Hurricane FAQs

Q: What should I do with the food in my freezer if my power goes out?

A: Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature. The refrigerator will keep food cool for about four hours if it is unopened. A full freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) and the door remains closed. Discard refrigerated perishable food such as meat, poultry, fish, soft cheeses, milk, eggs, leftovers and deli items after four hours without power.

Q: Should I put tape on my windows?

A: Tape will not prevent windows from breaking. Plywood is better protection.

Q: Should I take my bird feeders or satellite dish down?

A: Anything outside that can become a projectile in high winds should be removed or secured. Put your yard furniture and anything else that could turn into a missile into your garage or storage. Tie things down if needed.

Q: If I evacuate, what should I take with me?

A: Medicines, prescriptions and toiletries; clothing for at least three days; blankets and toys for children; flashlight and battery-powered radio; computer hard drive or laptop; photographs; cash; and important financial
documents.

Q: What papers or records should I take with me?

A: In the event your house is damaged or destroyed, having the following could help expedite claims for insurance and assistance: insurance policies, a home inventory, drivers license or personal identification. It also is important to safeguard important documents, such as birth and marriage certificates; passports; Social Security cards, recent tax returns, employment information, wills, deeds, stocks, bonds and other negotiable certificates, bank, savings and retirement account numbers.

Q: Should I take pictures of my belongings for insurance?

A: Pictures will help document your insurance claims. Also take pictures of any damage before making temporary repairs.

Q: Should I really fill my bathtub with water? Why?

A: In the event that water service is disrupted, you can drink the water (preferably after boiling or chemical treatment) and or use it to wash dishes in a bucket. You also can use it to flush the toilet by pouring it into the tank. Before filling it with water, clean the bathtub with bleach and dish washing soap thoroughly and rinse well.

Q: Where’s the safest place to be inside my house during the storm?

A: Find an interior room nearest the center of the home with no windows.

Q: What should I unplug?

A: When lightning starts, don’t just turn off your electronics, unplug them. A surge protector won’t do much against a direct lightning strike. In addition to unplugging from electrical outlets, also unplug any phone and cable connections, and consider disconnecting cables between computers on a home network.

Q: Will my cordless phone work when the power is out?

A: No. Cell phones and cordless phones are unreliable in emergencies. Land lines are more robust.