Preparing for a Hurricane

Hello! I hope everyone is enjoying their Labor Day weekend! We are looking at beautiful sunny skies and enjoying a pretty quiet and relaxing weekend. With grilling being the tradition for most families on Labor Day, we grilled burgers for dinner last night. Today we are just fending for ourselves so to speak and then I will make something for dinner this evening.

I know everyone has been watching and praying for those in Houston who are still fighting the floods and damage. I have a few friends in the area and worry about their safety. I had a feeling we would see a bad year for storms and it is looking to be the case.

As those affected by Harvey are just beginning the recovery, we now have Irma to worry about. We live on the Gulf and we have been very fortunate, I believe the last hurricane to really affect our area was Ivan. People here say we are due. I pray not, but I certainly pray it doesn’t head towards Houston again. They just can’t take another storm. From what we can see at this point, they show it going either up the east coast or into the Gulf, either way Miami is certain to be hit. I hope it miraculously looses power or surprises the meteorologists and goes back out into the ocean. Wishful thinking I know, but until it has a definitive path, that’s what I’m hoping for.

For my readers that live in areas that have or could be in the path of any hurricane, what do you do to prepare? How far in advance to hurricane season do you plan for one? For us, we first moved here from the Midwest. We were use to tornadoes and spending a lot of time in the basement. Now we worry about hurricanes. Our first home we built and it had shutters that came with the house so I didn’t worry as much. We moved to the country last year, to an older home. It went through Ivan with no window coverage or any protection. I personally think the previous owners were stupid, but they got very lucky. We also have our daughter’s house to worry about. We have all windows and doors measured and we are ready to purchase everything we need to protect both homes. My husband wants to wait to see where it’s going, he doesn’t want to have to store all the supplies if we don’t need them. I want to purchase ASAP and have it ready to go just in case. I reminded him that in a situation like this, there could always be a shortage if we wait to last minute, then what do we do? We will be going tomorrow to get our supplies, I guess I made a valid argument.

Since we moved here in 2012, I have stocked up on several candles, batteries, and flashlights. I also have a battery pack for electronics and a weather radio in the garage. One thing I am sure a lot of people don’t think about, I didn’t until the other day, is that most of us have a plug in their car that will use the battery without turning the car on. My recommendation is to use this after the storm has passed or only if needed. You don’t want to drain your car battery. Once the storm has passed and you can open the garage for ventilation, you could easily start the car and charge your devices. Most homes are usually out of power more than 3-4 days. We have a generator that would normally take care of our entire house, but at the moment it is broke down, that isn’t good. We will not have any air with no power so it will get very warm for us and the pets.

How much food and water do most of you stock up on? Do you have pets to consider? I had a great stock up on canned goods and then we started using a lot of it, now I am restocking again. I like to rotate my canned and boxed goods out so they don’t expire or go bad. We keep rice, canned beans, meat (tuna, chicken mostly), fruit, veggies. I tend to buy an extra 4-6 cans every trip I make to the store on top of what I normally use. I make at least 2 trips to the store per week. We also have to stock up on pet food and litter for our babies and if a storm comes our way, we have an outside kitty that would need to be captured and brought inside. She will not be happy about that!

If you need to evacuate, what will you do with your pets? It breaks my heart to see what so many did to their pets in Houston. Dogs can swim as can horses, why would you tie them up to drown? That just sickens me. For us personally, we will not be leaving unless it becomes a Cat 5. Ivan was a Cat 4 and this house withstood that perfectly, lost a few shingles, we won’t leave our pets. If we do feel the need to leave, they will all go with us, but I don’t think that will happen. We are so luck that both our house and our daughter’s house sit high enough above sea level that neither will flood.

As for water, we already plan to fill both bathtubs to the top to use for pets and toilets as well as washing up with. I have some bottled water saved, but need more. I also have jars to fill for drinking water. Something I just thought of the other day was stocking up on some soda. We don’t drink much of that around here, but it’s something to drink that won’t go bad in a can. Having some soda on hand will keep the water supply a bit longer if we aren’t only drinking our water.

I hate that we have to be prepared for a hurricane, but it’s better to be ready than no have what we need if it happens. One last thing to make sure you have is a first aid kit. You never know when someone could get hurt and you can’t get out during the storm.

I really hope none of us sees another storm this year, but it isn’t looking promising. If Irma hits, or one after that, please be prepared, please stock up and be safe!