The Atlantic Hurricane season started on June 1st and does not end until November 30th. If you live in the coastal area along the Atlantic coast it is a good idea to make preparations for the tropical season.
Have you completed your preparations and have supplies on hand for 3-5 days after the storm passes your area? Do you have evacuation plans and know your routes to leave if hurricane gains strength and puts you in harm’s way? Do you have means to protect your home and property from winds, flooding rains and storm surge? These are just a few of the questions you need to ask yourself and answer to be fully prepared for the 2016 season.
There are numerous sources on the internet that can help you with making preparations that are best for your family. A good resource is www.redcross.com that I use for a checklist on things to do. Beginning in June I begin purchasing batteries for flashlights and lanterns to use during power outages from hurricane force winds that knock out electricity. Next on my list is keeping a stockpile of bottled water. Normally I will purchase 4-6 cases of water and when a storm is forecasted to impact our area I want to have at least 10-12 cases of water on hand to drink and use. Make sure you have enough can goods on hand including canned meat to prepare after the storm and you have no electricity. I buy canned ham and peanut butter and jelly are other staples that we keep on hand in our hurricane supplies.
I purchase extra toilet paper, paper towels, trash bags and cleaning supplies to use for clean-up after the storm. I keep non-perishable snacks on hand too. My husband is a generator mechanic and he usually is called out to work before the storm passes and works long hours until all power is restored to the area so I have snacks on hand for him to take with him to eat while he is working.
Extra extension cords, tape, and gas with gas cans are important if you will be running a generator after the storm. Please follow all safety rules when storing gas to use. I cannot stress this enough. If you have a Yeti-type cooler, purchase ice and keep it on-hand for longer than a normal cooler. This is important if it gets hot after the storm and there is a lot of clean up to do. Nothing like having a cold bottle of water to stay cool and quench the thirst.
Personally, I will tell you that preparation before the season gets active is imperative. Nine years ago we were hit by Hurricane Ike. Donny, Chasity and I were without power for 17 days. We learned to cook a lot of food using a charcoal grill and ate a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I had purchased my supplies early that year to be ready for the season but still purchased more supplies when Hurricane Ike was in our direct path. We survived on a small generator that kept the freezer and refrigerator running during the day and at night ran the window unit a/c.
If you can’t purchase your supplies early in the season, at least make a list of what you need and purchase when the storm is forecasted to impact your area. Do not rely on anyone to come and help you. Make plans to take care of your family and you for at least 3-5 days. This will allow officials to access the damage and begin making repairs. Also, as during Hurricane Ike, there were pods opened up for folks to get water, ice and MRE’s. Sometimes the wait in lines for these supplies was hours long. Be prepared and make sure to take care of the elderly and your pets.
Here is a list of websites for tropical weather preparedness.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though it’s waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. (Psalm 46:1-3)