When we were first getting ready to move to Florida, we started researching what was needed to be prepared for a hurricane whenever the time comes (which we hope is a very long time from now). We wanted to share some of our favorites with you. Given that where we used to live has had flooding and at least two tornados in the last two years, many of these tips are universal and can apply for areas other than Florida.
- Each week try to buy a few things to put in your emergency preparedness kit, that way it doesn't break the bank all at once.
- Have at least three gallons of water per person on hand in the house (*two weeks worth is even better)
- Have at least *three days worth of breakfast, lunch, and dinner per person on hand in the pantry. For healthier options think canned meats, beans, sauces, nuts, nut butters, dried fruit, jerky, apples, oranges.
- Write out a list of important numbers to have (non-emergency police, electric company, water company, family members who's numbers you haven't memorized, hospital, doctor, insurance companies)
- Fill the bathtubs and buckets with water
- Fill ziploc bags with water and freeze as many as will fit in your freezer. They can be added to coolers or the fridge to keep perishable food cool. It can also be used as drinking water when it melts.
- Have gasoline cans filled, as well as an extra propane tank on hand. Also remember to fill up your cars.
- Invest in a generator and extension cables to keep necessary electronics running. We have found it EXTREMELY helpful to have invested in a portable AC unit like this. We used it when we lost power for a week and have also used it a few times in Florida when our AC wasn't working right.
- If you are going to use plywood to cover your windows, get them precut before the storm ever comes. That way you can avoid the long lines. Also label the plywood so you know which one goes with which window.
- Keep some cash on hand.
- Identify where your safe room will be.
- Gather things like flashlights, battery operated radio/tv, batteries and store in the safe room. - Use a gallon of water as a lantern by facing a battery operated light towards the water.
- Fill your washer with ice and use as a cooler for drinks
- During the storm or if you have to evacuate and can't take them with you, put your valuables in the dishwasher. It is made to be waterproof and as well as it keeps water in, it also keeps water out.
We lost our power for a week once when we were living in Virginia after a strong line of thunderstorms ripped through the area. Many of these would have come in handy while we were "camping" out with a four year old and a one year old. Our house got up to 95 degrees inside. (yikes!!!!)