Nancy's Notes From Florida

Author Nancy J. Cohen discusses the writing process and life as a Florida resident.

Hurricane Matthew Prep List

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on October 4, 2016


With Hurricane Matthew taking a western turn, we have to make serious storm preparations.

Hurricane Matthew

Publix supermarket was already crowded this morning before 8am. As you can see, water and batteries are popular items.

Publix  Batteries  Hurricane Water

Here’s a handy list of what to do:

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. You can use old water bottles instead of discarding them. Turn fridge to coldest setting ahead of storm.

2. Buy bottled water, fruit juices, sports drinks, and caffeinated beverages that you can drink cold or at room temperature. Fill plastic pitchers and other containers 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. Stock up on small wrapped cheeses, canned goods, and individual meal portions. Canned chicken is a good source of protein. Tuna or salmon tend to smell more if there’s no garbage pickup.

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

5. Consider boarding your pet at a kennel or make plans to secure your pet with enough supplies.

6. Back up important computer files. Send an email to yourself at another online address with your most recent files. Back up to a thumb drive that you can carry around.

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 due or coming due.

13. Charge cell phone, tablet, and other portable electronics. Get a portable charger.

14. Prepare a 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 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. Scan them into your computer files and backup to the Cloud.

21. Buy an emergency hand-crank radio that also comes with a light and a cell phone charger.

22. Learn how to open your garage on manual in case power goes out. Keep instructions handy.

23. Get a good paperback book to read.

Watch the weather reports at:

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

Here is my stash of supplies, not counting stuff in our pantry, lanterns, or extra batteries. Will it be enough? Also remember to clear a space away from windows where you can go in case things start flying around outside.

Hurricane rations     Water at Home

CLICK HERE for Downloadable List: Hurricane Prep List





10 Responses to “Hurricane Matthew Prep List”

  1. Stay safe, Nancy and everyone.

  2. A lot of these should be done on Day 1 of hurricane season, not when the threat is imminent. We always had our hurricane box/supplies stored so there was none of that craziness in overcrowded stores with people grabbing everything off the shelves. When we lived in earthquake territory, every room had a list taped inside a closet door or somewhere accessible of what to take from that location should we have to evacuate. Same goes if you live somewhere you might need to evacuate during a storm.

    • I don’t normally keep that much junk food in stock, or snack packs, or those sorts of things.Don’t want to buy what I might not use until it becomes necessary.

      • Our hurricane supplies (which did NOT include junk food) were boxed up in the garage. There are always last-minute items, but the more you have before they’re needed, the easier it is. If you’re going to have to board up your windows, the time to buy the plywood is not when you’re under a hurricane watch or warning. (We always had Bahama shutters in Miami, which were a five second job to lower).

  3. Thanks for posting tips. I was reminded of a few things that I should get done tomorrow.

  4. This is such a great list, Nancy! Always be prepared, especially for a potential danger like Matthew.

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