Hurricane Andrew scared Florida residents back in 1992, while hurricane Katrina shocked America with its hard core devastation and more recently hurricane Sandy floored Americans when they realized that a hurricane can cause serious damages up and down the coast and not just in the south and along the Gulf Coast. Hurricane season starts on June 1 and ends on November 30 for the Atlantic Coast, while on the Pacific Coast, the season starts on May 15 and ends November 30. Use the following five tips and be prepared for the worst case scenario of a hurricane.
First and foremost in any emergency is to have a good back up supply of water. When hurricane seasons starts, I like to fill up a couple of collapsible five gallon water storage containers and store them away in a cool, dark place. Before a storm heads my way, I ensure my bathtub is filled to the brim with water. This way, I have plenty of water stored for bathing and washing while my drinking water is stored separately. Don’t forget, along with perishable foods, each person in your household needs a minimum of two liters of clean drinking water each day to survive.
The first thing that usually goes out when a hurricane approach is the power-and once it goes out, it could be off for days or even weeks at a stretch. While a good gas generator with plenty of fuel stored away is always a great idea for keeping the refrigerator/freezer running, it’s also wise to use other power sources like extra batteries, solar-powered cell phone chargers and hand cranking radios/flashlights to balance out your energy supply evenly.
While some of your power is going to be used for lighting, try to use it mostly for refrigeration to keep your food as fresh as possible. Battery-powered LED lighting is the best way to get a good bright light everybody can use, without wasting precious battery power in the process. One year during a power outage, I used a boat battery to run a series of landscaping lights throughout the house that ran for days.
If the power goes out, you’re not going to be able to cook very well with an electric oven, stove or microwave. Of course if you have gas powered appliances, you’ve got no problem. But if not, it’s important that you have a few materials to cook with like a camp stove or gas grill. Single burner propane stoves work great for heating up non-perishable goodies like canned soup or noodles. Don’t forget the most important essential-a lighter to light the stove.
Many of us have pets but have no emergency plan set aside for them. After all, if you need to head to an emergency shelter, you won’t be able to take them with you. Nearly 600,000 pets died as a result of hurricane Katrina by people being forced to abandon their pets during the rescue. While some shelters allow pets (be sure to preregister for these places) you may need to evacuate with your pet to a nearby pet-friendly hotel.