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LPT: Have an Emergency Plan in place for your household

To avoid being caught unprepared in an emergency -- work with your household members to establish an emergency plan. Be prepared to conserve food and water in the event of an ongoing supply shortage.

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Moderator of r/LifeProTips, speaking officiallyScore hidden · 10 months ago · Stickied comment


Thanks so much for sharing this with us, NORAD & USNORTHCOM!!

This is great advice for everyone, I have pinned your submission to the top of our subreddit. I really hope everyone takes a minute to make a plan regarding how they and their household will react to any emergency. Whether it's a flood, or a fire, or even a zombie apocalypse, you need to be prepared to react and respond.

A little bit of preparation goes a long way if something unfortunate ever happens.

Please be sure to let us know as soon as you've tweeted your verification of your reddit account! We are anxious to see it.

9 more replies

First aid stuff, water storage stuff, a shotgun, and lockpicks is my sthf kit so far

Why lockpicks?

so I can access things I don't have keys to. Scavenge stuff. Escape from captivity.

It just seems like a valuable skill/toolset in shitty situations. Maybe I play to many video games.

Water and food and whatnot is nice, but unless you have some teeth, you're essentially just collecting stuff for the toughest gang in the neighborhood.

Anyone recommend any subs for prepping or urban prepping or anything related to being prepared for stuff

My plan was to smash hard drives and burn the fucker down? Is there a better plan?

First aid kit with QuickClot sponges! Who knows how long it will take for paramedics to get to you. Make sure you have basic first aid skills and equipment.

A motorbike is a worthwhile consideration if you can afford something basic. While everyone else is being eaten by zombies on the freeway you can drive in between all the cars and get out of the city.

.... and get up that mountain before the tsunami hits... oh wait that was Deep Impact. Carry on :)

I definitely have some emergency things stored away for that rainy day! Thanks!

How about fire emergency. Planning to buy a fire extinguisher.

Planning to buy a fire extinguisher

It's good that you've got a plan in place.

Learn to can your own food also stock up on dry food. Walmart has alot of life saving stuff for cheap in the camping section.

5 points · 6 months ago

Might I just ask. I couldn’t find that information. How much Karma is required to post here?

  1. Boil water with candles.

  2. I never run out of tea bags.

I live in the UK. My emergency kit is as follows:

  1. Candles.

What about your emergency teabags and boiled water?

You forgot crumpets and fish snd chips.

I feel pretty confident I am decently prepared.

  • Multiple sealed superpails (rice, legumes, etc.) with oxygen absobers inside the pails so if unopened it will last 20+ years

  • 22 LR Rifle, thousands of rounds, gun maintenance kit

  • Solar oven, Propane tanks, Propane stove

  • Fire starter kits, Butane, etc.

  • Water filtration system

  • Shovel, Axe, etc.

  • Tent

  • Solar powered lights, lamps, etc.

  • Fishing kit

  • A lot more stuff I can't remember, but this just gives you an idea

Pocket love mate?

Add a fire piston and charred cloth to that list. You won't need matches anymore.

Ontop of that I always make sure to have dry ingredients that don't expire for a long time. It sounds lame but it's one less thing to worry about and the food can be delicious anyways.

I always keep tinned food stocked, not much, but enough for a couple of days if everything turns to shit. There's nothing wrong with a little bit of preparation

911 operator here. I have a good tip for you:

Take a house key and attach it to a glow stick with a keychain. Don't activate the stick yet. Keep it by your bed.

If there's an emergency at night, such as an intruder or fire, activate the glowstick and throw it out the window. Tell the 911 operator where the glowstick is and that it has a housekey on it. It makes it to where the officers/firefighters don't need to force entry, which saves time and means your door will still be intact.

I’ll be outside waiting for them if it’s a fire scenario.

It's more intended to be used if you can't evacuate for whatever reason, like if there's flames blocking your exit.

I’ll go out the window, then.

Sadly my bedroom faces my backgarden and not my frontgarden.

I think people are taking this as an apocalypse scenario. Think this way. What would grandma do. Would your grandma every let her pantry get down to only 1 day of food water or essentials, no. All it takes is some thought and planning especially if you are in a disaster prone location. Have enough food, water, and medications always for at least a few days. Have some cash on hand because no power means no credit purchases. Keep your car full of gas when something may happen (hurricane season, tornado season, major winter storm warning). Have a plan of what you would grab if evacuating and pack it so its easy to grab and take. Think of everything you would need and where you would go if you chose to leave. If you were staying what would you need and how. In a flood could you get on your roof? How long could you stay up there? Would it be the safest choice?

What would grandma do. Would your grandma let every pantry get down to only one day of food an water essentials, no

This made me giggle because it's the exact opposite of my grandma. Pretty much all her pantries are either empty or have only things that wouldn't be useful in an emergency (ie. She has a "spice cabinet" that contains salt, anise, and some spare buuble soap).

That being said, you never know when something unexpected will happen. Even when small things happen, having supplies prepared can turn a huge hassle into a minor inconvience. Last year there was a problem with the water pipes in my city that knocked out water in my entire apartment building and the surrounding blocks for two days. My roommates were freaking out, but we got through really easily because I had plenty of extra bottled water saved up.

In flood-prone areas, keep a hatchet in your attic to cut a hole to the roof if need be.

Just make sure to have a gun nearby if things go south.

There are always options other than suicide. People are strong, we can all make it through. Try r/suicidewatch


I'm serious. Its not a laughing matter. Also do you normally kill your wife and kids first or let them fend for themselves?

It's a laughing matter when u actually think he is talking about suicide.

Its better than assuming he's going to kill his neighbours for their supplies or use the gun to shoot those in need.

1 point · 6 months ago

It is much more reasonable to assume that he's a normal guy and to remember that in a disaster situation there will likely be looters and raiders so self defense is very-very important as is a gun/weapon.

Second this. We have a gun for each of us readily accessible, with compatible reloads for those platforms, for every single room in the house and ammo for most of those guns in most rooms. Also having a one way in/out kill zone and funnel, preferably located around the only entrance to the residence helps too. A loud dog is also great. A cat is fine too.

not trying to be offensive, but that sounds quite paranoid for someone who lives in Europe. The very few gun owners that I've met either inherited from someone who used to go hunting or do so themselves. The notion of owning a gun for personal/property protection just doesn't exist for the vast majority of people, and owning one is usually regarded as being a potential danger (e.g. kids finding it).

*edit: this whole thread seems like a joke so I might just be out of the loop...

... woosh

That's only because you live in a developed nation. I too live in a country with police and military that protect me and my family. We also have strong corruption laws to make sure that the government and law enforcement play fair. A combination of a just set of laws and well funded court system keeps the dangerous people off the street. I feel lucky I don't have to fear for my safely like that.

But its really hard to get permission of using gun ..isnt it ? :3

That’s what they want you to think.

Handguns are illegal in Chicago and look how safe it is there. Chicago saw the murder total drop by 16% in 2017 from 2016.

That sounds great until you realize that it went from 771 homicides in 2016 to 'only' 650 in 2017.

Progress! See no handguns make the populous safe...

I live in Chicago. Handguns are not illegal.

Has anyone ever heard of a service who will come to your house and help you do this? I find stuff like this really overwhelming. I imagine myself sort of diving down a Google k-hole and, faced with all the options of stuff I need to do or buy, end up doing/buying nothing. Sort of like a personal trainer, I think I could really benefit from someone with know-how taking me through this, and helping me separate what is necessary from what is not.

Some cities have an office for emergency management/preparedness/whatever, maybe such a thing would exist there?

There are alot of websites dedicated to disaster preparedness. Also youtube vlogs. It's not hard to get started.

I'm not at all worried about getting started. I'm worried about knowing when to stop.

I am sure a professional organizer could do this, but you are right, a dedicated service would be great. If you are in a smaller town where the police aren't totally overwhelmed, you could probably have an officer come by to help with this.

Public safety is their job, and they usually know what is most important. Even in a larger area, if your department has a Community policing branch, they would be ideal. Can't hurt to stop by and ask!

That would be a great idea, unfortunately I live in Los Angeles; LAPD definitely has bigger fish to fry (and brown people to beat up). LOL

3 points · 7 months ago

This is a lot easier if you are minimalist.

3 points · 7 months ago

LBT: Have an Emergency Plan in place for your Bacon.

jump out of window. buy parachute if higher than second floor.

never thought about an emergency plan. but because of what's happening since last year...I must have one. thanks to our great government!

21 points · 7 months ago

and keep an ax in your attic if you plan on sheltering there when it floods

This is actually good advice.

31 points · 7 months ago

Toilet paper. Get plenty of it. The last thing you need is to take a daily dookey in a post-apocalyptic world with radioactive leaves. (Side note: Get Charmin' toilet paper. It's so soft!)

For all those people stocking up on flushable wipes, their emergency will be a fatberg clogging up their plumbing with a possible sewage overflow erupting over their sweet, unsuspecting, bare buttocks as they are taking said dookey while surfing reddit.

How is this not getting more love?

I acknowledge the fact that this is a useful tip for a lot of people, but I am genuinely happy that a concern like this is nonexistent where I live.

Where do you live that is emergency-proof?

Scandinavia. I understand that no place is emergency-proof, but I can't really think of any realistic emergency scenarios, not even historically.

Clearly you need to watch the movie "Troll Hunter". A brilliant masterpiece from Norway that may change your perspective.

Comment deleted7 months ago(3 children)

As another Canadian from Alberta, I didn't think in my wildest dreams my family and me would be evacuated from our home and displaced for over a month while our town was consumed with fire.... Then it happened to us. These are great suggestions. Actions I wish I had taken before the fires. Especially the family picture suggestion! Once they are gone, they're gone.

Seems like solid advice to me. But for all we know, he might live somewhere in northern Scandinavia, where there's tundras and mountains and few things else.

Good post but your concerns aren’t relevant at this location still. Luckily!

There are no natural disasters in Scandinavia?

Haven't heard about any, no

Not in comparison to the US. We have minor floods from time to time but nothing serious.

In 2008, we were caught in a weather weirding 1000 year flood. Took out our home, parents home, our 4 banks that we had accounts with, and almost everything we owned. We lived in a station wagon for a roof overhead. The shelters were overwhelmed, no room. And no, we hadn't made a plan for that.

According to experts, climate change drives more extreme weather, such as what caught us. I'm ready now.

Ah well. Tough to compare. The US could probably honestly say that a portion (of the US) the size of Scandinavia have rare to no natural disasters (like the midwest - out of tornado alley).

michigan, worst we get is a somewhat bad flood once every 20 years

In most of Europe there are very little large scale Natural Disasters.

I see. Well, it's good to have a plan for a house fire or something, right? Those happen in Europe, right? You guys do have fire?

They do happen, but most European Houses are not made out of plywood, wooden beams and insulation, but instead made of solid wood, masonry, stone, concrete or something similar.

Should probably leave the house regardless.

3 points · 7 months ago

historically....Ice age

True. Better get ready!

chu mean dawg i chill on the streets with HAMPTON BRANDON ALWAYS KEEPING IT TEN TOES DOWN

Thanks for share such important information, this can help many people at the time of any kind natural hazard. We should must aware of our aera where we live, under which hazard zone our fall under. what kind of natural hazard could in our locality(like landslide, tsunami..) and prepare accordingly.

10 points · 8 months ago · edited 8 months ago

Our emergency plan saved our (plus our pets') lives twice. Pets in cages > cages in the car > emergency bags (2 outfits+essentials) in the car > photo albums, mementos, etc in plastic crates on top shelves > breakers off > people in the car > drive god damnnit!

Now that we're out of a flood zone (fingers crossed lol) We keep a flashlight in each room, a few gallons of water under the sinks (yes, we rotate them) and a first aid kit in all the bathrooms.

2 points · 8 months ago

Yes, have a storage box ready to go with water, non-perishable food, weather radio, flashlight, first aid kit, whistle, important family documents, and items for unique family needs like medications or diapers

Buy a gallon bag of ACTIVATED charcoal. It's used to purify water. Cheap AF. A gallon will treat hundreds of gallons of water, but you'll still need to boil it, since activated c won't kill bacteria. Generally, it's not about water availability but water purification. Lakes and little puddles are everywhere. Be mindful of chemical and industrial contaminants in the cities. Countryside and woodland water is likely far safer when filtered through activated c, and boiled.

Activated charcoal, pool sand, spare clothing, and a 5 foot section of 4-6 inch PVC pipe makes a gravity filter that will get rid of ALMOST all contaminants in rainwater/roof run off (don’t use standing water unless it’s an emergency). You still have to boil/bleach, but you can never be to careful with drinking water.

Edit: I would avoid standing water in rural areas. They tend to collect the parasites, chemicals, and manure used in agriculture. Like don’t even walk through it if you can avoid it. Also never drink rainwater straight. Always treat it because it can pick up airborne contaminants.

3 points · 8 months ago

How about preparing for a nuclear war?

LPT: Start a cannibal community and eat those assholes at the better community down the road

3 points · 7 months ago · edited 7 months ago

Come to switzerland where every house has a air raid shelter. Look

1 point · 7 months ago

Does that mean that houses cost more?

Depends I cant tell you how housing prices compare internationally as swiss prices are higher in general. But on a national level it does not really matter. Because if you dont build a "air raid shelter" you are obligatet to buy yourself a spot in a public shelter. (you just pay a set ammount. You dont actually get a designated spot but thats kind of the idea behind).


Instead, prepare for the zombie apocalypse.

1 point · 7 months ago

Give me some tips.

With today's nuclear weapons, you would practically already have to be living inside a bunker if you were to shelter yourself from a nuclear strike. Modern nukes reach the other side of the planet in a few hours. They literally fly at like mach 5. Do the math. For example, look up Satan-2, a Russian nuke. You have to account for the public warning to arrive, which will arrive with some delay. I fear at best you'd have 30mins of time to reach a shelter. First there's launch, detection of launch, then public warning "get to shelter ASAP". It all takes time. You better hope you're not asleep when that comes. Or maybe it's a blessing. And in case you're not killed by the initial blast, then there's radiation and fallout. IDK what to say... geiger counter, anti-rad medication, right type of gas mask to prevent inhalation of radioactive particles, bunker... But you'd need food and such, maybe a doctor at some point, depending how many months or years you plan to spend in a bunker. It's going to suck no matter what. Might even want to think about a suicide plan.

There are 6 nuclear power plants in my state in the southeast, America, alone. Low water tables mean no basements or bunkers in most private homes. Chance of damage is higher from those failing than a nuclear strike. So it's 6 X's more likely for failure due to aging facilities, or natural disasters like flooding or earthquakes. So 6 Fukashimas or 6 Chernobyls. Screwed big time. BTW- we have a nuclear plant built on a fault line. That's really safe, right?

3 points · 8 months ago

I am screwed then, there is only one nuclear bunker which has fallen into disuse in the entire of Northern Ireland and it's 40 miles away from where I am. That's at least an hour's drive away, and there will be bad traffic congestion during a crisis.

At least Belfast and Dublin aren't prime targets, they'd go for London, Manchester and Birmingham first, I may have time to nope my way to the West of Ireland.

Could always dig your own personal bunker, but that's a whole other book. It might even be safer than any public shelter. Plus, you would get to choose the people, at least in theory. Can you imagine spending time in a tight space with dozens of strangers? That's conflict waiting to happen, depending how long the bunker life drags out. Would friends and family be worse? I'm sure there are online guides about nuclear event preparation, and bunker construction.

Watch the movie "10 Cloverfield Lane'.

1 point · 8 months ago

Someday, when I have the money...

Or you could just live in a midwest city that doesn't get tornadoes.

The best thing you can do is have a rolling bag of luggage filled with your emergency kit. Then you can snag it when S hits the fan and roll it where required.

3 points · 8 months ago

Guns. Have guns and plenty of ammo in every corner of every room. That’s the answer to any given situation.

I trust the cdc over fema

Nope. I trust no goverment agency. Think native Americans went through that and it turned out so well for them right? Think New Orleans during Katrina. Military forced disarmament of civilians, soft targets like old people but never disarmed the true dangers, the gangs. Even the CDC which tried to get political on the gun rights issues. So no thanks.

Good stuff, thanks.

These are awesome links! You never know what could happen to your house!

Don't forget your pets! We keep copies of vaccinations and their health records with their go kits as well. Kennels will be required in a shelter, and they even make dehydrated food for both dogs and cats now. We even got a backpack for the larger dog so she could carry her stuff if need be.

Better yet, rehearse the emergency plan. Otherwise, when the emergency comes, you wouldn't remember what the plan was.

this is a good insight. would also be a good idea to just set aside those dried smaller tree branches during the autumn clean-up. could be used for cooking or just warming the fireplace during winter.

5 points · 9 months ago · edited 9 months ago

Don't use candles for light. Its a great way to cause a house fire. Buy emergency lamps. get solar back up charging units.

Buy a fire/waterproof lockbox to keep your important documents in. Its not perfect, but it means if you can't get them out, they may have chance in hell of surviving some situations.

Have a weather radio. Don't depend on your phone. The weather radio will have battery back up, and you will be able to get alerts on it long after cell phone towers have gone down, and they can be set up to pick up emergency signals for EVERYTHING, from chemical hazards, landslides, fires, flooding, etc.

Also - since almost everyone relies on online everything anymore? What happens if you can't get to your phones? How do you know important phone numbers? If someone ends in a medical emergency or worse, do your important papers include medical information, including living wills, etc? Do you know how to access your spouses/SOs bank accounts, social media accounts and what to do with them if they are not able to do so as the result of an issue?

Points to add.

  1. Candles. Yes. Get the 8 hr emergency ones. Use in the fireplace if you have one. Or use in large glass vases and such.

  2. Get the hand crank radio. Nothing with batteries.

  3. Zip lock bags for documents, photos inside those cases.

  4. Copy documents, ( photo or scan) to flash drive. Place in zip lock and carry with you.

  5. Solar panel charger for phone and laptop s and tablets.

I 110% agree! thanks for sharing! People should also be aware of the common natural disasters in their area and work with their neighbors to find a solution. Maybe wildfires are common in your area, or floods, or earthquakes.. Being over prepared is better than being under prepared!

2 points · 9 months ago

This is awesome! People tend to panic and grab just whatever whenever there's a disaster. Always better to have a guideline to follow when your brain's busy on a fight or flight response

I really think I need to sit down and go through this... Had a two hour power cut recently and barely managed to make it through that alive!

I have a cranked emergency radio/flashlight and a NBC gas mask with a camelback hose built in. On a tall hill 100 miles inland. Besides power outs and snowbounding, I am ready for anything given I survive initial conditions.

Didn't see anyone post this yet. So thought I would share. In most cases societal structure is in tact and there is not rampant looting, violence and gangs taking over areas. BUT this is a scenario and illustration on how to survive if things go REALLY BAD REALLY FAST and what you would need to be prepared.

The best thing I did last year was buying a set of anti smoke masks in case there is a fire in our building. We live on the 20th floor, that means A LOT of time rushing downstairs, and most of the time it's not the fire that kills you, it's the smoke.

That's very wise. Although tower blocks in the UK should be able to contain the fire in one room for an hour, so if there is a fire in a tower block the advice is to stay in your flat and to not evacuate.

They told the occupants not to evacuate, in the twin towers on 9-11.

'should be able to'... 😔

Don't forget asteroid strike or tiger attacks

Because we live in a hurricane prone area, we have a tote which contains essentials for a few days.
Every year we go through it and "refresh" the food, water, batteries, etc. to make sure nothing ever goes bad and it's ready to go in case an evacuation is necessary.

Then we have a safe which contains important documents, all sealed in plastic bags in case of unexpected flooding, but still easy to get to in case of evacuation.

Also have cut plywood to size and have them numbered so if I need them I can just grab them from the garage and attach them. I always check them before hurricane season starts to make sure the wood hasn't warped or gotten damaged in some way.

Another important tip: Those 3,7V Accumulators (rechargable Batteries) also known as 18650 are expensive to buy, but can be taken out of damaged Laptop batterypacks. Usually the electronics are dmaged but the accus are working. These accus are used for many cree flashlights. Having tons of them at home helps a lot if the power goes out.

I remember being a little girl, when my uncle would tell me, "If there is any kind of natural disaster, you should know that I'll have all my survival and camping equipment thrown in the back of my truck, and I'll be heading straight to the mountains."

He would then say that none of the adults in the family would be welcome because "they should've been prepared themselves," but us kids could go with him. I thought he was the coolest.

Tried to get my mom go at least prep an earthquake survival kit, but she never got around to it lol.


Thank you!

I should lurk here more often. This is good stuff.

Check your spare tire! Obviously hurricane Irma just wrecked the southeastern corner of the country. This means lots of damaged homes and businesses. Most of the repairs being performed are roofs and other nail/screw laden projects. The probability of getting a flat tire from this is much higher than usual. That being said, check your spare for proper inflation and check the completeness and serviceability of your jack and lug wrench. A flat spare doesn't help you and an inflated one without the ability to swap it is just as bad!

I always keep a can of Fix-A-Flat in my vehicle just in case. However, if you need to use it, be sure and tell the mechanic if you are taking the tire to be repaired.

Also be prepared to buy a new TPMS sensor. It has it's place but only as a last resort on modern vehicles.

Buy yourself one of these:

Along with a camping stove and a camping pot to boil water in (oh, and gas!). Should last you a few weeks.

I just bought this for my earthquake kit!

I would add, be aware of what disasters are most likely to be an issue where you live and look into existing resources specifically tailored to preparing for those disasters. For instance, in Portland, OR there are emergency beacons throughout the city, so that in the event of a catastrophic earthquake, everyone can find the closest beacon, where there will be someone who can communicate with radio operators about health emergencies and the like. Even better, I was able to take a quick training course (like 2 hours on a weeknight) about how the beacons work and how to use them. Further training is available so you can become a first responder. Once you have the training, there are all kinds of opportunities to use your skills--for example, many volunteers have been able to help evacuees from the wildfires, and I also saw calls for volunteers to help with cooling stations on the hottest summer days.

In other words, there is probably free training available in your area for emergency preparedness. It takes a little time, but what a great way to not only prepare yourself and your family, but also serve your community.

LPT: Apparently one of the most overlooked hurricane prep items is a chainsaw.

My mom and step-dad rode hurricane Irma out on Sanibel Island, FL and apparently out of 4 neighboring folks who also did the same not a single one in the bunch has a chainsaw. They have been able to move some trees using their vehicles and tow ropes but have not managed much beyond that due to lack of traction and downed power lines.

GET A SOLAR POWER BANK! Can be found for $20-25 on amazon and never be without power or stuck to a wall again! I've had mine for about a year and it's been great for camping and such but it would be essential during times like this. Mine has two USB ports, a micro port, and a built in flashlight. A great addition to an emergency kit!

911 operator here. Please don't call us if your power goes out, unless there's an emergency. Most affected areas should have an EOC (Emergency Operations Center) set up to deal with these situations. When you see a phone number for information being broadcast, that's probably the number for your local EOC. It's like a communications center that's set up for non-emergency requests and information. It's staffed with normal 911 calltakers, in addition to people from the utility companies and members from the media and other critical services.

911 service will likely be overloaded with non-emergency calls. Stay on the line, your call will be answered as soon as possible. If you have someone on life support or hospice care and your power goes out, you can call 911. Most fire departments can loan out generators for exceptional circumstances, or they can at least arrange transport to a suitable facility.

Want to help us out? Consider learning how to operate an amateur radio (also known as ham radio): it's a simple test to get licensed, and you can help out with emergency and non-emergency message handling. Volunteers have been passing messages in and out of disaster areas, especially in areas where cell networks are down or overloaded. Amateur radios can transmit thousands of miles away, so you can relay health and welfare messages even if you're in a different state.

My wife is a 911 operator in North Florida and she said she got TONS of non emergency calls during Irma, a lot of them were people who had refused to evacuate and were now stuck in their homes/apartments due to flooding.

Feel free to call Red Cross if you don't know who to call. We can get you to the right place.

You guys are a huge help, I have to say. Whenever we have a big structure fire, we always refer the homeowners to the Red Cross. Thanks for what you do.

Thank you as well. I've had to call 911 before and the dispatcher being calm and friendly helped so much.

LPT: If you are in an area that might be affected by Irma, make sure to move your car out from underneath of trees. The strong winds might break branches, causing them to fall on top of your car.

I read a useful tip about put all valuable stuff inside a bag and put the bag inside the dash washer because its waterproof and can resists at fooding

This was debunked by many people including insurance representatives. A dishwasher has to be waterproof when the water is sprays and small bursts from the inside. It won't resist standing in water for any length of time. It's better than nothing, but don't rely on this instead of making proper precautions.

Adding another LPT to piggy back onto yours for Irma in particular even as your tips are good for many disasters:

If evacuating from Irma and on road, or if TV provider goes down during storm, you can watch The Weather Channel on an app called Local Now

Choose the Florida Feed (even if you've evacuated to states much further North) in order to watch the full channel version. Secondary LPT... keep your devices charged at 100% as long as possible, and if power goes out (but you still have cell service) use this app sparingly for info so you don't kill your batteries.

Or change settings to the lowest power mode when not checking apps.

If youre in the path of possible power outages, you can charge any old cell phones you may have in which have flashlight apps. Set it/them to airplane mode and lowest screen brightness.

Not a bad idea if you failed to do any sort of basic emergency preparation but led flashlights cost a dollar at Walmart and batteries are cheap. Why would everyone keep them on hand for emergencies?

In case of evacuations as well:

Make sure to shut off your main power breaker, and bring your backups hard drive with you.

I know there are many things people make sure to bring with them as they leave, but if you are leaving your home this is something I see many forgetting (and many who just don't make a backup). It may be a little late to be submitting this but... add it to your checklist. Also, de-energizing your home before leaving helps prevent electrical fires and surge damages when you aren't around. Flip your main breaker on the way out the door.

Having a backup plan for those with medications.. just digging around the ol' Google:

State emergency refill laws as of 2014

[Orlando Weekly states that Florida has the ability to provide early refills for all 67 counties] (

[Florida Law Reminder for Early Prescription Refills DECLARATION OF EMERGENCY BY GOVERNOR] (

x-posting to quite a few subs

Thank you for posting this. There was a standoff recently during which ones of my friends couldn't go home. I have to take a lot of meds and wondered how I'd cope in the event of emergencies of various types.

All of this is very accurate and good info. I would add two things:

  1. If you have at least 20 days of medication, please leave the pharmacy line for folks who have much less on hand. If you fill at a chain that has stores where you are evacuating to, fill when you get there if you have 10 days or more on hand. (These are my personal recommendations.) Pharmacies will close at set time in advance of a storm and every script they fill takes at least 5-10 minutes if everything is working smoothly and no one is ahead of you. The store I normally go to was posting 3-4 hour wait times two days before the storm.

  2. Controlled substances may be exempt from the emergency refill laws. Plan accordingly. (In most places your doctor can write do not fill before date on a prescription and that can go on file at a pharmacy.)

In the spirit of preparation, write a list of all your medications and otc drugs and keep it in your wallet. It could save your life in an emergency.

If you can't find cases of water, just buy a 30+ gallon trash can, clean it out, and fill it with drinkable tap water.

Better to fill your fridge and freezer with food safe zip locked bags of water.

Personally, i wouldn't be too concerned about BPA plastic for a few days of inconvenience. Also those 5-gal paint buckets would work well. You can buy lids for those.

There are food safe versions of the paint buckets with airtight lids.

Food safe 5 gallon buckets are great because they are stackable, filled or empty.

IIRC, firehouse subs sells them fairly cheap

True but keeping them as bags in the cold box is kinda super helpful. They can help keep the fridge colder for longer as they remove dead air, they are seperated out into smaller groups and stored initally in the cold meaning its cooler for longer and easier to cool down initally. They can pack around the dead space already in your fridge or freezer and in a power outage or flood your not really going to be using that space anyways while you will be using things like floorspace and counter-top space. You can also half-fill them for the freezer and squeeze out the air so they take up the minimum space needed when frozen.

Really I am not seeing a downside outside of you maybe over-filling them or sticking them with a needle. And they are totally food safe instead of a dubiously safe, warmer tasting yes lidded tub but that probably has been sprayed with some mould protection or other lining that will make the water taste a bit crap. They are also less transparant making it harder to see whats going on inside

I have noticed a lot of posts asking what to do to prepare for the upcoming hurricanes and here is what I have learned in 16 years of being a Floridian. The first part is general tips/common sense and the second is more detailed and specific advice.

Obtain potable water ASAP- have a source of water that you can drink enough to last you twice as long as you will be out of service. If this is unobtainable a life straw per person is a life saver.

Stock up on food- buy food that does not require refrigeration and can be prepared without electricity or a stove.

Fill all fuel containers- Fill your gas tank on your car and possibly a container to refuel your tank or to power generators

Put up all shutters- if your house has shutters put them up as soon as you can, they may be difficult to put up so start NOW. If you do not have shutters put plywood over your windows, it won't entirely stop debree but it will help you keep your roof. If all else fails a duct tape x over windows does not hurt but it does not help that much.

Bring in all patio furniture and plants- the storm can throw these causing damage to your house and houses around it

Elevate valuables and electronics- elevate all computers and electronics and cover them in garbage bags so they will not get water damages. Consider taking small valuables with you If you leave and putting larger ones in trash bags and also elevating them.

Document all rooms for insurance reasons- take pictures before the hurricane so you can have an easier insurance claim.

Fill the bathroom tubs- use this water to flush the toilet

Recharge any and all battery packs- you may use your phone for entertainment and such but it is essential to save a battery pack so you can make an emergency call. If you do not own a battery pack use your laptop as one.

Pack a SOL bag- Have a medium size backpack with all important documents in a Ziploc, your phone charger,food & water for a day, a small battery pack, a radio, a flashlight+batterys, a change of clothes+2 pairs of socks, a multi tool, rope/Paracord, and any medications you need.

Unplug everything-

Buy big candles- they provide useful light over an extended period of time.

Do laundry now- you want as much clean clothes available if the power goes out.

Don't tell people you don't trust that you are evacuating- they can break into your house while you are gone and Rob you.

Leave - EVACUATE, it's not worth the risk that the hurricane is a deadly one.

If you have any tips I forgot , put them in the comments and I'll edit them in. Also if you have questions ask in the comments and I'll try and answer when I get the chance.

Prescription Medication

Most pharmacies will allow a double fill on a prescription before a storm hits. Some just require a doctor to authorize it.

3 points · 7 months ago

Fellow Floridian here-- invest in a power generator-- rated enough to power your fridge. The stress of a fridge without power and food spoiling is as bad as no power.

Get a grill for cooking when power goes out.

Get a waterproof/fireproof safe for the house and put important docs in it

After hurricane Irma, the generator was a lifesaver. It was a story of the haves and havenots after the storm in regards to those with or without power.

Up voting for visibility. A simple Coleman grill is amazing in any situation. It’s small enough to easily store and is portable enough to easily evacuate with.

A simple propane burner works good too. Stock up 1-2 canisters of propane, a cast iron skillet, and a heavy duty pot. Jerky/dried meats make for good stews, potatoes last longer than bread, and chicken/beef bullion makes a great base for any emergency stew.

35 points · 10 months ago · edited 10 months ago

Before you evacuate, look up shelters near you. You don't have to go to Alaska to be safe even in a Cat 5 storm. Shelters aren't cozy but they're free.

One of the biggest problems I saw after Matthew was that people spent all of their money on hotels and gas evacuating and then couldn't pay bills. Even sadder were the people who ended up in homeless shelters weeks after the storm because the emergency shelters closed and they had burned their resources on hotels.

Other reasons for staying reasonably close include protecting your property from looters and getting repairs started faster. Also, while your job must let you evacuate if a mandatory evacuation happens, they have every right to demand that you be back at work as soon as the evacuation order is lifted.

A caveat in regards to the New Orleans Superdome. The building itself was not a bad choice. The problem was that the city didn't have a plan for after the storm. That said, if Red Cross, state or county Emergency Management, or law enforcement don't have staff on site, go elsewhere. If you have any concerns about your safety, go elsewhere.

A second caveat regarding the Sheriff of Polk County, Red Cross does not turn anyone away. People with warrants and convictions are allowed to stay in shelters.

TL;DR Every mile you travel is a mile you have to come back. Every penny you spend on gas and hotels is money you can't spend on repairs and recovery. Include shelters in your plans.

Edit: Most places will have at least one pet shelter nearby. Bring your own kennel and food. The ones that have pets and people don't usually require reservations.

....consider bleach for water purification...a quarter teaspoon kills all the bad actors in a gallon of water...easier than finding space for gallon upon gallon of water...! Just know that bleach gets less potent over time- rotate emergency jug with the laundry jug...

2 points · 7 months ago

A quarter teaspoon kills all the bad actors

Begone all bad actors

Remember if you fail to prepare you prepare to fail.

"There's nothing to eat"

I also keep a go-to bag near my exit. It is for night time emergencies where surviving a cold wet windy night is the object. It has poncho, tarp, lite, whistle, sox, gloves, clothes, shoes, tools.

What would cause you to need to go outside in the middle of the night? I'm genuinely clueless.

Tall tree falls on house, fire, house collapse in earthquake, fumes. I live in tall trees, so mostly that.

Don't the emergency services provide emergency housing in the US? In the UK I think they rehouse you if there's a fire.

There are many areas in the United States that several days walk just to town let alone your neighbors while others are so close you can ask for a cup of sugar

My concern is surviving the night in a freezing windy wet storm with no access to help.

I suppose they might not be able to help right away

Better to be over prepared than under prepared in almost any situation.

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