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Hurricane Prep List

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on August 25, 2012

A Tropical Storm Warning has been posted for Broward County, and this means we should make preparations for damaging winds just in case. Flooding and water contamination can occur with heavy rains as well, so it’s time to share my annual list. Here’s hoping everyone stays safe!


1. Buy bags of ice. Put on lower shelves in freezer, and later in fridge if power is out, so melting ice doesn’t flood the interior. Or freeze water in plastic containers ahead of time to help keep food cool. Turn fridge to colder setting ahead of storm.     hurricane

2. Buy bottled water and fruit juices; sports drinks if you like them. Fill unused plastic pitchers at home with tap water and refrigerate for drinking.

3. Have enough snack foods in stock. Fruits that keeps well: grapes, apples, bananas. Buy bread for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

4. Cook and eat perishable foods. Hard boil your eggs, and make sure you cook dinner early in case the power goes out.

5. Consider boarding your pet at a kennel or make plans to have a secure place for the pooch and enough supplies.

6. Backup important computer files. Send an email to yourself at another online address or to an out of state relative or friend with your important data files attached.

7. Bring in all loose objects from outside.

8. Do the laundry.

9. Perform personal grooming essentials. It’s hard to shave and wash hair with no lights, and the water might get contaminated.

10. Fill gas tank in car.

11. Get extra cash to have on hand. ATM’s won’t work in a power failure.

12. Pay bills.

13. Charge cell phone and other portable electronic gadgets.

14. Prepare list of repairmen and tree trimmers who might be needed.

16. Buy hand sanitizer and moist wipes in case the water is contaminated.

17. Have paper plates and cups on hand along with plastic utensils and paper towels.

18. Stock up on trash bags to clear away debris.

19. Place a flashlight or battery-run lantern in each room. Buy extra batteries, cooking fuel if necessary, duct tape, and a roll of plastic sheeting. Candles can be a fire hazard and they don’t provide enough light to read by in the dark.

20. Put insurance papers and other important documents into a plastic bag for quick departure or store copies in a separate location.

21. Eat all the ice cream in your freezer!

Watch the weather reports at:

National Hurricane Center:
Navy Tropical Cyclone Page:
National Weather Service, Miami:
The Weather Channel:
Broward County Hurricane Page:


14 Responses to “Hurricane Prep List”

  1. Forgot an item: Don’t forget to fill your medications and have first-aid supplies on hand, also anti-itch cream for mosquito bites.

  2. Thank you, Nancy. Looks like you’ve thought of everything. I’m not overly worried about storm damage with Isaac since it looks like the bulk of the storm will pass to the west, but with tropical storm force winds we could still lose power, tree limbs, etc. Just a thought about bread, though. If we do lose power, bread tends to get moldy pretty fast in the heat. A better alternative might be peanut butter crackers. 🙂

  3. Extremely good advice Nancy. Thanks!
    Have your cell phones fully charged, and if necessary,
    charge cell in car. Cordless phones in the home won’t work, so make certain you have a corded land line.
    Stay in touch with neighbors and NEWS.

  4. I always keep bread,bagels, etc in the freezer & PB & J. I also used my gas grill a lot during Wilma. After the first couple of days I brought in take-out from Wok-Out – they had about 3 items on the menu and it was always good! Very good list,Nancy,thanks…if I had ice cream in my freezer it would be long gone before the hurricane.

    • Ha Ha on the ice cream. Good idea on keeping breads in the freezer. They may last longer that way. As for the grill, if there’s no power, I’m just too damn hot to cook anywhere. So cold foods have to suffice. You can also buy those ready to heat meals that cook themselves in your kitchen sink, but that’s like survival rations.


    Good luck… this is for the Lauderdale area.

    • Yes, I get tired of watching the news. It’s relentless reports of the same things….it’s gonna rain tomorrow. We all know that much. Whether or not the storm will strengthen or change course…those are the issues of concern.

  6. Thanks for the list, Nancy. Since my family is in Pensacola (right on the path so far), I posted this for friends and family…it was very thorough. Loved that you thought of what to do about computer data. Didn’t have that worry when we had Frederick in 1979 and I think that was the last hurricane I went through. My family survived Ivan the year before Katrina (I think everyone in south Florida remembers the year before Katrina), and the cells went out there as well. I reached my Dad’s house on a landline (he weren’t back yet) and a friend reached me on her cell phone and drove by to check on my Mom. And of course everyone wanted a generator. Now I know why all the ice sells out. I was only 18 in 1979 and we took the strangest things with us when we evacuated. I wonder what a list of that from everyone would look like. Great post!

    • Thanks, I’m glad it’s useful. I hope your family will be all right. Another thing about cell phones is that sometimes a text message will get through when a phone call won’t. Our neighbor has a big standby generator with a propane tank buried in his yard. Too bad we’re not friendly with him. In fact, THAT subject inspired my next Bad Hair Day mystery.

  7. Very good advice, Nancy, most of which I know and practice since I live in Florida, too. Stay safe! Even if Isaac is headed west, we’re going to get storms. He’s a king-size system!

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