|Hurricane Irene, August 2011, Rutherford, NJ|
With hurricane season just around the corner, I thought I would share some first- hand knowledge of surviving a hurricane. We lived in south Florida for nine years and lived through more than a few hurricanes, two of which were category threes. Each hurricane we went through taught us a little more about being properly prepared.
1) Do all your preparing now before hurricane season gets into full swing. Most people wait until a hurricane is heading for them and rush to the stores to buy supplies, only to find out they are sold out. So buy your supplies now because if you wait till season the prices will go up and these items will be in short supply.
2) Everyone knows you need shutters to protect your windows during a hurricane. If you are going to use plywood buy it now, cut it to fit the widows and make fasteners for them ahead of time, so they are fast and easy to put up. Then store them in the driest place you can so they do not warp out of shape.
3) Buy a generator, preferably a solar generator. A solar generator is quiet, does not smell, is not dangerous and your neighbors won’t even know you have power. Yes this is a plus when your neighbors hear you fire up your generator and want to “borrow” some electricity and then complain about the noise at night.
4) Buy a disaster kit. Make sure it has sanitation and at least a week’s worth of food. The recommended 3 days of food is often not enough and even if the stores do reopen in 3 days you do not want to fight the crowds of people who did not properly prepare.
Storing water for a hurricane
5) I saw water become a major problem for people time and again after a hurricane. The news will tell you to store a gallon a day per person but most only put away for a few days. You need more. It’s probably going to be hot and you will more than likely be without air conditioning.
6) When a hurricane is headed your way, clean and sanitize your bathtub. Your tub can hold a lot of reserve water, but remember to purify the water again before you use it.
7) Besides your regular water storage, fill some plastic jugs ¾ full with water and freeze them. This will help keep your fridge cold longer. When the water melts you have more drinking water.
8) If you run out of water, your hot water heater holds a lot of water. Just remember to purify it before use.
9) Never underestimate a hurricane based on its category. A lot depends on where you are. I have seen a category 1 take out the power for a week.
Tim Shettlesworth “9 Hurricane Survival Tips”, Rocky Mountain Survival, May 2012
Photo: fotogbill2 (flickr)