*post by Shannan Powell, mom of 3 boys, RM Media community and project manager, and Resourceful Mommy contributor.
Last night, I cracked on Facebook: “Hurricane Prep 101: Actually prepare for the storm so it will laugh at your wasted time and head out to sea. Get on it, people.”
I was only half joking. We live about 12 miles from the Atlantic Ocean on the Delmarva Peninsula and have gotten screen time in the past day for being dead center in the “cone of uncertainty” for Hurricane Joaquin’s landfall. Don’t know where that is? It’s the trifecta of awesome that includes the beachy areas of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. (Google it. It’s lovely. You need to visit here. Just not this weekend.)
Spending my entire life near the coastline, hurricane prep is a necessary evil and something that we have always done when there is a threat of a storm. Sometimes we needed it, sometimes the storms blew out to sea and annoyed us because we’d spent SO MUCH TIME getting ready. It’s the nature of the beast.
If you’re living in the “cone of uncertainty” or are just in an area that maybe-might-possibly get a shower or two and a little wind from Joaquin, you need to take any hurricane seriously.
Here are a few important things you should remember as we all watch the weather to see just what is going to happen.
Have an evacuation plan. Seriously. If you live in a flood prone area, somewhere with a lot of trees that could blow over, or if you are being asked to even voluntarily evacuate, go and go early.Please don’t take chances with your life. More importantly, don’t let your stubbornness risk the lives of the first responders who are tasked to stay behind and care for those who must stay put.
Gas up your vehicles. Even if you don’t need to evacuate, often extended power outages make it difficult to find a station where you can fill up, sometimes for days after a storm.
Prepare a hurricane kit. While you should do this long before a hurricane is forecast, there’s still time to get ready. Also be sure to have nonperishable foods that don’t require cooking, in case of power outages. A manual can opener is also important to have on hand. Here are some other important items to have on hand and ready for evacuation:
First aid kit
Cash (in case the power goes out and you can’t use credit/debit cards)
Secure loose items outdoors. Not only will this keep you from having to stalk all over the neighborhood to locate your trash cans when the storm passes, but it will prevent loose items from becoming projectiles when the winds kick up.
Tape or board up windows. Boarding up the windows offers the best protection, but taping them up can help to keep glass from flying into your house in the event of breakage and make for easier cleanup after the storm.
Turn down the fridge. Get your fridge and freezer temp as cold as possible, in case of power outage. Be sure to keep the doors closed as much as possible, should the power go out, to keep your foods safe a little longer.
Fill up the bathtubs. If the power goes out, you can scoop water from the tub for flushing toilets or use it to wash up. Save the bottled water for drinking.
Charge up electronics and phones. Cell phones, tablets, handheld games…anything that can be charged, should be charged. This is super important for communication and information purposes n a power outage, as well as entertainment.
Check in with family and friends. Find out the storm plans of those you care most about. Make sure you have a way to check in with everyone and do so regularly, throughout the storm and after.
What are some of the important storm preparations that in your family to get ready for major storms?
We’ll be spending the next couple of days making sure that we are as prepared as we can be for the impending storm, while hoping that it laughs at us and takes a turn out to sea. Make sure you’re ready,too! Stay safe, everyone!