Its a couple of days before the Hurricane hits and the weather is quiet and calm. All you hear is the drills of people putting up shutters and plywood to protect their glass. Many places have already been under evacuation waiting for Hurricane Irma, September 2017.
Everyone tells you to make sure you have the essentials such as flashlights, emergency documentation, canned goods and can openers, but many people don’t think of simple things like these ideas.
This is the most comprehensive list I’ve seen so far! Be prepared. Keep in mind there may be someone alone that could use your help. Now is the time to help one another.
- Charge any device that provides light. Laptops, tablets, cameras, video cameras, and old phones. Old cell phones can still used for dialing 911. Charge external battery back ups.
- Wash all trash cans, big and small, and fill with water for flushing toilets. Line outdoor trash cans with trash bags, fill with water and store in the garage. Add bleach to sterilize.
- Fill every tub and sink with water. Cover sinks with Saran Wrap to keep it from collecting dust. Fill your washing machine and leave lid up to store water.
- Fill old empty water bottles and other containers with water and keep near sinks for washing hands.
- Fill every Tupperware with water and store in freezer. These will help keep food cold longer and serve as a back up water supply. Gallon freezer bags are great for this as well. They freeze flat and you have them when you need them.
- Fill drinking cups with water and cover with Saran Wrap. Store as many as possible in fridge. The rest you can store on the counter and use first before any water bottles are opened. Ice is impossible to find after the storm.
- Reserve fridge space for storing tap water and keep the sealed water bottles on the counter.
- Cook any meats in advance and other perishable foods. You can freeze cooked food. Hard boil eggs for snacks for first day without power.
- Be well hydrated before the storm hits and avoid salty foods that make you dehydrated.
- Wash all dirty clothes and bed sheets. Anything dirty will smell without the A/C, you may need the items, and with no A/C, you’ll be sweating a lot. You’re going to want clean sheets.
- Toss out any expiring food, clean cat litter boxes, empty all trash cans in the house, including bathrooms. Remove anything that will cause an odor when the A/C is off. If you don’t have a trash day pickup before the storm, find a dumpster.
- Bring in any yard decor, secure anything that will fly around, secure gates, bring in hoses, potted plants, etc. Bring in patio furniture and grills.
- Clean your environment so you have clear, easy escape routes. Even if that means temporarily moving furniture to one area.
- Scrub all bathrooms so you are starting with a clean odor free environment. Store water filled trash cans next to each toilet for flushing.
- Place everything you own that is important and necessary in a backpack or small file box that is easy to grab. Include your wallet with ID, phone, hand sanitize, snacks, etc. Get plastic sleeves for important documents.
- Make sure you have cash on hand.
- Stock up on pet food and fill up bowls of water for pets.
- Refill any medications. Most insurance companies allow for 2 emergency refills per year.
- Fill your propane tanks. You can heat soup cans, boil water, make coffee, and other stuff besides just grilling meat. Get an extra, if possible.
- Drop your A/C in advance and lower temperatures in your fridges.
- Gather all candles, flashlights, lighters, matches, batteries, and other items and keep them accessible.
- Clean all counters in advance. Start with a clean surface. Buy Clorox Wipes for cleaning when there is no power. Mop your floors and vacuum. If power is out for 10 days, you’ll have to live in the mess you started with.
- Pick your emergency safe place such as a closet under the stairs.
Store the items you’ll need in that location for the brunt of the storm.
- Make a hand fan for when the power is out
- Shower just before the storm is scheduled to hit.
- Keep baby wipes next to each toilet. Don’t flush them. It’s not the time to risk clogging your toilet!
- Run your dishwasher, don’t risk having dirty smelly dishes and you need every container for water! Remember you’ll need clean water for brushing your teeth, washing yourself, and cleaning your hands.
- Put a small suitcase in your car in case you decide to evacuate.
- Also put at least one jug of water in your car. It will still be there if you don’t evacuate! You don’t need to store all water in the house.
- Check on all family members, set up emergency back up plans, and check on elderly neighbors.
- Remember, pets are family too. Take them with you! And pack provisions they will need such as food but familiar items like their blanket to calm them. Animals are aware of what is going on and will need to be calmed down.
- Before the storm, unplug all electronics. There will be power surges during and after the storm.
- Gas up your car and have a spare gas container for your generator or your car when you run out.
- The night that the hurricane is scheduled to hit dress for bed in clothing that you can leave in in case you must leave suddenly. Have shoes and socks next to you. Think of Tornadoes that can spawn off of the storm surges.
Many people forget that if the power goes out, you may be without electricity for weeks. This means gas pumps wont work, ATM’s won’t work. Make a list of all of your medications and have them on hand as the stores will do everything they can to reopen, but they may have trouble with record keeping to find your prescriptions.
Last but not least make sure you take pictures of all of your belongings showing you prepared as best as you could. This could help if you need to make an insurance claim.