So,this is the final post for preparing for a hurricane, or any disaster. You can read the other 2 posts in the archives. Here are some things you might not think of when preparing your kit.
1- What are you going to put everything in? When we first moved to FL, I would put out a large bin, and almost everything went into the bin. With the thought that everything could just be grabbed, and you go. That is a good idea, but now I really just make sure I check the tropical storm reports daily, and always have bottled water, and non perishable foods on hand.
2- Keep all your important documents in one place, especially if you have a family. For example, birth certificates, social security cards, account info for various accounts, mortgage and home owners insurance. We use a small fire proof safe that is very easy to grab should we need to go. We have our name, address, and phone number written on the top of the safe should we become separated from it.
3- Don’t forget Dr’s names, numbers, diagnosis info, medications you take, and any allergies you may have. It is best to keep these in the same spot as the other important papers.
4- Pets- Pets can be a burden in a disaster. But, with some planning they don’t have to be. The year we evacuated we had ogs, and while it was tricky we managed. Not all places will allow dogs, and they sell out very quickly the ones that do. This year, I found a large tent at a garage sale, and bought it. If we have to ever evacuate again, it will go with us, and if we can’t find a hotel that takes pets, we will camp for a night or two. If you choose that option, of course you have to be prepared to sleep outside, and have proper supplies. Here in FL the shelters will let you bring pets, but they will be boarded at the local shelter, they can not stay at the people shelter with you. Remember food and water for your pets.
5- Bring medications, and or prescriptions. These should again be kept with your important papers, if possible.
6- Phone chargers, phones, and other electronics for entertainment. Cards, board games, drawing pads are also important to keep kids entertained. A good book that you always wanted to read.
7- Be prepared to be without power up to 1 week, or more, in some areas. We were without power for a whole week. We had just taken down our pool the winter before, and I was sorry we didn’t have it. You will be amazed how hot and humid it really is after the storm passes. It was brutal trying to sleep. Even though we evacuated, we were only gone a couple of days. The 5 days after we returned were brutal. We have lots of coolers, and there is an ice machine close to our home, so we were able to save some food, and keep water nice and cold. Have a grill for cooking, and we used solar lights, instead of candles for seeing in the dark. This was the best idea I had, the solar lights. No fear of fires, just set them back outside when the sun comes up, and bring in when it gets dark. They last all night. We have local springs near us, but they were all flooded, so no hope to cool off there. Our local McDonalds had a generator, and they must have made a few million dollars that week, because everyone was there enjoying the AC, food, and Wifi. Verizon gave all its customers free data for a week, which was a true blessing. You could of course buy a generator, which I don’t want to deal with one. If you are on oxygen, or home dialysis, sign up with your local electric provider so you get turned on before others. It is a nice feature.
8- Don’t forget a few days worth of clothes, and toiletries, if you evacuate. Even if you don’t evacuate, these should be included in your kit. Honestly you just never know when a tornado can strike, or a tree fall on your house, and you have to leave whether you want to or not. Just grabbing your kit with everything in it, will save a little stress.
Hurricanes are not fun, and I grew up with blizzards, which is a completely different beast. We never had to evacuate for a blizzard, or really ever lost power for very long. You just hunkered down and waited to shovel all that snow. With a little preparing you can be safe, and ready. Don’t forget about your elderly neighbors, parents, etc. It is very hard for them to evacuate, and some are very stubborn, trust me. These storms can be cruel, and painful, lets not make that worse. I have to say here in Florida, the local counties, where we are have great teams in place to help people get out, and they will encourage those who refuse to do so.
We have been in our home for 12 years, and only had to evacuate once. We live in a double wide, but we are inland, so that doesn’t usually happen, however sometimes even inland has to evacuate. This year we were rezoned as a flood zone. We have never been in a flood zone, and it doesn’t flood here. So, that makes me a little nervous, and is obviously due to climate change. So, we may get ordered to evacuate again, should another large storm come this way.