Storm prep checklist for outside the home

WHEN THE STORM THREATENS:

  • Refill special medications.
  • Get cash (ATMs may not work for days after). Don't charge credit cards to the limit; you might need extra cash after the storm.
  • Get supplies. Follow instructions in this guide for food and water.
  • Don't fill gasoline cans until right before the storm; they are a fire hazard.
  • Fill vehicle fuel tank. Gas stations could run out and some will not have power to run pumps. Check your car's battery, water, oil. Make sure you have a spare tire and buy aerosol kits that fix and inflate flats.
  • Check fire extinguishers.
  • If you own a boat, make necessary preparations.
  • Prepare your pool. Don't drain it.
  • If you own a plane, have it flown out or secured.

WHEN THE STORM IS APPROACHING:

  • Get shutters, storm panels or plywood in place on windows. If you haven't installed sockets, attach with wood screws; they're better than nails and do less damage.
  • Don't tape windows; tape can create daggers of glass and in the heat can later bake onto panes.
  • Remove swings and tarps from swing sets. Tie down anything you can't bring in. Check for loose rain gutters, moldings.
  • Move grills, patio furniture and potted plants into your house or garage.
  • If you do any last-minute pruning, take clippings inside so they don't become hazards in the wind.
  • Disconnect and remove satellite dish or antenna from your roof.
  • Check your mailbox. If it's loose, secure or remove it.
  • Remove roof turbines and cap holes with screw-on caps. Unsecured turbines can fly off and create a large hole for rain to pour through.
  • Prepare patio screening. It usually is built to sustain tropical-force winds, but with higher winds, it can separate from the frame. Officials recommend you remove a 6-foot panel on each side to let wind pass through. Pull out the tubing that holds screening in frame to remove screen.
  • Secure and brace external doors, especially the garage door and double doors.
  • Move vehicles out of flood-prone areas and into garages if possible. If not, park cars away from trees and close to homes or buildings.
  • Don't turn off your natural gas at the main meter. Only emergency or utility people should do that.