Disaster Preparedness: Storm Disaster Plan – How To Prepare

Master Disaster Checklist

If you want to keep your property, family, pets, and business safe during natural disasters, it’s important to be prepared. This master checklist gives you a good foundation for what to do, what to have, and what to plan for.

  • Secure Contact Information: Make sure you have a printed out copy as the power may be out and you might not have access to your computer or documents. Include names and telephone numbers, as well as out-of-town friends or family who might be able to help you. It’s important to have an out-of-town friend listed because your friends who live in your town might not be able to help you if a disaster affected them, too. Additionally, prearrange a nearby meet-up place after the emergency. It could be the local high school, a relative’s home, or a grocery store.
  • Have a Plan: Make sure that all of your family knows about your disaster plan (escape routes, where the emergency kit is stored, who to contact, and what to do in case of a natural disaster).
    • Identify a Safe Room: Point out which room is the safest room in your home. This should be an interior room without windows, if possible (maybe a closet or a bathroom). This is the place your family should seek shelter when storm warnings are issued.
  • Stay Informed: Make sure that you have a portable radio with fully charged batteries so that you can get the latest up-to-date information about the disaster. If you are in the path of the disaster, go to your pre-designated shelter area immediately.
  • Take Photos/Video of Your Property: If you have an inventory of your valuables and possessions you are likely to be able to claim up to 20% more insurance than if you don’t. Taking photos and videos with your cell phone is an easy way to document your items. Be sure to upload all the images to secure cloud backup and not just store on your property.
  • Charge Electronic Devices: During a disaster, you may lose power. Ensure your cell phone is fully charged, along with other electronic devices like tablets and laptop computers. Also, think about purchasing a solar-powered backup charging device.
  • Get Cash: When the power goes out, ATM machines won’t work. Get plenty of one dollar bills because not many people will have change for twenty and hundred dollar bills. Try to aim for ones, fives, and tens.
  • Fill Up on Gas: Fill your gas tank. When the power goes out, gas pumps won’t work.
  • Disaster Supplies Kit: A disaster supplies kit is essential to keeping you and your family safe. It should include non-perishable food, water, medical supplies, clothes, pet food and supplies, medications, batteries, flashlights, etc. Consider the following list: 
    • Flashlight
    • Batteries
    • First Aid Kits: For $20, you can have medical supply basics — all in one place — and ready to use. Minor as well as major injuries are possible during an earthquake and it’s possible that emergency services will be overwhelmed, so having a first aid kit is essential.
    • Solar Cell Phone Charger: Solar powered charges start in the mid-$20 range and go up from there. The best selling Amazon solar charger is $60 and is fast with “industrial-strength PET polymer faced solar panels sewn into a rugged polyester canvas offer weather-resistant outdoor durability.” If the power goes out, you might have no other way to charge your phone.
    • Crank-Powered Radio: You can pay upwards of $100 for a decent crank radio, but you don’t have to spend that much. The best-selling Amazon crank radio is only $20!
    • Emergency Water Filter: There’s no need for an expensive filtration system. The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter has 5,000 reviews and is only $20! The LifeStraw “removes minimum 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria, 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites, and filters to 0.2 microns; surpasses EPA filter standards.”
    • Bottled Water (minimum of three gallons for each member of your family)
    • Battery-Powered Radio
    • Battery-Powered Lantern
    • Emergency Food Supply
    • Can Opener
    • Basic Tools (utility knife, pliers, wrench, tape, compass)
    • Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, contact solution, toilet paper)
    • Pencils and Paper
    • Pet Supplies (food, litter)
    • Rain Gear
    • Sleeping Bag
    • Change of Clothes
    • Plastic Garbage Bags
    • Face Masks
    • Gloves
    • Hand Sanitizer
    • Cleaning Wipes
  • Have a “Go Bag”: Having an emergency bag packed with essentials (food, clothes, toiletries, cash, etc.) can save you time in a crisis. P.S. A little bit of toilet paper goes a long way…
  • Gather Your Important Papers: Keep all special papers and photographs in a watertight container or plastic bag. You know, all of those important things like bank account papers, birth certificates, property deeds, medical cards, social security cards, etc. as well as photos and important keepsakes which can never be replaced. During a disaster, they could all be ruined and washed away forever in one whoosh!
    • Identification (copy of driver’s license or passport)
    • Insurance Policies
    • Birth Certificates
    • Marriage Certificates
    • Proof of Residence (copy of lease, mortgage documents)
    • Deeds or Wills
    • Tax Returns
    • Social Security Cards
  • Plan for Your Pets: Many hotels and motels won’t accommodate your pets, so if your plan is to evacuate to a hotel, then you’ll need to find them a safe boarding kennels or cattery which is outside of the disaster’s impact zone. Be sure you have plenty of your pet’s preferred food and whatever medications they might need.
  • Refill Your Medications: Make sure that you have plenty of your prescription medicines on hand. If a disaster hits your area, the last thing you want to worry about is a medical emergency. 
  • Disaster Insurance: Check your insurance coverage as part of your disaster preparedness plan. Many home insurance policies do not cover hazards like flooding caused by hurricanes, for example. If you live in a disaster-prone area, consider getting insurance to cover damages.
  • Have a Plan for After the Disaster: After a disaster, get out of town until emergency services and law enforcement have gotten control of the situation. Unfortunately, like many other disaster situations, there are people who will try to take advantage of the chaos. It’s best to avoid being in the disaster zone until things are under control.


Safety Item
OSHA ANSI First Aid Kit (326 Pieces)
9.4/10 Our Score

This comprehensive first aid kit is a must-have for any business or family. It contains 326 pieces of high-quality first aid treatment products that meet or exceed OSHA and ANSI guidelines. The fully organized interior compartments provide quick access to the contents, and the rugged, sturdy, high-density plastic case is impact-resistant and can be wall-mounted or folded for storage.

  • contains 326 pieces of comprehensive first aid treatment products that are manufactured from the highest quality facility
  • kit meets or exceeds OSHA and ANSI 2009 guidelines for 100 people
  • fully organized interior compartments provide quick access to contents
  • rugged, sturdy, high-density plastic case is impact-resistant
  • case can be wall-mounted or folds compactly for storage
  • easy slide latches securely lock the case into place


Storm Disaster Plan: 12 Item Storm Safety Checklist

It’s really important that you have a disaster preparedness storm disaster plan in place before the storm clouds start gathering. The more time you have and the more prepared you are, the better chance you have of minimizing the damage to your family and property.

  1. Storm Disaster Plan: Review your plan regularly and talk with your whole family about what to do and where to go if there is a storm on the way.
  2. Identify a Safe Room: Point out which room is the safest room in your home. This should be an interior room without windows, if possible (maybe a closet or a bathroom). This is the place your family should seek shelter when storm warnings are issued.
  3. Stock a Disaster Supplies Kit: Make sure that it is always well stocked with no out-of-date products. Include a minimum of 3 days supply of water and non-perishable food, plus medication and any other items which you or your family will need.
  4. Evacuation: If you’re going to evacuate before a storm, leave as early as possible. Take with your disaster supplies kit with you, but remember to turn off the water, electricity, and gas before you go — and lock the doors and windows!
  5. Secure Your Home: Hurricane shutters are invaluable during storms. Remember to shutter all windows and glass doors, as well as remove any loose items for the yard (garden furniture, toys, trampolines, etc.) and if you have pets outside, then bring them in.
  6. Gather Extra Water: Water supplies can become contaminated during a storm, so fill up the bathtub, sinks, or kitchen equipment with as much sanitized water as you can.
  7. Adjust Appliances: Turn your freezer and refrigerator to the coldest setting in case you lose power for a few hours, or even days.
  8. Fill Up Your Gas Tank: Make sure that you have a full tank of gas just in case you have to make a quick getaway or power a generator.
  9. Grab Some Cash: ATMs are often out-of-action during a storm disaster, so make sure that you have some cash handy for your disaster preparedness storm plan.
  10. Charge Your Batteries: The batteries in your cell phone should be fully charged, as should the batteries for your emergency weather radio. If you have to evacuate, then remember to take your charger with you.
  11. Take “Before” Photos and Videos:  If you anticipate a severe storm, go around your home or business and take hundreds of photos or videos of everything: inside cabinets, tool boxes, closets, file drawers, rooms from different angles. You will need that information to submit to your insurance carrier.
  12. Check On The Neighbors: Make sure that your neighbors know about your disaster plan, and (especially if they are elderly) remember to check on them and make sure that they are fully prepared with a storm disaster plan.

You see, even patio furniture can become a lethal weapon during a storm!


What To Do If Your Electrical Power Goes Out

During intense storms, it’s not unusual for power to go out for hours or even days on end. If this is the case for your home, consider the following tips:

• Never approach or touch a downed power line or anything in contact with the wire.
• Never use gas ovens, barbecues or portable propane or kerosene heaters for indoor heating. They use oxygen and create carbon monoxide that can cause suffocation.
• Turn off lights and electrical appliances, except for the refrigerator and freezer.
• Unplug computers to protect them from possible surges when power is restored.
• Leave one lamp on so you know when power is restored. Wait at least 15 minutes after power is restored before turning on other appliances.
• A refrigerator freezer will keep food frozen for up to a day without power. A separate, fully loaded freezer will keep food frozen for two days.
• Use an ice chest packed with ice to keep food cold. Buy dry ice to save frozen food.
• Have a charged cell phone available or a corded telephone available. (Cordless phones don’t work without power.)
• Insulate pipes and allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing. — Learn how to shut off water valves in case a pipe bursts.
• Consider purchasing a power generator. Operate it only outside in a well-ventilated place.

Consider purchasing the following to help keep your family safe during storms:

Adhesive & Repairs

T-REX Ferociously Strong Duct Tape


This tape is made with UV resistant materials that block harsh UV rays from weakening the tape adhesive, and can be used both indoors and outdoors on various surfaces such as brick, concrete, shingles, painted and non-painted wood, and vinyl siding.


Frost King P1025/6W Polyethylene Sheeting


The packaged plastic sheet has a wide range of uses in and around the home, garden, and garage. It can be used to cover and protect furniture, appliances, and equipment from dust, dirt, and moisture.

Tool Kit

Yougfin Tool Set, 38-Piece General Household Basic Hand Tools Kit


The Yougfin 38-piece tool set is forged from high hardness steel, providing excellent sturdiness and durability. Coated with a chrome plated finish, it improves glossiness and corrosion resistance, meeting or exceeding ANSI critical standards.