A Hurricane Prep Checklist – Plus, Steps to Take Ahead of the Storm

by | Read time: 3 minutes

When it comes to natural disasters, like hurricanes, you can never be too prepared. Even those who live inland can be at risk of damage from heavy winds and rain.

So, what can you do to protect yourself, your loved ones and your possessions from the next big storm? If you’re being instructed to evacuate, please do so immediately (as long as you have sufficient time to reach a safe destination). Do not risk your health and safety in an attempt to safeguard your belongings. But if you have a little time on your hands before the hurricane hits, following are some simple tips to help minimize the risk of injury and property damage.

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How to prepare for a hurricane

Ready your home. Rid your gutters of leaves and other debris and ensure downspouts are draining properly. Remove loose items that could take flight, such as trash cans, potted plants, lawn furniture and even tree fruit (e.g., coconuts), from the yard. Protect all windows with shutters or wooden boards. Turn off sprinklers and fill bathtubs with water. Store all vehicles safely in the garage, when possible.

Get gas. Hurricanes often lead to power outages, which can make it difficult, if not downright impossible, to get gasoline. Therefore, it’s wise to fill up your vehicle(s) and/or generator before the storm rolls in.

Hit the bank. Hurricane-related power outages can also impact local businesses and their ability to accept credit cards and other forms of electronic payment. Having extra cash on hand can help you buy needed goods and services in the immediate aftermath of the storm.

Check your electronics. Test your generator to make sure it’s working properly. Store any extra fuel in an approved container in a safe location. Charge your cell phones and power banks and make sure emergency phone numbers (e.g., family members, physician, insurance agent) are stored in your contacts. Make sure your emergency radio is in working order with fresh or recently charged batteries. You may also want to download a hurricane tracker app on your cell phone to help you keep tabs on the storm.

Fill your prescriptions. Make sure you have sufficient medication on hand in case you are unable to refill your prescriptions for several days or weeks following the hurricane.

Print important documents. Make sure you have paper copies of documents, such as IDs, passports, birth certificates, marriage licenses, medical cards, insurance information, property deeds, bank accounts and wills. It’s best to store these items offsite (e.g., safety deposit box), but if you must keep them at home, find a secure spot (e.g., hall closet) and be sure to take them with you if you have to evacuate.

Take a home inventory. Make a list of your valuables (with photos) in case you need to file an insurance claim due to storm damage.

Make a hurricane supply kit. Be sure to include the following items:

Your Hurricane Checklist

Emergency items:


Battery-powered fans

Battery-operated radio


Extra blankets

Hand sanitizer



First-aid items:


Bug spray

Dry shampoo

Feminine hygiene products

First aid kit







Facial tissue

Heavy duty bowls

Heavy duty plates


Paper towels

Phone charger

Plant-based cold cups

Plant-based high heat utensils


Resealable sandwich bags

Toilet paper

Tall kitchen bags


Pet care items:



Cat food

Catnip toy

Dog bone

Dog food

Dog toy



Vaccination records

Water (3-day supply per pet)



Almond butter

Canned foods


Chewy bars


Manual can opener

Nutrition bar

Protein cookie

Tortilla chips


Water (3-day supply per person)