Hurricane preparation: What you should be doing to get ready

Image by Flickr user shimgray Have you been gathering supplies?

Though no calls have been made to evacuate (yet), with a storm brewing and a good chance of Charleston getting its feathers ruffled, you should be making sure your plans are in order.

For right now you should investigate tasks that take longer: Is your wind and water insurance in order for your home? Do your windows, roofing, or trees need to be pruned? Do you need to make special arrangements to evacuation anyone with special needs?

Should a watch be declared you should prepare to satisfy more immediate needs:

  • Fill up your gas tank, get cash, and buy whatever you might need now. 
  • Print a copy of Charleston County's Hurricane Guide.
  • If the power does go out, don't open the fridge.
  • One gallon of water per person, per day; 
  • ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables; 
  • Canned juices, milk, soup; 
  • High energy foods - peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars, trail mix; 
  • Foods and supplements for infants, elderly persons or persons on special diets; 
  • Don’t forget food for your pets, store canned or dry pet food along with an extra collar and leash. Make special arrangements for your pet or seek a hotel/motel that allows pets during emergencies. As a last resort, pets are only allowed in the designated animal emergency shelter at the North Charleston Coliseum (only one person per pet is allowed to stay);
  • Store foods in single or family meal-size packaging. Unrefrigerated leftovers can cause food poisoning;
  • If you have a grill be sure to buy extra fuel;
  • If you have a generator acquire extra fuel;
  • Get cash out of an ATM now;
  • Ensure batteries on cell phone devices are fully charged;
  • A manual can opener, and cooking and eating utensils.
  • Should a storm watch or warning be declared, plan your evacuation route and possible destination. The roads are much better now than once an evacuation is ordered, plus you have a far better chance at getting a hotel in Orangeburg or Columbia (which are probably as far away as you need to evacuate).

The S.C. Emergency Management Division offers a very detailed guide to hurricane prepration (see it here).

And as always we'll keep you posted — tune into our hurricane topic page for the latest.

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