With the numerous curveballs 2020 has thrown our way, it’s easy to forget that the hurricane season is upon us. This year is expected to be more active than previous years so it is imperative that we do all we can to prepare. It has been a few years since Jamaica has experienced a hurricane so here are some ways you can prepare, just in case you forgot!

Stay Informed

The first step in being prepared is knowing what to expect. This requires you to ensure you keep up with the weather so you can have the latest information. It is recommended that you also have a battery operated radio in case there is a power outage. This will allow you to remain up-to-date so you can take the necessary precautions. As you get more information, create and modify your hurricane plan, sharing this information with your family. Find out where your nearest hurricane shelters are in case you need to leave your home. Have each member of the family pack a small bag with essentials so you can leave in a hurry if you need to. 

Prepare Your Home

To minimize infrastructural damage, trim any tree limbs that hang close to your house or utility wires. Ensure your roof is reinforced and any leaks are sealed. If possible, install storm shutters on doors and windows for additional safety. Have candles and matches in each room, being sure to keep them in an area that children cannot access. With the COVID pandemic still a real threat, you want to avoid having to go to a shelter as much as possible. 

Stock Up 

Stock up on non-perishable food items that don’t require cooking or refrigeration. These will make it easy to prepare meals if there are power or water outages. Try as best as possible to have a range of food items to meet your nutritional needs - canned fruits, fish, beans and vegetables. If there is a water outage you’ll be required to drink bottled or purified water for a period of time afterwards until it is guaranteed that the water is potable. The general recommendation is to have enough water to last your family at least three days, although two weeks' worth would be ideal. Store at least a gallon of water per day per person plus pet. 

It is equally important to have first aid equipment on hand as well as prescribed medication. Speak to your doctor to find out if you can get at least an extra supply of your medication. Take advantage of delivery options as you continue to self-isolate. 

Have Alternative Power Sources

Whether you have a generator to power your home, batteries for radios or several power banks for your phones, ensure you have back-up power sources. Power banks are especially important as having your phone on hand will be useful in the case of an emergency. Bonus tip: Start storing bottles and bags of ice in your freezer so this ice can help items last longer if there should be an outage. Depending on how long this lasts, you should have enough time to use any perishable items you have. 

We know that thinking about a hurricane might be the last thing you want to do with all that has been going on this year; however, we want you to remain safe. CoolMarket is ready to assist by helping you to stock up on much-needed items and to keep you updated on the latest news.