Tracking the Tropics
When you're preparing for a storm, it's important to make sure you have enough food and water. Here's 7's Lynn Martinez with everything you need to know for stocking up.
WSVN -- If there's anyone who knows what people need before during and after a storm, it's Broward County Emergency Management Director Chuck Lanza.
Chuck Lanza, Director, Broward EOC: "We want people in the community to be able to take care of themselves for at least three days."
Who could forget the long lines and frustration as people looked for help in the hours after hurricane Wilma.
Lanza says people need to give emergency officials time to set up and organize distribution sites for food, water and ice.
Chuck Lanza: "It gives us time in both state, city and local governments to be able to provide resources. Get them in from other areas."
That may seem like a long time, but Lanza says you don't need a lot he took us to Publix to show us what every family should have on hand.
First thing you need is water.
Chuck Lanza: "The central thing people here us talk about every hurricane season is water. The rule of thumb is one gallon, per person, per day with a minimum amount of water for three days."
For his family, Lanza also buys smaller bottles and freezes them. He uses those to keep food cool if they lose power.
He also stores tap water before the storm for cleaning up in case the water supply becomes contaminated.
Next up, is non-perishable food.
Chuck Lanza: "When I shop for myself, especially hurricane season, I always like to have extra vegetables and fruit in the house."
But don't buy items that are overly ripe.
Chuck Lanza: "I get stuff that is going to last three days."
Canned goods are also a must. Soups, vegetables, fruits and canned meats, such as ham or sausages, keep for a long time.
Chuck Lanza: "Even though a lot of the products now come with self openers for their cans, having a portable hand operated can opener is a must."
If you have kids, stock up on food for them.
Chuck Lanza: "Actually shopping for infants is probably the easiest thing, the food is pre-packaged it has a long self life. This formula has a long self life, so that would be a recommendation anything that you can keep at home for quite a while."
Don't forget diapers. Again, you should have enough to last at least three days in case the stores are closed and don't skimp on treats.
Chuck Lanza: "Its always important if you have children to have some sort of snack. Maybe, some cereal and a couple of things to keep their mind off what's happening."
Of course if you buy cereal, you need milk.
Chuck Lanza: "Now, we have soy milk on the other side and we also have regular milk in a container. It doesn't have to be refrigerated until it's open. It has long shelf life and it's relatively good."
Keeping your family healthy and clean can be a challenge with no power or water after a storm.
Lanza says load up on hand sanitizer.
Chuck Lanza: "This is the best way to keep your hands clean and keep yourself healthy after a storm."
Baby wipes are also a good idea for keeping clean. Another good idea are paper plates and plastic silverware.
Chuck Lanza: "A way to save energy and water after a storm is to use paper products."
If you plan on doing your cooking on a BBQ grill, make sure you have propane or charcoal.
Chuck Lanza: "The charcoal is important having a lighter to light it up is important."
Lanza says items like charcoal and water tend to get scarce in the days before the storm. That's why he says you should start stocking up now.
Chuck Lanza: "Especially if you don't have a lot of money come over and first week maybe buy the water, the second week buy some of the food and the stuff that will stay for a while."
"I always try to buy few items every time I come to the grocery store."
If you do the same you'll make sure you and your family are prepared long before a storm heads our way.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Miami-Dade Eoc Consumer Survival Page:
Broward County Preparedness Videos: