Hey all! With hurricane Irma quickly approaching the state of Florida it is obvious that panic is setting in. People are choosing to drive as far away as they can, others choosing to stay where they are, and then a number of people I have spoke with are really unsure as to what the best choice is. There are so many variables that come along with Mother Nature and while it is still too early to tell where Irma will make her landfall it is quite obvious that many people in Florida will feel some effects from the storm.
Whether you are choosing to stay or go I have compiled a list of the most helpful tips and tricks to prepare for a storm and its aftermath.
1.) Get gas. Get gas in the car, gas up any boats, fill gas tanks. Do this as soon as you hear of a potential storm to avoid long lines, shortages and price increases.
2.) Buy bottled water. Plan for 1 gallon of water per person per day.
3.) Stock up on batteries. You will need them for flash lights and radios.
4.) Check propane tank for BBQ. You will likely be grilling all your food during a power outage.
5.) Keep up on laundry. There would be nothing worse then not having power for 10 days if you were already behind on the laundry.
6.) Gather all important documents and place in a waterproof bag or case. In areas prone to flooding you can use your dishwasher as a waterproof storage container. Documents include: Birth certificates, SS cards, passports, drivers licenses, medical records, etc.
7.) Trim trees. This can help limbs from falling on homes and going through windows.
8.) Take down baby pool gate. Do this at the last moment.
9.) Bring in all outside furniture, hoses, BBQs, toys. Many people will say that they do not care if it gets damaged but the real issue is items becoming airborne and possibly breaking and flying through windows.
10.) Check and clean rain gutters.
11.) Create a physical contact list. It is inevitable that cell phones will die and you do not want to be without someone’s phone number in case you need to reach them. Write them down and place the list with the important papers.
12.) Fill all medications.
13.) Stock up on food items such as peanut butter, bread, canned soups, canned tuna, beans, oatmeal, nuts, canned fruit, etc.
14.) In case of a power outage unplug all electronics. When the power is restored any electronics that are plugged in can have a power surge and damage them.
15.) Fill bathtub/s with water. This will be used for washing and flushing toilets in the event the water gets shut off.
16.) Open fridge/freezer as little as possible. The more often it is open the faster the items will lose their temperature/defrost.
17.) Don’t forget your pets! Make sure you have enough food and medications for your animals.
18.) Empty ice maker and bag the ice days prior so you will have bags of ice ready to go.
19.) Days before the storm hits fill tupperware with water. Freeze some and keep some in the fridge. Please note it can take 72 hours for a tupperware of water to freeze so plan accordingly.
20.) 1 drop of bleach for every gallon of water makes it safe for drinking in an emergency.
21.) Wash out and fill all empty containers and bottles with drinking water before the storm hits.
22.) Baby wipes can be used to personal cleansing if showers are not possible.
23.) Pack a first aide kit. Bandaids, neosporin, tylenol, benedryl, childrens medications, itch cream, sunscreen, bug spray etc. Gather all of these items and keep them in a big basket in a common area that way in case of a loss of power you don’t have to search the house for the items.
24.) Buy an antenna for the TV to get local news and updates.
25.) Find an old corded phone to plug into the wall.
26.) Buy a few back up lightning cell phone chargers and make sure they’re ready to go.
27.) Place a flashlight in smart places. In the bathroom and by the electrical box.
28.) Check batteries in any portable fans you may have and keep them handy.
29.) Wet wash clothes placed in the freezer can be used to cool a person off during a power outage in the summer.
30.) Cut limes and lemons will keep pesky bugs and gnats away and serve as bug repellent.
31.) Crayons can be used as mini candles
32.) Charge all devices prior to the storm making landfall and try to save them for emergency uses only.
33.) Create “fun” bags for children with items that they haven’t seen/played with in a while.
34.) Decks of cards can keep children very busy when trying to make castles and forts out of them.
35.) Keep a raft in the garage. Even if you aren’t in a flood zone you never know. And better to be safe then sorry.
36.) Stretch a garden hose out all the way in the hot sun. The sun will heat the water inside the hose and you will have warm/hot water.
37.) Solar powered garden lights can be brought into the house at dusk to light up the home. In the morning bring them outside to recharge again.
38.) Get cash. Atms will likely be without power and credit/debit card machines will be down.
39.) Park cars far away from any tall trees.
40.) A piece of string in a can of crisco will make a candle.
41.) Glow sticks can be used to light hallways and rooms and keep children calm and entertained in the event of a power outage.
42.) Keep insurance information handy in case you need to report a claim right away.
There are many more ideas and hacks to prepare for a hurricane and power outages. If you can think of any that I haven’t mentioned please comment below and I’ll add them to the list!
The main tip is not to panic. Be smart and prepared and stay safe.