Tips from local residents

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These tips are from posts on The Lancaster News Facebook page:


Jamie Jennifer Greene: Use your used milk jugs to use as water jugs. Do not park your car near a tree. In a trailer pack your stuff and leave.


Penny Raver: Stay in control. Don’t stress. Make sure you have a grill and it’s ready for use if the power goes out or a fireplace you can use to cook. Start saving ice now. Candles, flashlights, batteries, water, paper plates and cups, instant coffee and tea.


Angela Taylor Shatzer: Fill bathtub for emergency water and flushing toilets if on well water. Fill propane tanks for cooking on grills.


Joan Seymour: Keep your medications filled as power can be out for several days. Also fill any containers for drinking water – milk jugs, etc.


Debbie Walker-Kindle:Make sure that all flashlights have fresh batteries. Stock up on shelf-stable foods that don't need to be refrigerated. If opting to run a generator, do so outdoors, and run extension cords inside. Fill up clean, empty milk jugs with water, for drinking. Purchase baby wipes for easy hygiene purposes. Keep anything of importance, such as medications and important papers, in either a small fire proof/waterproof safe or in a Rubbermaid container that has a lid that snaps on tight. Keep pet supplies/food in one location, including pet carriers, to make it easier to gather pets in the event you must evacuate. Please, do NOT leave your pets behind. Have a plastic container with such items as first aid supplies, waterproof matches, hand sanitizer, etc. A large gallon sized freezer bag will suffice. Keep a small amount of bleach on hand. Water can be purified, somewhat, by adding a few drops per gallon of water. Have a small portable weather radio on hand, to keep tabs on current conditions. A basic one doesn't cost much, I paid less than $10 for mine when I lived in Spokane.


Carol Wright: A manual can opener is a must. I survived Hugo.


Indian Land Pet Sitting: We keep a couple heavy-duty very large tarps on hand. If the trees damage the roof, we are OK for a while. We also have a fabulous chainsaw in the event we have to get through the roadway.


Dee Sims: Get gas and get cash. If there’s a power outage, you won't be able to get either!Freeze bottles of water now. You can use them in coolers or refrigerator, if power goes out!


Colette Taylor: Have cash. When we lose power, ATMs are useless.




Melissa Rickman: Florence is on everyone's minds today. And although we borrowed this list from someone else – it's a darn good one! Please share with your friends and family who may be in the path of the hurricane. Stay safe! 

This is the most comprehensive list I've seen so far. Be prepared.

1. Charge any device that provides light. Laptops, tablets, cameras, video cameras and old phones. Old cell phones can still used for dialing 911. Charge external battery back ups.

2. Wash all trash cans, big and small, and fill with water for flushing toilets. Line outdoor trash cans with trash bags, fill with water and store in the garage. Add bleach to sterilize.

3. Fill every tub and sink with water. Cover sinks with Saran Wrap to keep it from collecting dust. Fill washing machine and leave lid up to store water.

4. Fill old empty water bottles and other containers with water and keep near sinks for washing hands.

5. Fill every Tupperware with water and store in freezer. These will help keep food cold longer and serve as a back up water supply.

6. Fill drinking cups with water and cover with Saran Wrap. Store as many as possible in fridge. The rest you can store on the counter and use first before any water bottles are opened. Ice is impossible to find after the storm.

7. Reserve fridge space for storing tap water and keep the sealed water bottles on the counter.

8. Cook any meats in advance and other perishable foods. You can freeze cooked food. Hard boil eggs for snacks for first day without power.

9. Be well hydrated before the storm hits and avoid salty foods that make you dehydrated.

10. Wash all dirty clothes and bed sheets. Anything dirty will smell without the A/C, you may need the items, and with no A/C, you'll be sweating a lot. You're going to want clean sheets.

11. Toss out any expiring food, clean cat litter boxes, empty all trashcans in the house, including bathrooms. Remove anything that will cause an odor when the A/C is off. If you don't have a trash day pickup before the storm, find a dumpster.

12. Bring in any yard decor. Secure anything that will fly around – bring in hoses, potted plants, etc. Secure gates. Bring in patio furniture and grills.

13. Clean your environment so you have clear, easy escape routes – even if that means temporarily moving furniture to one area.

14. Scrub all bathrooms so you are starting with a clean, odor-free environment. Store water-filled trashcans next to each toilet for flushing.

15. Place everything you own that is important and necessary in a backpack or small file box that is easy to grab. Include your wallet with ID, phone, hand sanitizer, snacks, etc. Get plastic sleeves for important documents.

16. Make sure you have cash on hand.

17. Stock up on pet food and fill up bowls of water for pets.

18. Refill any medications. Most insurance companies allow for 2 emergency refills per year.

19. Fill your propane tanks. You can heat soup cans, boil water, make coffee and other stuff besides just grilling meat. Get an extra if possible.

20. Drop your A/C in advance and lower temperatures in your fridges.

21. Gather all candles, flashlights, lighters, matches, batteries and other items and keep them accessible.

22. Clean all counters in advance. Start with a clean surface. Buy Clorox Wipes for cleaning when there is no power. Mop your floors and vacuum. If power is out for 10 days, you'll have to live in the mess you started with.

23. Pick your emergency safe place such as a closet under the stairs. Store the items you'll need in that location for the brunt of the storm. Make a hand fan for when the power is out.

24. Shower just before the storm is scheduled to hit.

25. Keep baby wipes next to each toilet. Don't flush them. It's not the time to risk clogging your toilet!

26. Run your dishwasher, don't risk having dirty, smelly dishes, and you need every container for water! Remember, you'll need clean water for brushing your teeth, washing yourself and cleaning your hands.

27. Put a small suitcase in your car in case you decide to evacuate. Also put at least one jug of water in your car. It will still be there if you don't evacuate! You don't need to store all water in the house. Remember to pack for pets as well.

28. Check on all family members, set up emergency back up plans and check on elderly neighbors.

29. Remember, pets are family too. Take them with you!

30. Before the storm, unplug all electronics. There will be power surges during and after the storm.

31. Gas up your car and have a spare gas container for your generator or your car when you run out.

If you can, take a video of your house and contents. Walk room to room – open cabinets, drawers and closets. This will help if you need to make a claim later. It will show proof of items and help you list all the items (help your memory, so you don't forget anything)... I highly recommend!

I also heard you should freeze a cup of water, place a coin on top after it is frozen... keep this in your freezer to help you gauge the temperature if the power goes out. If the coin stays on top, the food is staying frozen. If the coin falls into the water, the freezer thawed out and most food will likely need to be thrown away. This is super helpful is you have to leave and come back, as it may appear everything is still frozen, but if the coin is in the cup, you will know!

Finally, anything that you want to try and preserve, but you can't take with you – place it in a plastic bin and put in your dishwasher, lock the door – this should make it watertight in case of any water intrusion into your home. But of course, take all the important/irreplaceable items you can!
Unsure of original author, but we appreciate their solid advice!

Stay safe, everyone!