We coasted almost halfway through the 2011 hurricane season without much concern — until Hurricane Irene gave us our first scare. With Irene apparently moving away from Florida, emergency planners said it's not too late to pull together a hurricane kit so you're ready for the next storm.
"This is a tremendous opportunity for Floridians to once again take a look at their plans, to make sure that they have an idea of where they should go should they need to evacuate their communities,'' said Florida Emergency Management Director Bryan Koon. "They should be taking a look at their readiness kits."
Here's a quick list of some essentials to start gathering now:
Water. Emergency officials suggest one gallon per person per day. The day before a storm hits, stock up on ice and keep it in freezers and coolers.
Gas. Make sure you have a full tank a day or two before a storm hits. It's wise to also keep a full gas can, but leave it in the garage, not the car.
Cash. Stock up: If the power goes out, ATMs will not work and credit card networks will be down.
Creature comforts. Think of what it will feel like when it's a sticky 90 degrees and there are no lights, no TV and nowhere to go. A battery-powered fan will get much use, as will a battery-operated radio and flashlights or lamps. Remember: buy extra batteries.
Food. Keep enough to feed yourself and your family for a few days without electricity (canned tuna and meat, nuts, dried fruit, granola bars, etc.). A severe storm can interrupt deliveries to stores, which may not be staffed or powered, so don't count on buying food after the storm passes. Remember: manual can opener.
— Emily Nipps, Times Staff Writer