How to Prepare for a Hurricane

Clean containers for water: Since public water supplies may be tainted by hurricane waters, you should stockpile enough potable water to last three to five days — roughly five gallons of water per person in your household. You may also consider filling your sinks and bathtubs with extra water for washing and sanitation purposes.

Non-perishable food: Have enough canned or pre-packaged (non-refrigerated) food for three to five days.

First-aid kit and manual

Battery-powered radio and flashlight: Also consider having enough extra batteries in case the public power supply remains damaged beyond three to five days. Do not consider candles as an alternative to flashlights since they can be a fire hazard — especially if there are potential gas leaks in your storm-damaged home.

Sleeping bags and extra blankets

Prescription and other special-needs medicine

Baby food or formula: If you have an infant in your home, you'll need to consider extra clothes, diapers and other baby supplies as well.

Personal hygiene supplies: Soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, sanitary napkins and other basic personal care items.

A fire extinguisher: Make sure it's in an easily accessible location in the home and every member of the family knows how to use it.

Disposable washing cloths: Items such as baby wipes can be used in case there's not enough water or facilities for bathing.

Water-purifying supplies: If public service remains out beyond three to five days, chlorine or iodine tablets — available at camping supply stores — may be needed to sanitize available water. Ordinary, unscented household bleach can also be used to purify water.

An emergency kit for the car: There should be similar supplies in your vehicle. But your mobile kit should also include: emergency road flares, battery booster cables, maps and tools.

More information can be found on the Web sites for the CDC and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security:

CDC: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes/readiness.asp

Homeland Security: http://www.ready.gov

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