In Texas we just experienced, or for some Texans it is more like survived, Hurricane Harvey, the devastation is unreal and will leave its mark in the history books. It humbles me to see how we can come together, neighbors and strangers. Now we look over to Florida who is the target of Hurricane Irma! Stay safe and prayers for you, protect yourself and family – be prepared as much as you can!
If you find that you are in the path of a hurricane, what do you do to prepare? What CAN you do to prepare yourselves and your belongings. There is always a rush right before the storm hits where you will find the stores are running out of basics, most likely water will go first. What I think a lot of people tend to forget to prepare for is AFTER the hurricane comes and goes – bottled water is still gone, the grocery’s shelves are still going to be partially empty and it may be a while before the next shipment comes to stock the store.
Best case scenario is your house and neighborhood held up and was saved from any major destruction, maybe you lost power for half a day – again, best case. Maybe you are ordered to evacuate just to come back DAYS after the storm and waters have receded (maybe) to find you have lost everything. Now your immediate concerns are where will you sleep, find clean and dry clothes and food for your family after you just weathered the storm in a shelter with other families in the same position as you. Then it’s what will you do about your belongings, ripping out carpet and throwing away dirty water-soaked mattresses, calling your insurance company (along with everyone else – it will be a while). This is where having a plan and being prepared helps too.
Safety is important, your house and belongings can be replaced – never put yourself in harm’s way if it can be avoided. So many horror stories of people who drowned in their car or home because they waited too long and time ran out to leave safely.
Consider getting a 5 gallon plastic bin, or smaller if you need, to put a majority of these basic items in before hurricane season starts and you don’t have to scramble.
Hurricane Basic Check List
- Water – One gallon per person per day for at least 3 days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food – at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio
- First-aid Kit
- Extra Batteries
- Whistle to signal for help
- Plastic sheet with duct tape to help down for shelter
- Baby wipes, garbage bags & plastic ties
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener, utensils, paper plates & cups
- Cell phone chargers, extra battery packs.
- Non-prescription medication such as pain relievers, antacids, anti-diarrhea, etc.
Extra Items based on your personal needs:
- Glasses or contacts
- Toiletries, personal items
- Complete change of clothes & sturdy shoes
- Baby bottles, formula, diapers, wipes, rash cream etc
- Pet food & extra water for your pet
- Cash or Checkbook, Travelers Checks, Credit Cards
- Copies of your insurance policies, identification, bank account records
- Important numbers for Family, Friends, Neighbors, Doctors, Hospitals, Red Cross – in case you lost battery on your phone.
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
- Paper and pencil
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Fire Extinguisher
- Household Chlorine Bleach & Medicine dropper to disinfect water
- Books, games, puzzles, favorite stuffed animal for Children
Create your “Hurricane Kit” by gathering the majority of the Basic Items and keep them in a ‘ready-to-go’ secure plastic bin. Also, print out this list and keep it in your Hurricane Kit, it will cut down the thought process as to what you need to gather and pack if you find yourself in the path of a hurricane and needing to evacuate your home. Also keep extra water and snacks in your car, if you need to evacuate keep in mind so will everyone else, it will take a long time to get out-of-town – make sure you have a full tank of gas!
Being prepared ahead of time for the small items will help you prepare your home and family. Homes need to be prepared by storing unsecured items from around your house and yard into the garage or shed. This is an important step to prevent them from being dangerous flying objects. Hurricane wind speeds can exceed 120+ miles per hour, boarding up windows if you anticipate strong winds.
Never hurts to be prepared, even if you never need to use these items during the year. Hurricane season lasts from June to November and the path of a hurricane can change course quickly and if you are not prepared, it makes things a bit more stressful.
Helpful links to check out: