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Hurricane Planning Checklist – Preparing Your Home/Family – Part 2


Hurricane Planning 101:
Hurricane Planning Checklist

Continuing our series on hurricane planning, including pre-season planning; preparing for a storm; and post-storm recovery for home and family, we have put together a hurricane planning checklist to ensure you are prepared, should an emergency come your way:

Creating a Family Disaster Supply Kit


  • Battery-operated radio w/ TV
  • Weather band radio
  • Flashlight/battery operated lanterns
  • Extra batteries


  • One gallon per person, per day, minimum 7-day supply, in a food grade plastic container
  • Additional water for sanitation and pets


  • 7-14-day supply of non-perishable food that requires no preparation such as:
  • Dry cereal
  • Peanut butter
  • Canned or dried fruits
  • Canned vegetables
  • Canned juices
  • Ready to eat canned meats
  • Ready-to-eat soups
  • Quick energy snacks

First Aid Kit

  • Scissors
  • Thermometer
  • Needle
  • Cleansing agent/soap
  • Latex gloves
  • Moistened towelettes
  • Sterile gauze, bandages, and pads
  • Tube of petroleum jelly
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever

For House Pets

  • Food, non-tippable food, and water bowls.  Vaccination records. Leash, harness, and carrier. Extra litter for cats.

For Baby

  • Formula
  • Diapers
  • Baby wipes
  • Bottles
  • Medication
  • Powdered milk


  • Hand sanitizer
  • Household chlorine bleach
  • Soap, liquid detergent
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Plastic bucket with tight lid
  • Bathroom tissues, towelettes
  • Plastic garbage bags, ties
  • Clear iodine (for water purification)

Clothing and Beddings

  • Blankets and sleeping bags
  • Rain gear
  • Long sleeve shirts and pants
  • Hat and work gloves

Tools & Supplies

  • Mosquito repellant with DEET
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Cash
  • Duct tape
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Paper, pencil
  • Rope

Family Medical Needs

  • Insulin, testing kits
  • Prescription drugs
  • Non-prescription drugs
  • Extra eyeglasses and contact lenses
  • Extra oxygen which can be used without electricity

Important Family Documents

  • Telephone Numbers
  • Record of bank accounts
  • Family records, inventory of valuable goods, a copy of will/trust and other legal documents, insurance policies, immunization records, deeds, and other important records.  Passports and IDs.


Protecting Your Home:  Installing Hurricane Shutters or Panels

  • Work with a family member, neighbor, or friend.
  • Always wear protective clothing and work gloves when you install or remove shutters.
  • Make sure battery-operated tools have enough charged batteries.
  • Practice back injury prevention techniques:
    • Work with another person and lift, walk, and lower the load together. Let one person be in charge and direct the lift.
    • With high loads, get as close to the load as you can, slide the load toward you, and let your arms and legs, not your back, do the work!
    • Get a firm footing, bend your knees, and tighten your stomach muscles. Keep your back upright whether lifting or putting down the load.  Avoid twisting!
  • If using a ladder during the installation of shutters or panels:
    • Make sure the ladder is safe, in good condition, clean and structurally sound.
    • Use the right size ladder for the job. Never climb higher than the second step below the top of a stepladder and do not use the top three rings of a straight ladder.
    • Never use a metal ladder near power lines. Do not use power tools while on a metal ladder; however, battery operated tools are OK.
    • Make sure the ladder is secure on the ground. Never have more than one person on a ladder at a time.


Protecting Your Home:  Swimming Pool Preparation

  • Keep water in your pool. This will protect the pool finish for sand and flying debris.  You may want to lower the water level in the pool, but no more that one or two feet.  If lowered more than this, hydrostatic pressure could cause the pool to pop out of the ground.
  • Add extra chlorine to the water to prevent contamination.
  • Turn off the power to pool equipment.
  • If feasible, when the pump motor is cool, remove pool pump motor and store it indoors in a dry place.
  • Remove all loose items from the pool area (furniture, umbrellas, pool cleaning equipment, etc.)


Protecting Your Home:  Generator Tips

  • If you plan to purchase a generator, buy one that is rated for the amount of power that you will need otherwise you risk blowing a fuse or damaging your connected equipment or causing a fire.
  • If installing a permanent generator, be sure to obtain appropriate permits and have it installed by a licensed electrician.
  • Inspect your generator annually and test it monthly to ensure it is in good working order.
  • Check your manual for proper installation, maintenance, fueling and safety procedures.
  • Be sure to have the proper cords and connectors.
  • Never try to power the house wiring by plugging the generator into a wall outlet. This practice, known as backfeeding, can cause serious injury and can prove fatal for utility workers and neighbors served by the same transformer. Additionally, backfeeding will bypass some of the built-in circuit protection devices in the home.
  • Keep an appropriate amount of fuel stored safely outdoors. Fuel should be stored in a properly labeled container designed to store gasoline.  Keep gasoline away from any appliances running on fuel or natural gas.
  • Do not use a generator inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or other enclosed or partially enclosed space as it could cause a build-up of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can be difficult to detect.  Opening windows and doors will not prevent a carbon monoxide buildup.
  • Be sure to purchase and install CO (carbon monoxide) detectors inside your home to warn your family if deadly fumes from the generator get inside your home.
  • For further information regarding generator safety go to redcross.org, select disaster services, then select “after the storm”. You will see “generators” among the list of topics you can click on for further information.


Protecting Your Home:  Debris Management

Pre-storm Preparation:

  • Trim trees early. All major cutting and vegetation should be completed long before June 1st.  All major trimmings should be done between December and April.
  • If you are inexperienced with a chainsaw, seek a professional. If you are experienced, wear protective clothing and equipment.
  • Cut back all trees and weak branches, especially any that could touch your home or your neighbor’s home.
  • Place tree trimmings at the curb on your regular scheduled pickup day.
  • Put small pieces of vegetation such as pine needles, leaves, twigs, etc., in bags or cans that weigh less than 50 lbs. when full and place them to be included in your regular pick up.
  • Cut back or clean your yard of any items that could become missiles during a storm; including coconuts, old or weak fences, lumber, broken lawn furniture, and place with curbside pick up.

Once a storm has been named:

  • Do not do any trimming or major yard work.
  • Do not begin any construction projects.
  • Collection will continue until winds reach approximately 40 mph (Check your local municipality on when collections will end)

Pet Safety

  • Don’t leave pets home by themselves during a storm, especially if you live in an evacuation area. If they survive, they may flee or become lost.
  • Make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up-to-date. Up-to-date vaccinations are required to shelter a pet with a veterinarian, a boarding facility or kennel.
  • Make sure that your family plan includes evacuation procedures for your pet(s).
  • Provide your name, pet’s name/description, and full contact information for Animal Care & Control.
  • To keep your pet safe during a hurricane, you have several options, including keeping the pet with you at home, taking the pet with you if you evacuate, leaving your pet with a friend, or boarding it at a kennel.
  • Don’t plan on taking your pet to a public shelter. For safety and public health reasons, almost no public shelters allow pets, except assistance dogs.

At Home

  • Be sure the pet has proper identification. Tags increase the chance of an owner/pet reunion after a storm.


  • If you are going to board your pet, now is the time to call your veterinary clinic or the Humane Society for kennel locations. Make an appointment now if your vaccinations are not current. If your veterinary clinic also boards pets, ask about pre-reservations ahead of a storm.


  • Consider buying a portable carrier or cage.
  • Consider leaving exotic pets such as parrots, reptiles or ferrets with friends or relatives.


When it comes to hurricane planning, first ensure the safety of you and your loved ones, then call Bellissima to ensure the safety of your valuables. Call us today! 866.554.6011

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