Right now in the Northeast, you can't turn the radio or television on without hearing the latest update on Hurricane Irene. We're bracing ourselves for a weekend of wind, rain, and all-but-guaranteed power outages.
Are you ready?
FEMA's Ready.gov Hurricane page and The National Hurricane Center's site are good places to start. If you haven't built your Emergency Supply Kit yet, do it now and be sure it includes:
- Non-perishable food (enough for three to seven days)
- Water (one gallon, per person, for three to seven days)
- Place appliance thermometers in your refrigerator and freezer. (Freezer temperature should be at or below 0 °F and refrigerator temperature should be at or below 40 °F).
- Freeze containers of water for ice to keep food colder for longer in the freezer, refrigerator, or coolers.
- Freeze food/drink such as leftovers, milk, and fresh meat and poultry that you don't need immediately.
- Group food together in the freezer so the food stays cold longer.
- Have coolers on hand to keep food cold should the power be out for more than four hours.
Consult the FDA's Food & Water Safety page to learn more about how to keep your food supply safe before, during, and after a power outage.
Your Emergency Supply Kit should also include:
Flashlights with batteries
First-aid kit, including any/all prescriptions you may need
Paper plates, plastic utensils, manual can opener
Important documents in a container or plastic bag
Cash (not a windfall, but a enough to get you through if your bank is out of commission)
Cell phone, jack-in-the-wall phone, basic tools
Clean, seasonal change of clothes, including shoes or boots
And of course, include specialized necessities when caring for infants, the elderly, and pets.
Our Facebook fans tell us they're using up leftovers, gearing up for a weekend of grilling, and baking muffins and peanut butter chocolate chip cookies (protein never tasted so good). Join the conversation, or leave a comment below and tell us if you plan to cook up a storm before Irene hits.