Choosing to Ride Out a Hurricane?

Here are some useful tips

1. Charge any device that provides light. Laptops, tablets, cameras, video cameras, and old phones. Old cell phones can still used for dialing 911. Charge external battery back ups. 
2. Wash all trash cans, big and small, and fill with water for flushing toilets. Line outdoor trash cans with trash bags, fill with water and store in the garage. Add bleach to sterilize. 
3. Fill every bath tub and sink with water. Cover sinks with Saran Wrap to keep it from collecting dust. Fill washing machine and leave lid up to store water.   Use this water to flush toilets if needed.  Also, filling the washing machine with ice and storing drinks there works well.
4. Fill old empty water bottles and other containers with water and keep near sinks for washing hands. 
5. Fill every Tupperware with water and store in freezer. These will help keep food cold longer and serve as a back up water supply. 
6. Fill drinking cups with water and cover with Saran Wrap. Store as many as possible in fridge. The rest you can store on the counter and use first before any water bottles are opened. Ice is impossible to find after the storm.
7. Reserve fridge space for storing tap water and keep the sealed water bottles on the counter. 
8. Cook any meats in advance and other perishable foods. You can freeze cooked food. Hard boil eggs for snacks for first day without power. 
9. Be well hydrated before the storm hits and avoid salty foods that make you dehydrated. 
10. Wash all dirty clothes and bed sheets. Anything dirty will smell without the A/C, you may need the items, and with no A/C, you'll be sweating a lot. You're going to want clean sheets. 
11. Toss out any expiring food, clean cat litter boxes, empty all trash cans in the house, including bathrooms. Remove anything that will cause an odor when the A/C is off. If you don't have a trash day pickup before the storm, find a dumpster. 
12. Bring in any yard decor, secure anything that will fly around, secure gates, bring in hoses, potted plants, etc. Bring in patio furniture and grills. 
13. Clean your environment so you have clear, easy escape routes. Even if that means temporarily moving furniture to one area. 
14. Scrub all bathrooms so you are starting with a clean odor free environment. Store water filled trash cans next to each toilet for flushing. 
15. Place everything you own that is important and necessary in a backpack or small file box that is easy to grab. Include your wallet with ID, phone, hand sanitizer, snacks, etc. Get plastic sleeves for important documents.
16. Make sure you have cash on hand.
17. Stock up on pet food and fill up bowls of water for pets. 
18. Refill any medications. Most insurance companies allow for 2 emergency refills per year.
19. Fill your propane tanks. You can heat soup cans, boil water, make coffee, and other stuff besides just grilling meat. Get an extra, if possible.
20. Drop your A/C in advance and lower temperatures in your fridges. 
21. Gather all candles, flashlights, lighters, matches, batteries, and other items and keep them accessible. 
22. Clean all counters in advance. Start with a clean surface. Buy Clorox Wipes for cleaning when there is no power. Mop your floors and vacuum. If power is out for 10 days, you'll have to live in the mess you started with. 
23. Pick your emergency safe place such as a closet under the stairs. Store the items you'll need in that location for the brunt of the storm. Make a hand fan for when the power is out. 
24. Shower just before the storm is scheduled to hit. 
25. Keep baby wipes next to each toilet. Don't flush them. It's not the time to risk clogging your toilet!
26. Run your dishwasher, don't risk having dirty smelly dishes and you need every container for water! Remember you'll need clean water for brushing your teeth, washing yourself, and cleaning your hands. 
27. Put a small suitcase in your car in case you decide to evacuate. Also put at least one jug of water in your car. It will still be there if you don't evacuate! You don't need to store all water in the house. Remember to pack for pets as well. 
28. Check on all family members, set up emergency back up plans, and check on elderly neighbors. 
29. Remember, pets are family too. Take them with you!
30. Before the storm, unplug all electronics. There will be power surges during and after the storm.
31. Gas up your car and have a spare gas container for your generator or your car when you run out.
32.  If you can, take a video of your house and contents....walk room to room--open cabinets/drawers and closets. This will help if you need to make a claim later. It will show proof of items and help you list all the items.
33. Freeze a cup of water, place a coin on top after it is frozen...keep this in your freezer to help you gauge the temperature if the power goes out. If the coin stays on top, the food is staying frozen. If the coin falls into the water, the freezer thawed out and most food will likely need to be thrown away. 

34.  Cheap way to store water: Get 1 gallon size ziplock bags and fill them with water, freeze them.  They stack well, work to keep food cold, and function as emergency drinking water.

35.  No sandbags?  Get a roll of wide roofing tape and use it to seal the inside of garage doors, windows, or any area where a couple of inches of water could seep in and flood everything.

Click Here to download this list as a pdf document that you can print.


American Red Cross Safe & Well Site -  use this to register and inform loved ones that you are safe and well.  You register, provide your status online, and others can search the site for your entry and status.  This is very helpful during and emergency because phone lines may be jammed or unavailable, but your cell phone could still access the internet.  

Visit to learn more about using technology in the event of an emergency.  You can sign up for FEMA text messages, sign up for the American Red Cross's Safe & Well site that let's you check-in and let family members know your safe.  You may even be able to leverage this service to do check-ins for your Detachment.

Updated 20 SEP 2017

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Marine Corps League MidEast Division
​& Preparedness

A local Force In Readiness

Hurricane Toolkit:

The Marine Corps League is in a unique position to stand as a local force in readiness, prepared to serve our local communities in the event of an emergency.  With our local detachments, connections to Department, Division, and National resources, we have the ability to mobilize support for our members, families, local communities and officials quickly and effectively.

Take a moment to view the resources provided below and explore more information available from the Department of Homeland Security and  A few things you, your Detachment and your families can do to prepare for emergencies.

Key things to do NOW:

  1. How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
  2. What is my shelter plan?
  3. What is my evacuation route?
  4. What is my family/household communication plan?

For your Detachment, Department, community and families:

  • Ensure your Detachment rosters are updated with the most recent contact information for all members.
  • Ensure everyone has a copy of this contact list.
  • For members with special needs, ensure they are contacted, prepared, and/or checked upon before, during and after the event.
  • Make a Communication Plan, so that in the event of a disaster, you can execute a communication plan or call tree to 1) ensure everyone is OK, and 2) provide assistance to those in need.  Practice the plan.
  • Use some of the resources on this page to create a contact Wallet Card, readiness plan, or checklist.
  • Make a list of who in your Detachment has what type of assistance equipment, and are willing to help.  For example, if your Detachment has members who own chainsaws, pickup trucks, locations where extra supplies could be stored, or members with special skills that may be helpful to the Detachment and the community in the event of a disaster, make this list and keep it updated.
  • Remember our pets.  Prepare for them as well.
  • If a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) exists in your area, contact that team and learn what you and your Detachment can do.
  • If you live near a military base or community, remember there are families of deployed service members there who may need resources.
  • Remember, the NEW:  MARINE CORPS LEAGUE DISASTER RELIEF FUND is available.  Find out more and how to apply for relief, for yourself or our fellow Marines and families.

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