How to Prepare for a Hurricane
A hurricane can happen at anytime between May20th and November 30th. The warmer the waters are, the more prone that a hurricane can form. In order to prepare for a hurricane, you should have several supplies on hand. It’s important to have the following in your possession at least a month before hurricane season begins.
Water for at least 7 days for every member of your family. Most states will tell you to prepare for at least 3 days. However, hurricanes that are powerful often bring unexpected problems.
If power is out in your county for more than 3 days, you won’t have any running water, electric and access to supermarkets. There is also no guarantee that power will turn back anytime soon.
In many of Florida’s hurricanes, being without power for a couple of weeks was not uncommon. People would often have to bath themselves with bottled water. Water is important because you can’t live without it beyond 3 days.
If you wait for the last minute for a hurricane to be announced, most people will be running to the store to buy water. Most shelves are empty and getting water will be hard.
The good news about bottled water is that it usually lasts for around 2 years if its bottled. You may want to check with the water bottling company to see how long your water will last.
I usually have extra water on hand for my neighbors as well. You might be shocked to find out how many people around you are not prepared for the hurricane.
Have at least eight home depot buckets laying around your house. I fill these up completely to use to flush the toilet and to wash my body with as well. You will need to fill up your washer machine as well and bathtub hours before the hurricane is set to hit.
Food for 3 Weeks
Remember, if you lose power (which you probably will), you will lose refrigeration. This means that all the food in your fridge will go bad. Therefore, you need to have plenty of canned and packed food products to eat from.
I personally use MRE (meal ready to eat). When I was in the military, soldiers were each given an MRE for their meal while in the field. This means that this had everything in it for a meal.
What I liked about the MRE was that it had different meal selections and included coffee, powdered fruit punch, desert and more. The MRE averages around $7.95 each. Amazingly, MRE’s usually last for more than 5 years. This means that you purchase will be good for years to come.
You will need around 3 MRE’s per day for each person. The MRE is easy to open. You don’t need can openers or propane stoves. Each MRE comes with a heat pack that heats your food. This is perfect if you don’t have matches. You simply add water to the MRE heat bag and stick your meal in there. It’s that easy.
If you are on a budget, canned goods are often cheapest to buy at Aldi, Walmart and Cosco. However, once a hurricane is announced, these stores became extremely crowded and you may not be able to get everything that you had hoped for. Plan early and stock your supplies.
As you can see, you don’t have to worry about these items going back since they often last for years to come. However, not having them on hand could put you and your family into trouble.
Never wait for the last minute to store your supplies. If you don’t have room to put these items in your home, you can rent a small storage space for them for under $50.00 a month. If you can’t afford it on your own, get a family member or friend to split the costs with you.
Don’t forget to buy a few cases of fresh fruits and vegetables as well. You want to avoid constipation as much as you can.
When your power goes out, you will get scared. Having around 5 flashlights on hand is the best for you. You want to have a few laying around for every room in your house. I usually put at least one flashlight in every room of my house. When you are in the dark, its hard to locate a flashlight if it gets lost. It’s also good to have at least one flashlight for every person in the house.
Make sure that your flashlight is battery operated. Please make sure to check it before the hurricane comes. You would be shocked if you knew how many people thought that they had purchased a battery-operated flashlight and, its powered by electric.
Don’t by any lights that require lighting it with a match. Candles are not good to use during a hurricane because if the wind from the hurricane cracks a window in your home, it can blow the flame around and cause a fire.
Batteries are important to have on hand before a hurricane hits your area. You will need to buy at least 10 packs of D batteries and 10 packs of C batteries. You will find that during a hurricane, you can usually get AA and AAA batteries, but not C and D. The reason is because people buy C and D batteries for flashlights, portable television sets, radios and more. These electronics require C and D batteries. They don’t usually take AA and AAA.
Make sure that you have a portable radio and television set that is battery operated. These will often be the best resource to find out when the hurricane has passed your area of what is happening outside. During a hurricane, you won’t be able to see much of what is happening outside. You will see palm trees swaying in the wind and debris smashing against houses. It will be scary and know that everyone is feeling fear. The stronger the hurricane, the more scared you will feel. Radios and televisions help you to remain calmer because the news will inform you what is happening in your area.
It’s important to have proper gasoline cans and storage areas. It’s important to store at least 30 gallons of gasoline during hurricane season. You can usually rent storage space for this if you don’t have your own garage. After the hurricane leaves your area, gasoline trucks may not be able to get through highways and often no gasoline can be found for several days. Sometimes, it can take weeks due to long lines at the gas station.
Some people choose to leave their state or country of power is going to be out for longer than 5 days. You may have to drive to another state and on your way to another state, mostly all the gas stations will say no gas or that gasoline will take hours to get because of long lines.
If you have a generator, remember that they are often powered by diesel gasoline. Make sure to check what kind of gasoline your generator and vehicle takes.
Books, Magazines and Games
People often forget that without power, there is no internet. You will get extremely board if you don’t have books, magazines and games to occupy your time. It’s important to have plenty of these on hand for you and your family.
Battery Operated Fans
It’s important to have battery operated fans on hand. Its best to have at least one fan for each room in your home. It will be hot. Opening your patio door will only make your home hotter. Yes, it is tough. However, having fans makes things a lot easier.
Baby wipes will help you to feel refreshed and it also helps you to keep clean. I usually keep around 20 packs of baby wipes because they go fast. You won’t have any running water to wipe your hands and so you should try to conserve your water for bathing and drinking purposes.
Its best to have a propane stove if you plan on cooking pasta and canned goods. If you are not using an MRE, then you will need something to heat your food up with.
You can also use your barbecue grill in the backyard if you can. By doing this, you can at least enjoy a hot meal.
First Aid Kits
You will need a first aid kit. If someone gets hurt, you want to make sure that you have bandages on hand.
Make sure that you have enough soap, toilet paper, garbage bags, paper towels, dishwasher soap on hand.
If you have pets, don’t forget about the pet food.
Additional Household Supplies
You will also need plenty of garbage bags, saran wrap, aluminum foil, paper plates and cups, bugspray, duct tape, rope.
ATM machines will be down, and banks will be closed. Make sure that you have enough cash to last you for 3 weeks. If you find a store open, they will usually only accept cash for purchase.
If you have a baby, remember that you will need baby food, diapers, formula and kid friendly soap.
Remember to check with your state’s government website for any supplies that they recommend as well. You will find that most states now warm people many days in advance before a hurricane hits and offers recommendations.