As Hurricane Dorian barrels toward Florida, Miami is on high alert. Though it's still unclear exactly where the storm will make landfall, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has formally declared a state of emergency. Erring on the side of caution, Miami has already began preparing for the worst.
Miami-Dade County offers a handy hurricane emergency supply checklist on its website that's a great guideline for everything you need to survive a storm or other catastrophic event. It's recommended your supplies include three to 14 days' worth of items for every member of your household (dogs, cats, and other pets too). You should also keep the items in easy-to-carry plastic containers or duffel bags.
Basic recommended supplies include the following:
- One gallon of drinking water per person
- Manual can opener and bottle opener
- Nonperishable foods
- Canned meat, fish, fruit, or vegetables
- Bread in moisture-proof packaging
- Cookies, candy, or dried fruit
- Canned soups and nonperishable milk
- Powdered or single-serve drinks
- Cereal or granola bars
- Packaged ketchup, mustard, or mayonnaise
- Peanut butter and jelly
- Instant tea or coffee
- A portable grill or camp stove (never grill indoors)
- Disposable plates, cups, and utensils
- Dry and/or canned pet food
Keep in mind that stocking up for a hurricane doesn't mean skimping on fruits and veggies, though. Produce such as bananas, apples, oranges, and carrots can last for days or even weeks.
As you storm-prep, here are ten essential tips to take into consideration before it's too late:
1. Have enough water to drink for at least seven days. It does not need to be bottled. Instead, fill all empty jugs, jars, and pitchers with tap water and store them in a safe place.
2. Start preparing readymade meals now. Cook cold and frozen food in advance, such as pastas, meat sauces, and chicken, and store in plastic containers inside the fridge. When and if the power goes out, eat this food first before looking to prepackaged and other nonperishable items. Have a manual can opener handy too.
3. Fill plastic bags with water and place in the freezer to keep the interior cold. Ice can also be placed in coolers to store other cold premade foods such as pizza, pancakes, sandwiches, salads, fruits, and vegetables.
4. Line all bathtubs with plastic sheets and fill with water. It helps prevent water from leaking down the drain. This is water you will use to flush the toilet and for other basic cleaning.
5. Place all valuable items and papers inside plastic bags and store in a secure place, such as inside dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, or safe boxes.
6. Designate a safe and fully enclosed area in your home to stay in the event you experience roof, window, or rising water damage.
7. Keep batteries, flashlights, food, and water handy wherever you are in your home. Try to avoid walking around your house during the worst of the storm.
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8. Get cash. Credit cards won't work without power.
9. Keep prescriptions, eyeglasses, and other essential items, such as cash and important family documents, on you or nearby at all times.
10. Don't forget to keep a close eye on your furry friends and have a stock of necessary items, including pet food and carriers or crates.
For the complete list of supplies recommended by Miami-Dade, along with other valuable preparedness information, visit miamidade.gov.