Whether you live on the coast or further inland, hurricanes can have serious effects on your home. By preparing for hurricanes ahead of time, you’ll be ready to combat whatever stormy weather comes your way.

Collect Nonperishable Food

arm grabbing large water containerIn the event that the power goes out and water becomes unsafe to drink, you will need nonperishable food and drinkable water. Food items like peanut butter, granola bars, cereal bars, packaged nuts, and trail mix are examples of nonperishable items that don’t expire quickly and provide sufficient amounts of protein. Canned tuna, salmon, and chicken are all important staples to have during an emergency, but make sure you have a basic can opener so you can actually eat the meat. A standard guideline for the amount of water to keep in your home is a minimum of one gallon a day for each person for three days. Depending on the severity of the hurricane, you may want to stockpile more.

Stay Informed

Keep track of the radar and the hurricane’s location before it reaches land. The intensity of storm systems often fluctuates leading up to landfall. During the storm, look out for side effects of hurricanes like tornadoes and hail. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security at the first sign of less severe weather—it’s often only temporary.

If you don’t have a list of emergency contacts already, make sure you have on hand the numbers for local hospitals, utility companies, radio stations, law enforcement, public safety officials, and the American Red Cross. Of course, the numbers won’t do you much good if you don’t have a charged phone, so try to use outlets such as the television to stay informed rather than draining your cell phone battery to check the radar. Consider buying a portable charger so that you can recharge your devices if your cell phone runs out of battery power.

Prepare Your Home

father and son board up a windowIn addition to personal emergency preparedness, you should also give attention to property preparation. Flashlights, batteries, and an emergency generator are key items to keep in your home during a hurricane. Using an independent flashlight will save the battery life on your phone and give you enough light to complete basic tasks.

Different emergency generators will be able to support varying levels of wattage. Choose how large you want your backup energy source to be according to how close you will be to the incoming hurricane. Outside, you will want to trim branches that could possibly break off and damage the house, remove damaged trees, and secure loose pieces of the house such as rain gutters. Covering your windows is also a great safety measure. If you want to be even more prepared, look at a timeline for hurricane preparedness.

Hurricane preparation can be daunting at first, but when there is any sort of turbulent weather headed for your area, it’s always best to be prepared. For hurricanes, make sure you have plenty of properly stored food and water stockpiled, an emergency contacts list, a backup power source, and proper outdoor precautions to protect your home, like covered windows and trimmed trees. Also, learn what not to do after a hurricane.