By Anessa Cohen

I recently came across a guide that has been distributed during hurricane season to assist people with advance safety preparations. Although we have not yet entered the hurricane season for 2019, I thought this guide would be helpful to review when you have a chance—and then, of course, just put it away and hope you never have to use it.

  • Develop a family preparedness plan before an actual storm threatens your area. Locate a safe shelter in an area that will be less affected by the storm and figure out how you will get there. Keep a list of phone numbers and a road map handy.
  • Remove damaged and diseased tree branches as soon as you notice them. Strategically remove branches to make trees more wind-resistant.
  • Organize your emergency supplies.
  • Clear your yard of loose objects such as bicycles, lawn furniture, hanging plants, and trash cans. Anchor all other objects.
  • Board your windows and doors. Taping windows will not prevent them from breaking but may reduce the risk of flying glass. Open indoor trap to attic and close all windows.
  • Do not drain your pool completely. Lower water levels one foot to accommodate heavy rains. Add extra chlorine to prevent contamination. Cover the pump system.
  • Be sure that your automobile is ready should you have to evacuate. Fill your car’s gas tank. Check oil and water.

List of supplies that you should have in the house in the event a hurricane warning has been announced:

  • A 3–7-day supply of drinking water per person (one gallon of water per person a day)
  • Cash (In a power outage, ATMs and banks may not be operational; businesses may not be able to take credit cards or checks.)
  • Prescription medications and prescribed medical supplies
  • 3–7-day supply of non-perishable canned or packaged food and a manual can opener
  • Portable radio with at least five extra sets of batteries, flashlights, and batteries for each member of your family, and a non-electric telephone as well
  • Cooler filled with ice
  • First-aid kit including sterile gloves, antibiotic ointment, burn ointment, thermometer, bandages, eye wash, Tylenol, etc.
  • Soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, toilet paper, paper towels, and pre-moistened towelettes
  • Cleanup supplies, including garbage bags
  • Emergency tools (wrench, pliers, etc.)

As I said before, hopefully we will never need it, but it’s better to prepare for an emergency that never happens than to face an emergency unprepared. For more information, contact Town of Hempstead Public Safety Office at 516-538-1900.

Anessa Cohen lives in Cedarhurst and is a licensed real-estate broker (Anessa V Cohen Realty) and a licensed N.Y.S. loan officer (FM Home Loans) with over 20 years of experience offering full-service residential, commercial, and management real-estate services as well as mortgage services. She can be reached at 516-569-5007 or via her website, Readers are encouraged to send questions or comments to Read more of Anessa Cohen’s articles at


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