To keep your family and home safe, have a plan in place before a storm arrives to make sure everyone knows where to go and what to do in an emergency.
Decide where to stay
Decide where you want to shelter during a storm. If your house isn’t safe, ask a relative or friend if you can stay with them. If your workplace is secure, find out if you can shelter there.
If you decide to stay in your home, have a back-up plan for shelter in case you must evacuate. Determine where you will go and how you will get there. If ordered to evacuate, do so as directed. Know the location of public shelters and emergency medical centres nearest you.
If you do not need to evacuate, shelter in place – do not leave your home unless the situation is life-threatening. Stay away from windows and stay indoors. Do not venture outside for reasons of discomfort or curiosity.
Pick two meeting spots
Decide what to do if your family gets separated. Have two designated meeting places. One should be just outside of your home for unexpected events, such as a fire. The second should be outside your neighbourhood in case you can’t get home or family members get separated.
Choose your contacts
Tell someone who lives outside your area where you plan to be during a storm. It is a good idea to ask someone off-island to coordinate communication in the event of a disaster.
Family members should call this person to report their location. Send your contacts copies of important documents, such as ID and insurance.
Have the right insurance
Make sure home and contents are properly insured, and that you understand exactly what your coverage provides.
Prepare a hurricane supply kit
Assemble your emergency supply kit and first aid kit.
Organise important documents
It’s important to keep documents in a waterproof pouch in a convenient place known to all family members. Keep a second copy at the home of a trusted relative or friend.
Have some cash on hand
Have some emergency cash put away. A hurricane will disrupt banking, and automated teller machines and credit cards may not work.
Plan for pets
Make sure your disaster plan addresses what you will do with your pet if a hurricane requires you to leave your home.
Prepare your home
Secure items in and around your home before storm-force winds arrive. Trim dead wood from trees and cut back overhanging branches. Check and repair loose gutters. Check your hurricane shutters or plywood covers, and the tools you need to install them.
If you decide to stay in your home, have a back-up plan for shelter in case you must evacuate.
Emergency supply checklist
- Water (aim for a 3- to 7-day supply)
- Non-perishable food
- Flashlights with extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Battery powered radio
- Paper towels and toilet tissue
- Plastic plates and cutlery
- Heavy duty garbage bags
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
Document and records checklist
- Passport, travel visas or waivers
- Immigration records/permits
- Emergency contact list and phone numbers
- Bank and credit card numbers
- Insurance policies
- Inventory of valuable household goods
- Contracts, wills, deeds
- Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates and immunisation records)