Yup……..its that time again. Hurricane season started on June 1st and will run till November 30th. Its now time to make sure you have your needed items in the event we have a storm headed our way or if your going to be relocating new to our area during this period……read carefully!
First thing your going to need is a plastic water proof storage tub. In the event you need to evacuate, you don’t have to go around collecting things, just pack it into the car and go……plus off season its a way to store your items for next year.
Once you have the storage tub, its time to consider what goes in it!
Flashlights. You will need one of the small pocket sized flashlights for every member of the family. They are small enough to carry in a pocket, and for use when walking around in the home in the dark…..especially when going to the bathroom and around furniture. You should have a larger 9 volt flashlight on hand, plus we have a battery lantern to use on the dining room table for meals in the dark. Remember, power poles are some of the first things to be destroyed in a hurricane, so don’t scrimp on the number of flashlights to have around. Don’t forget the extra batteries. When you see yourself in the “Cone” on the TV, its to late, WalMart will be sold out.
Water. When season starts we take gallon milk jugs and freeze them. If your fridge is small, this step can be done when your advised in advance by the Hurricane Center that your in the “Cone of Uncertainty”. If your water is frozen, and your hit and lose power…..taking then out and placing them in the fresh food compartment will buy you several more days before spoilage of your food and milk. As the jugs return to a water state, you now have good drinking water.
We also fill the bath tub with water for 2 reasons. 1] To be used for toilet flushing by bucket. 2] For personal hygiene use to try and stay clean.
Grill. Even if your not a griller, you will need this item. If your not into grilling, then buy a small table top style propane hibachi. If you know your in the hurricane path and the power is surely to go out…..grill up all that you can for good eats later.
Food. Hal & I are not big canned food eaters, but their shelf life is great. Keep some extra canned goods around along with a hand held can opener. Boxed cereal variety packs, nuts for snacks, crackers and jar peanut butter, and kool-aid packets are great ideas as well.
Medicines. Although these items do not go into the hurricane kit, they need to be nearby your side or in your small suitcase your going to pack. What DOES go into the hurricane kit are all of your prescription drug names, dosage and strength, and refill numbers. We keep a little wire bound notebook for these items along with any needed emergency phone numbers we might want to jot down. Remember cell phones can maintain a directory of numbers………..at least till the battery dies!
Cash. This is a must. When the power goes out, so do the cash registers at the gas station and grocery stores. Moreover it makes use of your ATM impossible. Get cash and in small bills with plenty of $1.
Car Fuel. We NEVER let the gas gauge get even near 1/2 a tank during these months. Never! We are not big fans of storing gas, but you can if you wish during these month’s of active weather.
Coolers. You will want to have more than one. When FEMA does arrive with ice, you will need to go get it and transport it home. Ice becomes a priceless commodity when the power is off.
Toiletries. We keep the small bottles of shave cream, shampoo, body wash in the sizes allowed for airplane trips. They store easy and weigh less to carry in your kit.
Pets. Don’t forget their needs either. Favorite pillow or blanket. Both canned and dry food and also their treats.
Insurance. Keep a copy of your homeowners insurance in your hurricane kit as well, to aid in claims should you have damage.
Another tip when preparing your hurricane kit is to provide enough in it for a 7 day event. Another is to prepare well in advance of the need. Find out your best evacuation route, as well as an alternative. Determine just where your going to go if evacuation is warranted. Don’t over pack a lot of cloths, it not worth the extra weight to lug around.
Hal and I know from first hand experiences that if you will prepare in advance, there is less stress, and more comfort if the hurricane actually hits your area.
NOTE: Many Florida municipalities have a mandatory power shut down just before the hurricane hits. There have been to many down power line electrocutions in past years. Also note that if you approach an intersection signal light that is out…..it is to be considered a 4 way stop.