Take inventory of disaster supplies.
•Stock a three-day supply of water, or one gallon per person per day.
•Store at least a three-day supply of food, including non-perishable items and food that is easy to prepare.
•Locate flashlights and extra batteries.
•Have a first-aid kit on hand.
•Check medication supply and gather toiletries and medical items, including hearing aids and extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes and cane.
•Gather multi-purpose tools, cell phones and chargers, emergency contact information, blankets, area maps, extra clothing and rain gear. Also, locate a camera to document potential storm damage for any necessary insurance claims. Make sure cell phones are charged.
•Make sure you have any special supplies that are needed for infants, children or pets.
•Find a battery-operated or crank-powered radio to receive weather reports and news.
Before the storm hits
•Secure anything that can be picked up by the wind, such as bicycles, grills and lawn furniture.
•Close windows, doors and hurricane shutters. If you don't have hurricane shutters, consider using plywood to board windows shut.
•Turn refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting and keep units closed as much as possible to preserve food in case you lose power.
•Turn off propane tanks and unplug small appliances.
•Create and practice an evacuation plan, including travel routes to local shelters.
•Make plans for pets if case evacuation is necessary.
•Be aware that daytime temperatures could drop by 20 degrees after a storm.
•If you plan to use a generator, do not run it in the basement or garage. Make sure it is in a ventilated area.
After the storm
•Avoid flooded roads and washed-out bridges.
•Stay out of buildings that are surrounded by standing water.
•Inspect your home and take pictures of any damage for insurance reasons.
•Use flashlights rather than candles.
•Wait for word from officials before returning home.
•Stay away from loose or hanging power lines and report them to the utility right away.
Sources: American Red Cross, Maryland Department of AgingCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun