Don’t be caught by surprise

Published 9:35 pm Thursday, August 28, 2008

Another tropical system could be heading our way, and everyone wants us to be prepared for the worst. Here are some things to take into consideration when you are preparing for a big storm like this could be courtesy of Alabama’s Hurricane Center at

When you are collecting supplies make sure you have enough of everything for at least two weeks. Keep them in airtight containers or plastic bags. Some basic items, not including food and water might include:

Clean containers for storing drinking water: Figure you will need a gallon per person per day for drinking and sanitation. Have a two-week supply on hand for each person. Use clean containers for storing drinking water. Food-grade plastic containers that have screw caps, such as 2-liter soda bottles, are best. Plastic milk jugs, though they can be leaky, will do in a pinch.

Gallon-sized freezer bags for making ice: You’ll want to fill them with water and freeze as many as you can a few days before the storm is expected to arrive.

Household bleach, without lemon scent, to purify water.

Tools: hammer and nails; ax or hatchet; crowbar; screwdrivers; pliers; a drill (consider battery-powered) with screwdriver bits and adapters to install bolts; extra fasteners and bolts for shutters; a knife; handsaw.

Duct tape and masking tape.

Flashlight for each member of the family with extra batteries

Radio or battery-powered TV with extra batteries

Fire extinguisher

Lantern with extra fuel or batteries

Matches: Wooden kitchen matches are best. Keep them dry in a plastic bag or plastic film container.

A charcoal or gas grill with a supply of fuel so you can cook if you are left without electricity or gas. Never use a grill inside.

Fuel for your generator or chain saw

Sterno stove, with extra fuel

Oven mitts, for handling hot cookware

Disposable plastic eating utensils.