Hurricane Preparation for the Lazy.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Looks like there's a storm coming!

We didn't get any rain from Gustav, and I hope if nothing else Ike cools things off. It's been very hot, and I haven't been using the oven at all - not even to make a promised birthday cake for Our Lady yesterday! We had countertop cookies instead.

All the major sites have the basics of hurricane prep outlined and ready, but here's a few things you should do TODAY if you are in the storm's path. Keep in mind that depending on where the storm hits and how strong it is, you might lose power even if it's not very bad where you are.

Hurricane Preparation for the Lazy
1. Find out about evacuations. Go ahead and print out a list of shelters, even if you are SURE you won't evacuate. You just might need it (or a neighbor will) and you can't count on internet service or electricity when the time comes.

2. Make sure your car has a full tank of gas. Also, consider how you will get it out of the garage, in case of emergency. If you have an automatic garage door opener, can you open it manually? (Not theoretically, I mean go out there and try it.) If you can't, park your car in the driveway.

3. While you're at it, clean out the car a little bit, you know, just in case. And actually go outside and "put your eyes" on the gas shut off valve and water shut off. Do you need a special tool? Now, while you have access to the internet and eHow, is the time to figure out how to do it! You're not gonna want to be problem solving in the driving rain.

4. Do your laundry. If you have to leave, or are without electricity for a couple of days, you'll appreciate that stack of clean clothes!

5. Consider hospitality. Where we live, we probably would not evacuate. We are more than 40 miles from the shore. But, we have many friends that live within 10 miles of the coast, who might need a place to stay. Take some time to freshen up the extra blankets, just in case!

6. Consider the food situation. You should have three days worth of food - take some time to consider and plan WHAT you're going to make with all those cans and boxes. In our case - vegetarian chili, here we come. The rule of thumb is also 1 gallon of water per person per day. A three day supply for OUR family? 27 gallons. Keep in mind that this includes liquids, so cans and bottles of juice count, too. A good way to store water? Fill milk jugs with water or gallon zipper bags with ice cubes and keep in the freezer. It'll keep your food cold during a power outage, and you can drink it, too.

7. Eat your emergency food in times of plenty. This tip won't help you out NOW, but it's good to do.

If you stockpile powdered milk for hurricanes and blizzards, but your child has never even tasted it, you are going to have a problem on your hands. Occasionally cook up emergency rations so that it is not entirely foreign. In the case of powdered milk, it tastes terrible unless it is thoroughly chilled. I keep a can of Ovaltine with it (extra vitamins!) and my kids think that's how you MAKE Ovaltine all the time. Or use it in oatmeal or cooked dishes, instead of drinking straight.

If you keep cans of tuna on hand, but only eat it in casserole, consider exposing your children to tuna salad or even a nice antipasto dish (canned white beans, canned olives, and canned tuna for a emergency Nicoise salad). The last thing you'll need during an emergency is more stress, so consider stockpiling some comfort foods and treats. There's nothing wrong with squirrelling away a package of oreos or box of poptarts to boost morale!

8. Consider how you'll cook, if there is no electricity. I have a gas stove, but will need matches to light it. We have a grill, but it's outside and not much use if the rain is heavy. Perhaps spend some time now looking up raw foods or at least reading about cooking over a can of sterno or camp stove. Is your can opener electric? Better get a manual one!

9. Consider how you'll see. Do your oil lamps need to be filled and trimmed? Dig out your campling lantern and set up the mantles. Get extra batteries for the flashlights. Don't forget that you'll need a separate light - hanging if possible - for the bathroom!

10. Consider the children. What are they going to do? You might want to stop off at the dollar store for some extra goodies. Get some decks of cards, coloring books, or puzzles. My Dollar Tree carries glowsticks, which would be fun if the power goes off. You might want to check your diaper and baby wipe supply while you're at it... if you run out, baby will have to live in the bathtub until the stores reopen!

11. Clear a path. If your house is messy, do your best to clear the floors at least. You won't want to be stumbling and tripping when the power's off and waters seeping under the door!

12. Put it all together. Grab an old backpack, totebag, even a grocery bag. Put your emergency supplies inside, including flashlights, can opener, radio, batteries, etc. Keep it all in the same, easy to find place until the storm is over.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/09/2008 09:11:00 AM | Permalink | |