also recommend keeping a car charger, power inverter, and a map in your vehicle.

Prepare your home

Assess your risk for wind or flood damage and update your home insurance as needed. Begin safeguarding your home by removing outdoor furnishings, consider buying or making storm shutters, remove debris from your yard, gutters, and storm drains. Test or replace your home generator battery and your sump pump battery to make sure both are working properly. Plug valuable electronics into an APC UPS unit to protect your equipment from power outages, power surges or unsafe voltage fluctuations.

Stock up on emergency supplies

Gather items that you'll need as you wait for the hurricane to pass. Water, non-perishable food, matches, a first-aid kit, and any necessary prescriptions are a good start. You should also consider a power bank for your cell phone, emergency flashlights or lanterns, and extra alkaline or lithium batteries.

Pack a To-Go Bag

In the event of an emergency evacuation, you don't want to waste any time searching for the items you'll need while you're away from home. Keep a to-go bag packed for each person in your household. Plan on being away for at least three days. Pack clothing, hygienic and toiletry items, blankets, a jacket, gloves, and protective shoes. Also, consider packing items that may comfort you and your family, priceless or irreplaceable items, and important documents.

Are you prepared for an emergency?

Emergency Prep Guide