With Hurricane Michael coming close to Florida, now seems like a good time to do a post on Hurricanes. Don’t ya think? So let’s get going!
WHAT TO DO IN A HURRICANE
Obviously the best option if a hurricane is coming is to get out of the area and head to safety. Unfortunately, that might not always be an option, or maybe you just want to “weather the storm”. Either way, there are some things that you should consider BEFORE the storm hits.
Sticking it out
First of all, if you are going to stick around for the storm, you should be prepared to be without electricity and water for a few hours to a few days, or more. During Hurricane Irma that got Florida, I was without power for about 9 days, many had it much worse. I was ready with water, food, fuel, a generator, and protection, so my family and I were ok. So with that said, here are some things that you will want to have if leaving is not an option:
What to have at home
• Generator: having electricity when the lights go out can keep you from loosing all your food in your fridge, being able too run fans to stay cool, and having light to fix broken windows or doors. Having been in this situation, I can tell you that it is only fun for about an hour when the lights go out, then the fun is over and the reality sets in. so do you and your family a favor and GET A GENERATOR! also, small solar power packs are good too!
• Fuel: make sure that you have plenty of fuel for/in your vehicles and generators. After a hurricane, gas pumps might be out for days. Also keep some propane for cooking. Having a bit of propane and a small stove will keep the family fed and happy.
• Water: have at least three days worth of water. After a major storm, tap water can be contaminated and non potable. Have some bottles of water and fill your tub before the storm hits. at minimum, you will need 1 gallon of water per person per day.
• Food: just like water, have at least three days worth of food. Remember that you might not have electricity, or might not want to waste the electricity you have trying to run a stove. Have food that you don’t have to heat or that has self contained heaters like MREs. Having propane gas to cook with is a good idea. Get a small camping stove if you don’t have a grill. A solar oven is an awesome thing to have also.
• Storm shudders and Hurricane Fabric: if you have storm shudders or hurricane fabric for your windows, great! If not, board them up. Flying glass can cause you to have a very bad day. So remember to board them up and stay away from the windows.
• Protection: if you are the only house on the block with lights, you could draw some unwanted attention. Protect your family from people that might want what you have. As a side note, protect your generator too. People might try to steal it from you. A common trick is to run an old lawnmower and leave it where your generator is so you don’t hear them turn it off and leave with it (they often use YOUR lawnmower for this). So get or make a generator cage.
• Entertainment: breakout the board games. Keeping the kids entertained will greatly reduce stress during a stressful time.
After the storm
When you go out for the first time after the storm, be carful. There could be standing water, trees knocked down, and down power lines, to name a few hazards. Be mindful that, if you live in tropical areas, snakes and other wildlife could be out and about after the storm.
Check out FEMA Information for a comprehensive check list of what you need to think about before the storm.
Lastly, and most importantly, make sure that you have a plan, and plan for the worst case scenario. If nothing happens, great! But if it does…at least you’re ready!
Until next time,
Next, check out: Saving water for a rainy day
Photos from: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from Greenbelt, MD, USA, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
PCHS-NJROTC, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons