- Important Documents
- Any small irreplaceable items you can bring with you
Clear your yard. Remove any objects hanging on trees or your home’s exterior, such as birdhouses and wind chimes — they can break off in high winds and cause serious damage. Bring inside anything that’s not nailed down including lawn furniture, trashcans, toys, and garden equipment.
Shut off utilities. Turn off electricity, water, and gas. Doing so will help prevent additional dangers including flooding, fire, and explosions. Keep in mind, you’re going to need the utility company to turn your gas back on when you return home.
Windproof windows and doors. If you don’t have storm-proof shutters, fit plywood coverings over all windows. (FYI, using just tape on windows is not recommended because it will not stop windows from breaking, just shattering.)
Protect indoor stuff. Move valuables to higher levels in your home to prevent water damage. As an extra measure, wrap electronics and furniture in sheets, blankets, or plastic drop cloths.
Gather up pets. If it’s not safe for you to stay, it’s not safe for Fido. Make plans to stay with friends or at a pet-friendly hotel — most emergency shelters will only accept service animals that assist people with disabilities.
Lock your house. Because crooks and looters take advantage of evacuations, lock all doors and windows and don’t leave house keys in an obvious place, such as a mailbox.