Storm Preparation Guide

Before the Storm


Store supplies at work, home, and car in handy locations:
  • First aid kit and essential medicines
  • Food and water (packaged, dried, canned, non-cook, baby food and special diet food; enough to last for a minimum of 3 days for all family members and pets)
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Battery operated portable radio, flashlights, and spare batteries (store in watertight plastic bag)
  • Keep your car fueled - if electric power is cut off, filling stations may not be able to operate
  • Purchase sandbags while supplies are plenty
  • Keep plywood, plastic sheeting, lumber and other emergency building materials handy for waterproofing
  • Cash and credit cards
  • Keep wrenches/tools handy to shut off gas and water
  • Charge cell phones and computer batteries and back-up batteries
  • Sturdy shoes
  • Know safe routes from your home or office to high, safe ground
  • Teach all family members how and when to turn off gas, electricity, and water
  • Winterize your house, barn, shed or any other structure that may provide shelter for your family, neighbors, livestock or equipment
  • Install storm shutters, doors and windows
  • Clear roof and rain gutters
  • Repair roof leaks
  • Be sure that all household hazardous materials are stored indoors
  • Collect leaves and debris from your yard and your driveway so that they won't get washed or blown into the street gutters and storm drains
  • Secure garbage can lids, be sure that recyclable items are inside the recycling bins (Loose debris and litter are often blown into the street and end up clogging gutters and polluting our waterways)
  • If you are doing any construction work or remodeling at your home, be sure that bags of cement and plaster, loose materials, and debris are stored inside or covered properly (Otherwise, rain and wind can carry these materials into the street or storm drains)
  • Don't apply pesticides or herbicides before it rains. Rain can carry these toxic chemicals into our streets and storm drains

Develop an Emergency Communication Plan


  • In case family members are separated from one another during floods or flash floods (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), have a plan for getting back together.
  • Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the "family contact."
  • After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance.
  • Make sure everyone in the family knows the name, address, and phone number of the contact person.
  • Make sure that all family members know what to do after a flood or flash flood.
  • Teach children how and when to call 911, police, fire department, and which radio station (which radio station should we use?) to access for emergency information.
  • Know ahead of time what you can do to help elderly or disabled friends, neighbors or employees.
  • If you think you might want to volunteer in case of a disaster, now is the time to let voluntary organizations or the emergency service office know-beforehand.