Everything You Want To Know About Preparing For A Hurricane
Living on the coast, in the South you can be sure of three things
- Southern Hospitality
Typically Hurricane Season here is from June 1st to November 30th.
Although, Mother Nature doesn’t let anyone tell her when she can and when she can’t send us a hurricane, but it’s a good rule of thumb.
If you live on the coast or are wanting to move to the coast, this is Everything You Want To Know About Preparing For A Hurricane.
I can’t seem to recall the number of hurricanes that have hit our area since moving here, how many we evacuated for or which one was the worst. But what I can share with you, is my personal experience and what I have learned over the years to help my family prepare.
Preparing For A Hurricane
One blessing (if you can call it that) about hurricanes, is that you generally have enough time to prepare before they hit.
Typically, the weather channel will start covering a hurricane when a storm gains the speed of 74 mph.
Below that number it is called a tropical storm. Don’t discount a tropical storm either, I’ve seen just as much damage from a tropical storm as I have a hurricane.
There are so many things you need to take into consideration when preparing for a hurricane, I am going to do my best to cover each one.
Incidentally, if you have anything to add- please let me know and I will update this list.
First and foremost in your preparation is water. Man cannot exist without it.
When a storm is named a hurricane, stores quickly run out of water. People start to panic.
But guess what? You have all the water you need right in your faucet. All you have to do is store it until you need it.
- Buy Water In Advance- places sell out quick.
- Have one gallon of water per person per day. Prepare to be without power for two weeks.
- Fill every tub and sink with water.
- Fill washing machine and unplug washer. Use this water to wash dishes, clothes or to flush the toilet.
- Use every Tupperware container with a lid, fill with water and store in freezer.
- Can water in mason jars – Canning Water For Emergency Preparedness by The Nerdy Farm Wife
- Fill Coolers with water/ice
- Bleach out trash cans, line with bag and fill with water
- If you will still have use of a toilet, fill a large trash can with water and place by toilet with a scoop so you can fill the tank to flush.
- Fill your tub with water
- Place pitchers of water in your fridge.
Preparing For A Hurricane- Personal Prep
- Make sure you have plenty of medication for every family member who takes meds.
- Store medications in a ziplock bag and label everything. Keep out of reach of children.
- Make copies of birth certificates, SS#, health insurance, life insurance, wills, etc.- You can do this on your printer.
Store copies in a plastic bag in a safe and keep a copy in a plastic bag on your person.
- Take (and print) a current picture off every family member.
Give a copy to each person and put in a sealed plastic bag.
- Take a shower before you lose power
- If you are a CWP holder, make sure your license is on your person and you have plenty of ammo.
- Store important files on a flash drive and back up your documents
- Charge all personal devices and backup chargers
- Incidentally, you can charge old phones and use them for 911 calls if needed
- Write down all of your contact numbers on paper
- Contact all family members and elderly neighbors.
Discuss your emergency plans and make sure everyone has somewhere to go.
- Pack board games, cards, books, paper and pens in a container for entertainment for all the family members.
Preparing Your House For A Hurricane
- Go up on your roof, sweep any debris off and check for any possible leaks
- Clean Your Gutters
- Check the trees in your yard and remove any dangerous limbs
- Board up your doors and windows
- Add solar lights to the outside
- Remove any lawn furniture or outside decorations
- Bring all trash cans inside
- Haul off all trash- make sure every trashcan in the house is empty
- Move plants to a safe location
- Store all rakes & shovels
- Move your grill into your shed or garage
- Drain your rain barrels
- Cover firewood with a plastic tarp and secure it
- Unplug everything in your home before the storm hits that is not necessary in order to protect it from a storm surge
- Make Copies of your insurance policy and write down their claims number
- Take pictures and or a video of your home inside and out.
- Clean your house- yep, you read that correctly. Clean your house. Trust me.
- Keep baby wipes next to each toilet (do not flush wipes).
Food Prep for a Hurricane
- Cook any raw meat and freeze in ziplock bags
- Use up any leftovers or food that may go bad
- Remove any food from the freezer that will melt and leak, such as Popsicle’s or ice cream
- Hard boil eggs for eating
- Make snack bags
- Place a coin on a frozen cup of water in freezer so you can track how much your food has thawed
- Have a means to cook without power: grill, fire-pit, smoker. Propane, charcoal, firewood matches, lighter.
- Buy plenty of food that does not require refrigeration on hand.
- Plan meals you can cook without power
Preparing Pets for a Hurricane
In addition to preparing your house, your family, your car, save some time to prepare your pets as well.
Gather these items for your pets:
- Medicine- have any pet medicine you need in a ziplock bag and well marked.
- Extra Food
- Shot Records- any shelter will require you to bring your pets shot records.
- Food Dish
- Potty Pads (for indoor use)
- Litter box
- Lavender Essential Oil to help with anxiety. Place a couple of drops on their bedding or collar.
Preparing For A Hurricane- Evacuation
- Fill your car and all of your gas cans with gas
- Buy a paper map and route your evacuation route.
Plan on more than one route in case the roads are closed.
- Make a list of all the shelters and their policies
- Book hotel reservations- you can always cancel if you don’t need them
- Get your B.O.B ready or pack a suitcase for each family member. (Learn how to Make a beginners Bug Out Bag)
- Gather all candles, flashlights, lighters, matches, batteries, and other items and keep them accessible.
- Get cash to have on hand. Banks will be closed, power will be out, you will need cash.
- Pack a chainsaw or handsaw in your vehicle along with a basic tool kit
- Gather all of your copies of your important documents, insurance information, evacuation maps, pictures, jewelry, flash drives, and cash and place them in a small secured box that will be easy to grab and take with you. Make sure you can lock it and that you have a spare key.
Finally, anything that you want to protect from water damage but can’t take with you, place it in your dishwasher and lock the door-this should make it water tight in case of any water comes into your home.
Preparing For A Hurricane- If You Choose To Stay
I never recommend staying in the path of a natural disaster. But I also understand that evacuation is not always an option.
In addition to the above suggestions, if you choose to stay and ride out the storm, you should:
- Notify family members or friends that you are staying
- Find a means of communication that does not rely on cell service
- Write the name and ss# on every family member in sharpie
- Find a safe place in your home to ride out the storm away from windows or doors
- Remember it is calm in the eye of the storm. Do not leave your shelter until you know the storm is over.
- Make sure your generator is not connected to the grid- you could electrocute linemen working on the power lines
- Do not cook on a grill inside
- Use only oil and candles that are designed for inside use
- Never leave candles unattended
- Have a means to get to higher ground in case of flooding or storm surge
- If you have a septic system, you may not be able to use your facilities due to flooding.
If you do not have a portable toilet, check out Our DIY Potra-Potty
Have you gone through a Hurricane? Any tips or suggestions?