September 02, 2021
Follow these pointers to get ready for any kind of major weather event, any time of year.
Make a Disaster Plan
The disaster preparedness experts at Ready.gov recommend devising a plan to follow in case of emergency, laying out contingencies and communication channels in advance.
If you live in a tornado- or hurricane-prone area, for example, you can make a list of reliable sources for up-to-the-minute information on weather alerts, local shelters, city water advisories and utility updates.
There's safety in community, so talk to household members, relatives, friends and neighbors to put in place a plan for keeping each another connected and safe.
Agree on who should shelter together and under what circumstances. Also, devise a system for regular check-ins between households to see if anyone needs anything before, during and after an adverse event.
In case of evacuation, you might also consider creating a budget for a hotel stay or short-term rental in case you live in a danger zone and public shelters are full. (You can also check to see if your renter's or homeowner's insurance will cover this expense.)
To keep your home safe (and conserving energy) when you're not in it, Cox Homelife smart home and security tools can provide peace of mind while you're away.
Create an Emergency Kit
To collect the right supplies to get you through a crisis, start at the end and work backward.
Envision a week without running water, power or transportation, and make a detailed list to cover everything you might need.
Next, gather those materials, so you can access them easily or even bring them with you if you need to take shelter somewhere other than home.
Most emergency kits should include basics like:
- Several days' worth of water (one gallon per person per day) for drinking and hygiene
- Nonperishable foods (plus a can opener)
- First aid kit
It's also wise to invest in portable chargers for electronic devices, sealable plastic baggies to protect those devices from water damage and dry rice to bring them back from the brink.
In the (unfortunately likely) event of an internet and cell service outage, a battery-operated radio can keep you tuned in to important local updates. If your home internet is down, you can try to access a secure Cox Wifi hotspot. Get more tips on what to do during a service outage here.
If you know a storm is coming that could cause an outage, download some of your family's favorite movies or shows on your devices with the Contour app and your other favorite streaming apps to pass the time and give little ones something to focus on while the weather passes.
Finally, make a hard copy of important phone numbers in case your devices are unreachable or damaged. You can either laminate it or protect it in its own plastic bag. Keep it with your emergency kit for quick access.
Once you've got a plan and supplies in place, the most labor-intensive part of the disaster preparedness process is complete. Now you'll just need to check in from time to time to make sure everything's up to date.
Set a quarterly calendar reminder to inspect the charge on spare batteries, review the best-by/expiration dates on shelf-stable supplies like bottled water, canned goods and medicine, and make sure your contact list and communication plan is up to date.
Check in occasionally with loved ones and vulnerable neighbors, too, to confirm their plans and supplies are ready. And if you're a business owner, you can hold steady with help from Cox Business Cloud Solutions.
Now it's just a matter of fine-tuning your plan to stay ahead of any potential disaster and try to keep safe — no matter what comes your way.
Learn how Cox prepares for, responds to and recovers from natural disasters – to help you and your loved ones stay connected during tough times.