Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hurricane Preparedness

Living in an area threatened by Hurricane Irene's wet backlash, I have been growing increasingly antsy. Since my parents' loss of their home to Katrina, I have a little PTSD when storms like this occur. Add to this Tuesday's little earthquake that rocked the floors and walls of my office, and you can see how I might be wringing my hands over whether or not we are prepared for an emergency.

Cruising a list of things you need to prepare for a bad storm or other event, I found something that listed items like this:

Extra water (1 gallon per person per day)
Grocery items for 3-7 days
AM/FM battery operated radio
Blanket and pillows

Seriously? Is that it? Here is my personal list for being ready for a storm:

Masking tape--tape your windows in a big X to catch breaking glass in the event that occurs. Good for those of us who don't have plywood or shutters.
Store all outside furniture and potted plants. They become wind-ammo in hurricanes.
Clean your bathtubs and fill with water. We used to fill every available pitcher in the house and had been known to bathe in a bowl when necessary. The bathtub water is for consumption in an emergency. You can also dip a bucket in there to fill and use as a way to flush your toilets if the water main breaks.
Candles with lighter or matches
Gas in the propane tank of your BBQ pit (When there is no power after the storm, you can still cook what's in your fridge before it goes bad.)
Ice in your ice chest (You can also fill the washer with ice as a back up. The water drains there and the washer is a great insulator.)
Do your laundry now.
Gas up your cars.
How's your pet food supply?
Some extra cash is handy. Don't blow it in candle-lit poker games waiting for the power to come back on.
Honestly, those little camp-style portable burners for cooking are wonderful, but we never had them.

I should have added margarita mix to the above list... and a battery-powered blender.

Be safe. Plan well. Best of luck to those of you who are affected by Irene and her angry path.


  1. My Dear Mrs. C;

    The best plan for a hurricane is to not be in the path of it. We went through one hurricane, Wilma. I still have nightmares about it. I can see Max in my mind's eye, bouncing around as the upstairs sliding windows give way. The didn't, but the next door neighbor's did. As well as their roof. As soon as the wind speed dropped below 30 knots we tore out as fast as my old PT Cruiser would go. We came back two weeks later, when the power came on.

    An old saying references to being at the Devil's side as opposed to being in his way. The same might be said of hurricanes; lock down your property, grab the cat, dog, kids and spouse. Grab your important documents, three days worth of clothes, and take pictures of everything else. Put your valuables in a secure location, and get the heck out of Dodge. Also, make sure your insurance is paid up on everything.

    When Andrew hit 19 years ago, my family locked down the house, secured the boat, and bolted to Orlando. I took my plane and flew my sister up. And that was it. We thought for sure everything would be gone. We were relieved to find out that was not the case.

    When the Earth rises up to smite thee, it is usually best to not be there when Mother Nature calls. Stay safe, Mrs. C...especially when the earth moves under your feet.

  2. @David, who brings to mind one of my favorite skydiver proverbs: Forget not thine altitude, lest the earth rise up and smite thee.

    You'll be pleased to know that we did just what you suggested, for a host of reasons. It occurs to me though, that maybe some needed extra advice--that not all found it intuitively obvious that, like fighting a riptide, the best movement relative to a hurricane is perpendicular to its path. One friend told me today that they road out the storm by fleeing from Richmond to Baltimore.


    "Ummm, David," I said, (different David, btw), "Isn't that a little like running from a train . . . straight down the track?"


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