• With summer storm season upon us, I feel like it’s a good time for some advice. In addition to having a gallon of water per person per day for at least three days for drinking, cooking and minor sanitation, fill bathtubs or even a lined garbage can with water to be able to manually flush your toilet. If you live on well water, your pump will not work; your water lines may be cut off or compromised. Be prepared. — JoAnn
• “ High winds from storms can find their way though a crack in your home’s defenses and put an incredible strain on the house. Keep both interior and exterior doors and your home’s windows closed for the duration of any storm. This includes any smaller access windows and garage windows. It helps to keep the pressure compartmentalized. So, don’t open your door to see how windy it is, because it might let the storm tear off your roof!” — V.R. in North Carolina
• “Major storm headed your way? When service goes down, I know I celebrate the moment the lights come back on, but electronics aren’t always so joyful. A simple overhead light or table lamp will be able to alert you that the power is back on, but it’s unlikely to be fried by surges that sometimes precede a full return of service. Unplug nonessentials to protect them from power surges.” — A.A. in Florida
• “If you own a home in an earthquake-prone area, be sure you know how to turn off gas lines. Find the tool you need to do it, and keep it in a special place, preferably right where you’d use it.” — L.W. in Oregon
• Fridge out? Try this hurricane hack: Put the contents in your washing machine, packed with ice. As the ice melts, the water drains away rather than drowning the contents. You can add more ice or just keep it closed and covered to get away with a day or two if you insulate well.
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