I have done hurricane prep every year for the last 8 years and this is the first time I was truly ready to pack up and wait it out some where else. I go through all the normal steps – food, stacks of water and juice (because you know your going to want something besides water eventually), stuff for the animals, more diapers and wipes than I could use in a year, batteries, and on and on and on. A friend saw my hurricane stack once and asked if I was turning into a ‘prepper’. We giggled and moved on – but seriously I am a prepper for what I think could hurt my family. Who isn’t?
This time however I have learned a new thing. I need to trade in my Sante Fe for some kind of Mini Van. I love my Sante Fe. Seriously I could happily drive that car until I die and never want for something else – except now I know how hard it would be to evacuate in it. The entire back (trunk area) is needed for the 2 german shepherds. Half the back seat is taken up by Mermaid’s car seat, the other half by the cat carrier. So where do I put the suitcases? Hubby? The pet supplies? The Yarn? Where do I put the Yarn?
As of right now we are going to be in the clear. Not even rain is in the forecast for next week for my area. So I am going to save all my stacks for the next storm threat. But I want to share some of the tips I saw this week on line incase they can help you one day incase you have to face a natural disaster strikes your home. I have no idea who came up with some of these but those people are brilliant.
If you have to evacuate:
- To see if your freezer lost power – freeze a cup of water. After it is solid place a quarter on top of the ice. When you come home check on the quarter. If it is still sitting on top of the ice then you are awesome, everything stayed frozen. If it has sunk a bit you are probably ok, but if it is in the bottom half of the cup you need to trash everything.
- Walk around your house and make a video of all your stuff. Then email the video to yourself so if anything happens to your phone you still have it. Why take a video of all your stuff? So when you are filing insurance claims you have solid proof that you actually owned a sewing machine worth more than a used car, and they need to pay for a new one. Showing your favorite ice cream scoop you bought at family dollar however may not be worth it.
- Scan your important documents and email those to yourself too, or stick them in the cloud. That way you will know all the info you need to file those claims, and who to show your video to!
- If you have don’t have room for every photo album in the car, empty out your dishwasher and stick them in there. The dishwasher is waterproof and bolted in under your cabinet so it won’t float away or flood. Just make sure to not turn it on with everything in there.
If you are sheltering in place:
- Get a manual can opener. That fancy electric one on your counter isn’t going to work without power people.
- Make sure you have a variety of lighters and matches. You don’t want to be staring at the grill with only a two inch match to light it with, nor do you want to be facing a long dark night because the one lighter you had ran out of fuel.
- Fill up Ziploc bags and stand them up in your freezer. a.) a full freezer stays frozen longer, b.) you can pull them out one at a time for fresh water.
- Make sure you buy drinks besides water. Not only are you going to get tired of just drinking water, but if you have other options the water is going to be easier to save for things like cooking and brushing your teeth.
- Have a few recipes that you can make that don’t need electricity. Sure that sounds easy until you are faced with it. I suggest finding a cookbook that features only recipes you can cook on a camp fire.
- Make sure you have a real first aid kit. A box of bandaids and a tube of antibiotic cream are great, but what are you going to do if little Timmy falls and breaks his arm during a storm and you can’t get to the ER? You need a full kit people.
- Get battery chargers! If the power goes out you know your still going to want access to your devices. That is where you games, books, and movies are stored. So get a solar powered charger for after the storm, and at least one portable battery charger. Personally I am getting at least 3 (one for each person in the house).
- If you have dogs you might want to get some of those pee pads. I know that they are supposed to be for puppies who are potty training but what do you think is going to happen when the dog really needs to pee but there are trees flying through your yard?