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    Tractor Supply Company

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    Creating a Hurricane Preparedness Plan

    The best time for hurricane prepping is before there is a storm in the forecast. Millions of Americans could find themselves in the path of a hurricane at any point throughout the season. The keys to staying safe are knowing how to prepare for a hurricane and having the right hurricane supplies on hand. You also need to be ready to address any damage to your home or yard once the storm passes. Here, Tractor Supply discusses how to get prepared for a hurricane and the items to have in your hurricane kit. 

    Must-Haves for Hurricane Prep

    Beginning on June 1 in the Atlantic and Caribbean and May 15 in the North Pacific, hurricane season ends on November 30. That means the time to plan for a hurricane is before the season starts (from December to May). Don’t wait until a hurricane is in the forecast for your area, as it might be harder to find ample supplies, food and water to see you through the storm. The days leading up to a hurricane are also stressful and frightening, so make thorough hurricane preparedness and evacuation plans when you can think clearly and without emotions leading your decisions.

    If you’re not sure where to start, Tractor Supply has assembled this hurricane prep checklist:

    Step 1. Stock up on hurricane supplies. 

    To form a hurricane kit, be sure to have air-tight places to store your items, like storage bins or sealable plastic bags. Your hurricane supply list should include:

    • Enough non-perishable emergency foods and drinking water for each member of the household to last at least a week
    • Manual can opener, disposable plates, silverware and napkins
    • Water supply for sanitation (i.e. bathing, flushing toilets)
    • Daily medications, vitamins and supplements
    • Prescription eyeglasses or contacts with solution
    • Several changes of clothes for each family member
    • First-aid kit with dust masks, as well as flares or whistles to signal for help
    • Feminine products, baby supplies, pet supplies and other essentials for your family
    • Hand sanitizersoap, hair, dental care supplies and moist towelettes for hygiene 
    • Coolers and ice for preserving food from your refrigerator/freezer after losing power
    • Power sources like generatorspropaneflashlights, lanternsbatteries and matches
    • Emergency toolsheat sourcesbattery chargers and fire extinguishers 
    • Important personal documents, cash, checks and other valuables (consider a safe or gun safe)
    • Emergency radio for updates in a power outage

    It’s also advised to keep a to-go version of these supplies in your vehicle or at your workplace, as you never know where you might be when a hurricane watch or warning is issued. 

    Step 2. Prepare your home and yard for potential damage.

    Around your lawn or yard, use straps, tie-downs and tarps to secure and cover any loose items. These could blow around in strong winds and damage your home or vehicle. The exterior of your home also needs attention. Board up windows and doors with storm shutters or plywood, as this can assist in preventing broken glass. Use sandbags and flood barriers, like self-inflating flood bags, to help keep water at bay, and consider a storm shelter if you don’t have a safe space in your home to hunker down. Make sure you have the right hardware and winches at the ready to help you complete these home and yard preparation tasks.

    Before hurricane season begins, it’s recommended to perform a check of your roof for damaged or loose shingles. If needed, seal around vent pipes, flashings and chimneys for reinforcement. For homes with trees nearby, make sure limbs and trees obstructing or threatening your roof are trimmed or cut down. Prior to the storm, remove satellite dishes, television antennas and roof turbines, covering their holes to prevent deeper holes from forming. Clogged and loose gutters or dysfunctional downspouts should also be addressed before the threat of hurricane season. 

    For homes with a sump pit in the basement or crawl space, the installation of a water sump pump is also highly recommended to aid in preventing moisture buildup and flooding in basements and crawl spaces. Other homes can utilize regular water pumps, which assist in relocating water from inside the home to the exterior. 

    If you are evacuating or see downed power lines or flooding, you’ll need to shut your electricity and other utilities off. You may need pliers or wrenches to do so, and it’s advised to unplug major appliances to avoid a power surge when electricity is restored. Some other preparations should also be made, such as fixing any indoor or outdoor drainage issues and ensuring issues with the home’s foundation are corrected. Whether you’re evacuating or staying put, you should also check that your batteries are charged in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors. 

    H4: Step 3. Prepare your vehicle for evacuation (or potentially being stranded). 

    Don’t be caught in your car without the proper hurricane supplies. Be sure to have a first aid kit and any of the essentials mentioned in Step 2. You should also pack a car hurricane kit with sleeping bags, as well as men's rain gearmen’s rain bootswomen’s rain gearwomen’s rain boots and child clothing. It’s also wise to have gas cans with extra fuel, as many gas stations will be crowded and may even run out of fuel during the storm. You never know when you might encounter a flooded roadway or downed tree, so it’s wise to plan multiple routes to your destination. Don’t travel without water and food. 

    Step 4. Get a generator.

    To help you maintain normalcy and comfort during the storm, consider investing in a generator. Tractor Supply is here to assist you in finding the best generator for your needs. Our selection includes liquid propane generatorsdual fuel generatorsnatural gas generatorsbattery generatorsgas generators and electric generators. Find more information about choosing the best generator for your home by reading Tractor Supply’s generator FAQs

    Step 5. Gather hurricane cleanup tools and supplies for after the storm. 

    If a hurricane damages your home or yard and leaves messes behind, Tractor Supply has all of the cleanup tools and cleaning supplies you need. These include work glovesfans, blowerswet-dry vacsdehumidifierspressure washersbuckets and chainsaws.

    Step 6. Properly store and maintain your hurricane kit in an easy-to-access location.

    Everyone in the home should know where the emergency hurricane kit is located. Just as importantly, your hurricane supplies should be kept in an easily accessible, cool and dry location. As your needs change from season to season, ensure that your hurricane kit is updated with the correct medications and supplies. Replace expired foods and medications, and store non-perishables in air-tight containers. 

    Step 7. Be ready to act when the hurricane hits.

    Form a hurricane response plan and put it in writing. Where will you evacuate to? Who are your emergency contacts? What will you do with your pets? These are just a few of the questions that a comprehensive hurricane preparedness plan should answer. Create a document that lays out plans for before, during and after a hurricane. This plan should also be saved to your mobile device and easy to access in the event of a hurricane. Include information such as:

    • Phone numbers and names for emergency contacts, including family members, doctors, coworkers and more
    • Nearest evacuation routes and where to stay on higher ground
    • Names of local hurricane shelters and driving directions for multiple routes to get to them 
    • List of pet-friendly shelters or hotels if you have furry loved ones
    • Arrangements for farm animals or boats at marinas (if applicable)

    If your area is under evacuation orders, do not hesitate to put your hurricane preparedness plan into motion. If evacuating, follow your pre-determined routes and allow yourself plenty of time to arrive at your destination safely. If you are staying at home during the storm, here are some safety tips:

    • Stay away from downed lines. 
    • Report smells of gas immediately. 
    • Do not attempt to use or repair broken or damaged appliances. 
    • Limit the use of your cell phone and other devices if electricity goes out to preserve the battery for as long as possible. 
    • Stay away from windows and doors.
    • Seek higher ground immediately if flooding begins in your home. 
    • Stay tuned to television and radio updates about the storm. 

    Why Do I Need to Prepare for a Hurricane? 

    Forming in the ocean, hurricanes develop when tropical storms reach wind speeds of a minimum of 74 MPH. Hurricanes are easily identifiable on weather radar screens due to their wide rain bands and “eye of the storm,” a circular area of peaceful weather conditions in the storm’s center. The eye of the storm is surrounded by the eyewall, where rains and winds are most powerful. Hurricanes are rated on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale from categories one to five, with five being the most severe (winds exceeding 157 MPH). 

    From Maine to Florida and over the Gulf of Mexico, the United States is home to vast coastal areas that could be threatened by hurricanes. Heavy rainfall, strong winds and storm surges are the main threats of hurricanes, but waterspouts and tornadoes could also spawn from a hurricane. Even if you don’t live in a coastal area, your home could still be damaged by strong winds or flood waters when the storm moves inland. If your area is heavily affected by a hurricane, downed trees, flooded roadways, damaged bridges and other obstacles can prevent first responders from reaching you for days – if not weeks – at a time. This is where a hurricane preparedness plan and kit can help you weather the storm and stay healthy and safe in the days following.

    At Tractor Supply, America’s largest rural lifestyle retailer, we’ve seen our fair share of hurricanes and other extreme weather events over our 85+ years in business. We firmly believe that every household should have a hurricane preparedness plan in place, and we’re committed to offering pertinent information and the right products for your hurricane supply list. 

    Get Ready for a Hurricane with Tractor Supply

    Find more hurricane preparedness advice and tips for weathering other extreme weather events at Tractor Supply. With a vast selection of hurricane supplies for sale, we are standing by to help you find all of the hurricane preparedness items on your list. Shop with us online or visit your local Tractor Supply store

    Please note: This information is general and is not intended to replace or override any of the advice, warnings, or information given by local officials, FEMA, NOAA or any other official regulatory organization or government branch regarding storm safety in the form of thunderstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, hail storms, floods or any other natural disaster or man-made disaster. Always follow take-cover recommendations, evacuation orders and any other advice given by local officials for your area, regardless of whether it is similar to or different from the information on TractorSupply.com.