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Preparedness for big storms

Thanks to Cindy Bernstein of Aim4Order for this episode of Tips from the Pros about how to organize your home.

preparedness is important when storms are on their way

With the number of hurricanes happening this season, it’s time to talk about planning for an emergency. It might seem corny or unnecessary, but having family fire drills can save lives. An emergency plan can come in handy when you need it.

In Baltimore, we have been spared the worst of the hurricanes, but the storms that end up here can be serious. They cause downed trees, water coming inside and a loss of power. Preparedness before a big storm is always a good idea.

Doctors recommend you have at least a week of your medications on hand at any given time. Having only one or two day’s worth of your medication could cause you extra stress in an already stressful situation. Don’t forget your pet’s medications. If a big storm is on the way, play it safe and get a refill.

Who do you want to check on? Are your parents reachable by cell phone? Think about who you need to call to let them know you are all right and who you want to call to make sure they’re okay. You may bring older family members home to stay with you before the storm hits ensuring they are not left alone without resources.

Groceries and supplies are important. You want to have enough food to last several days. Fill containers with fresh drinking water or buy bottled water. Concentrate on canned goods and other foods that don’t need refrigeration. Get food for the pets. Do your pre-storm shopping as early as possible to avoid finding empty bread and toilet paper shelves!

Remember to fill the tank too. You don’t want to be caught without gas in your car in case the gas stations have no power or run out of gas.

Some supplies to have on hand include flashlights, extra batteries and a battery operated radio. You can find radios with hand cranks. Get a nice mini workout while you charge your radio. Some include cell phone chargers or flashlights on them. Hand crank them and charge everything. Camping equipment stores sell a variety of items that can be used when the power goes out at home.

If you do lose power, avoid opening the refrigerator and freezer as much as possible. Every time you open it, you are letting the cold air out. You can keep most things frozen for a couple days if you open the door sparingly.

Being prepared is important and can ultimately save your life. If your street becomes impassible due to downed trees or power lines, you might have to stay inside for a few days. During Hurricane Irene a few years ago, there were live electrical wires on the ground all over town. Keep your family safe by getting some of these items now, before a big storm hits. Non-perishable items can keep for a few months or years, buying them ahead of time can be a good investment in your future health and well being.

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