Its that time – Hurricane Season
The customers at Home Depot had that look of alarm as they collected the usual items that one would think they would need such as bottled water, bleach, etc.. Its that time of the season again.
If you haven’t prepared for a hurricane before, it could be overwhelming as to what to do. Here’s a quick run-down from a native-floridian. While I won’t list EVERYTHING, I will list some very important items that are sometimes overlooked.
Top Priority – (Category 5 coming our way and not worth staying home for) – Make a “get away” bag. Make sure it has insurance information, photos of your house and contents and cash. Remember that you could spend hours in traffic. Consider the kids and pets and their needs too. Consider if you have to abandon the car as well.
Staying home (Category 4 and below) –
Fill tub with water (for drinking and for making the toilets flush if water gets cut off).
Bleach for disinfecting water
Fill containers with water to make ice. Keeps the food longer in the refrigerator. Gives drinking water too.
Store frozen containers of ice in coolers too.
If power goes out, eat the frozen stuff first, the refrigerated, then dry.
A way to cook the food. Gas stove, propane stove, gas grill – all of these work well without electricity.
If you have a a whole house generator to power EVERYTHING, good for you.
If you have a generator that gives power for everything but the AC, get a portable AC for at least one room. Not only for comfort to sleep well at night, but consider all of your neighbors will be running generators too….it will be noisy.
If you have no portable AC, consider fans to keep cool that run off the generator.
Buy mosquito repellent and have sunscreen. If damages happen, you will be working outside most of the time to make repairs and the mosquitos are viscous around this time of the year.
Generator – go test it NOW. Verify it works. It should be tested every 3 months
3 – 5 gallon tanks of gas. Label the fill dates and preserve it with “stabil”.
A gas siphon for you car.
A funnel for the gas tank. You can’t completely empty a gas can without one.
If you have the bolt on shutters, get some wd-40 and a 1/4-20 tap for stubborn bolts.
A tent.. “just in case”
Some tarps in case your roof tiles/shingles go.
Lighting sources – flashlight, lanterns, etc..
Battery powered/crank radio
Charge your cellphones. Charge the old cellphones you don’t use. They can still be used to make 911 calls.
Be aware of alternate routes out of your place.
Gas up your car
Make sure your bicycle works.
For anything else, look around and pretend everything that you depend on (electricity, water, food, transportation, roads, police) was instantly cut off and you had to stay home. That will help you find out what else you may need. Good luck!