1. Travel
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

21 Ways to Get Ready for a Hurricane Or Big, Bad Storm Headed Toward Your City

Beyond Food & Water,Think About Kids, Frail Elderly, Emergency


21 Ways to Get Ready for a Hurricane Or Big, Bad Storm Headed Toward Your City

Hurricane Irene: Trees downed in Prospect Park August 27 2011

Photo by DW
21 Ways to Get Ready for a Hurricane Or Big, Bad Storm Headed Toward Your City

Path through sidewalk covered in snow in Park Slope


Hurricanes, snow storms  and wild weather can wreak havoc in big, densely populated cities like New York. Trees can crash down on power lines and cars. Windows can get blown out. Long lines can form for bread, milk and eggs. Electrical power and gas service can be interrupted. Public transportation can be terribly delayed, causing difficulties in getting to and from work. Children living in small spaces can get cranky; pets can too. In the worst case scenario, you may even have to evacuate.


Snow Storm and Hurricane Readiness Quiz for Skeptical New Yorkers

21 Ways to Get Ready for a Big, Bad Storm Coming Your Way.

  1. Food: Buy sufficient food for a few days, including water. Consider canned food (beans, soup, fish) and a can opener as well as fresh food, in case of downed electricity lines.
  2. Pets: Make a plan for your pets: sufficient water, exercise, sanitation.
  3. Health, Meds & Drug Store Essentials : Make sure you have sufficient prescription meds if you are on an important daily regimen, and get an adequate supply of other essentials such as diapers or baby formula. Call your physician before the storm hits if something's urgent.
  4. Flashlights and candles: Buy or find several flashlights with batteries; candles and matches. But make sure you have someplace safe for the candles.
  5. Evacuation Plan: If you think you might need to evacuate, make an evacuation plan and leave contact information with key family or friends.
  6. Stay Informed: Keep track of the storm on TV, radio or online. Just in case you get cut off, get a battery-powered radio.
  7. Make a "Go Bag" in case you have to leave suddenly.
  8. Charge Up: Charge your battery powered essentials, such as mobile phones.
  9. Protect Your Car: Park your car indoors if possible. If you are located in a flood zone, move it out of that area. (Alternate side of the street parking will be suspended during the storm; stay tuned to the news.)
  10. Don't Let Things Fly: Indoors, move personal possessions to the center of your home, away from windows and doors. Outdoors, tie down or bring garden furniture, bikes, flower planters, bird feeders, portable BBQs and so on inside.
  11. Garbage: Secure garbage pails if they are outside, or bring them inside.
  12. Know Where Your Important Papers Are Don't leave papers such as insurance policies, bank and credit card statements lying around. Put them in a plastic container so they're dry and safe.
  13. Be Ready to Mop Up Leaks, Deal with Flooding: Do you have a sump pump? Make sure it works. Have old towels ready in case of window leaks. If you already have a leak problem, clean out the drains, and put everything valuable on plastic boxes or up above where the basement flooding might occur. One insurance company suggests that you remove belongings out of basements and crawlspaces as much as possible in case water penetrates your home's foundation or pools on the floor around windows and doors.
  14. Prepare Vulnerable Windows:If you're concerned about windows blowing in, get cardboard, strong tape and plastic to secure them. IF you have them, install storm shutters and secure your garage door.
  15. Get Ready to be Bored: Clear some space where you can read, do situps, write Christmas cards, play cards.
  16. Plan for the Kids: If you have children who may get cabin-fever, get prepared: Pull out some materials with which to paint or draw. Plan to play charades, tell stories, make music. And prepare for them to be a bit scared by the storm.
  17. Have Rain Gear in Case: Find some rain boots or old shoes in case the streets are sloshy for a few days. In a pinch, large black garbage bags can make a decent raincoat (Cut a hole for your head and arms.)
  18. Have some cash at the ready.

  19. For the truly prepared:
  20. Get Ice: Consider buying extra ice in case your electricity goes out so your refrigerated food doesn’t go bad. Alternatively, insurers suggest that you turn the refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting and keep them closed so they stay cold if the power goes out.
  21. Check on Your Neighbors: Call any neighbors or friends who might be frail or elderly to see if they need assistance.
  22. Prepare your belongings: Insurance companies suggest that you remove drapes from windows and French doors or wrap the lower portion of drapes in plastic. If you have area rugs, roll them up, put them in the middle of the house, or better, up high.

Also: 6 Things to Do After a Storm or Hurricane to Prepare an Insurance Claim

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.