We are at the height of Hurricane Season again for the United States. Although, we have hurricane preparation lists from multiple websites. I think I like to share some unconventional items:
- As bad as a Hurricane is, it is a fantastic way to really meet your neighbors.
- Fill up your bathtubs with water. If there is no water after, you can put a bucket out of the tub in the back of your toilet so you can flush.
- Fill up a cup of water and put it in the freezer to freeze. Then put a coin on the top of the frozen water. If you come back from evacuating and don’t know if you lost power for a while check the cup. If the coin is frozen to the bottom of the cup you know the food defrosted and refroze when the power came back on. Throw out the food. If the coin is still on top your food is fine.
- Also, fill your Tupperware with water and freeze it. It can be used after the storm in coolers to keep food and drinks cold. Ice will be precious!
- Fill up coolers with water for drinking after the storm because the water after the storm is contaminated and may have to be boiled before use.
- Make sure nothing is left outside that can hit the house. Pull all outside furniture, bird feeders, etc. into the garage. Most become flying objects left outside. If you can’t bring trash cans or recycling in, let them fill with water. Make sure they are empty before the storm hits.
- Don’t buy hurricane snacks too early because you will eat them before it hits.
- Fill up all cars with gasoline or diesel prior to evacuating or staying put. You never know when the next shipment of gas will come in nor how much more expensive it will be, because of low supply and high demand. Save your gas after the storm. If you must sight-see, use a bicycle.
- Close all doors in the home. Especially if you evacuate. If you lose a window, that should confine water damage.
- Metal Garage doors, especially the 9 to 10 Ft variety, can’t handle strong winds. they will collapse inward. Either park in front of them or back a car up against them from the inside. Don’t forget the heavy blanket between the door and the car.
- Always assume a downed power line may be present in standing water.
- If you lose power and if you have any solar-powered lights, bring some inside to light the house at night and back in the sun during the day. It saves batteries!
- If you’re evacuating, don’t forget to unplug any electrical items that you can, eg TV, router, desktop pc, etc. If your area loses power, there could be a surge when your power company is trying to bring folks back online. Most surge protectors will help, but it’s usually better to be safe than sorry. Also, when cutting areas back online there may be power “blips” (on then off really quick). It’s best to wait until the power stabilizes to plug stuff back in.
- Charge all your electronics and turn them off before the storm. This includes computers, cellphones, etc.
- Make sure all your dishes and laundry are clean. It might be a week before the power comes back on. In Miami, for Hurricane Wilma, I was without power for almost a month.
- If you have no landline for the phone, arrange to work with someone that does. It can take weeks if not a month after a storm before all cell towers were realigned.
Do this every year prior to the storm season
- Check your trees for dead limbs. Service them if you can.
- If you have a Generator or Chain saw, service it now. Make sure it is ready to go.
- Check your grille. You’ll need gas or lots of wood/ charcoal for cooking. Never use a gas grill indoors.
- Stock your and your family’s medical needs as well.
If you have pets
- Fill up a clean large plastic bin with water for my dog.
- Of course, all pets should be brought in.
- With all the noise from wind and rain, if your pet is crate trained it will help keep her calm to go into her crate.
- If you’re evacuating and you have a To-Go bag, make one for your pet – medicines, collar and leash with id, crate, towel(s), blanket or bed, favorite toy, treats, food, and water; also, any pertinent medical records (shots, medical history). Take your pet with you.
- Should the worse occur and your pet gets out and lost, having her microchipped will help ensure she gets home. VIP Petcare Clinic will chip them for about ~$19. After a storm, many pet rescue groups will come in to pick up “strays”. If your pet has no microchip, they could pick her up and your pet could end up being adopted out to someone hundreds or even thousands of miles away.
Again these are unconventional advice to be followed along with conventional advice. However, this advice is just as valuable.