Build an Emergency Kit
The next big thing to do is prepare a disaster supply kit. Lots of items need to be included in this kit, and the particulars will vary somewhat depending on your family's specific needs, but here's a basic rundown. You'll need a three-to-seven-day supply of food and water, with 1 gallon (4 liters) of water per person, per day. Make sure most of the food is nonperishable, and since you don't know how long you'll be in a disaster situation, high-energy foods and comfort foods are good, too. Make sure you include items for anyone with a special needs diet. Don't forget kitchen accessories like plastic utensils, bowls, paper plates, manual can openers, napkins and other things you'll need to cook with.
Next, round up supplies like blankets and pillows, as well as clothing that's sturdy, seasonal and rain-resistant. Don't forget necessities like first-aid supplies, prescriptions, hygienic items like toilet paper and tampons, sunscreen, bug spray, water purification tablets and a whistle in case you become trapped in your shelter. Since you may be without power for days, you'll need flashlights and batteries, tools, and a battery-operated radio to stay up-to-date on the weather situation. In case the storm gets ugly or you need to actually evacuate before it hits, keep your keys, cash, camera, cell phone and charger on your person, plus any important personal documents and maps. Don't forget your pets; you'll need a leash, carrier, food, more water, vet records and maybe a toy or a favorite blanket. If you have a baby or a family member with special needs, make sure his or her requirements are accounted for as well.
Finally, make sure your cell phone is charged and your tank is full of gas. Once you have all that assembled and you've checked to make sure nothing's expired, it's time to batten down the hatches.