Hurricane Preparation

Not sure if you've noticed, but hurricane season is in full swing. There is catastrophic devastation in Texas/Louisiana, and now we have Irma heading for...Florida and some other places. Possibly the Gulf Coast or possibly us here in the Carolina.

You can only prepare so much- the extreme flooding that Harvey caused is...just awful. You can't do anything about that. I've seen some arguments that people should have evacuated...y'all, hurricane predictions are so damn capricious. The best predictions come at 3 days max- and even that is not reliable. Realistically, I'd say the best you can hope for is 12-24 hours for your specific area. And being stuck in a car on the freeway is NOT better than being stuck at your home. Trust me.

But, there are things you can do to prepare for emergencies. There are tons of lists available online about this- but I don't think all the suggestions are the best. Dried fruit & beef jerky are expensive and run out fast, okay? So here are my basic hurricane (or any emergency, really) preparation steps:

  • Food
    • canned tuna or chicken, protein/snack bars, canned soups (so many varieties and you barely even need a can opener nowadays), fruit cups/applesauce (if you want to try to keep it healthy, try oranges or bell peppers or apples- things that won't spoil as quickly). Don't forget about pet food.
  • Water
    • Obviously. A case for every person in the house, including pets (I believe a good rule of thumb is a gallon a day per person). If you are formula feeding a baby, get some water for that baby too (actually just count the baby as a full person anyway and water regardless).
  • Soda/prepared coffee
    • this is rarely mentioned and sometimes even discouraged, but it's vital if you are used to having caffeine. Last year during Matthew I was stuck at home by myself with a 6 month old because my husband couldn't leave work. MAMA NEEDED CAFFEINE. You don't want to go through withdrawal during an emergency.
  • Flashlights & a radio, if you have them
    • make sure the flashlights have working batteries, or place spare batteries near the flashlights just in case. Ditto for lighters/candles.
  • Power banks for cell phones
    • make sure they are charged the day before the storm is scheduled to hit. 
  • Tie down/bring in outside lawn furniture or grills, etc.
    • This is not a guarantee they will stay in place, but it helps.
  • Have gas or propane handy
    • I know families who were without power for days after the weather calmed down- they were able to cook on the grill.
  • Baby wipes & diapering needs
    • We cloth diaper 90% of the time. Before a big storm, I make sure ALL cloth diapers are clean and that we have a spare pack of disposables. The cloth is in case I can't leave the house to get to the store (happened with Matthew- my neighborhood was fine but the roads leading out of it crossed streams/creeks and many roads were unpassable) and disposables in case we loose power so I can't wash the cloth. And baby wipes are just generally used for cleaning EVERYTHING in my house. 
Other recommendations include having important papers like insurance/medication lists/etc together- honestly we are in the process of amassing basically every detail of our lives for foster care/adoption licensing so I plan on just grabbing the folder dedicated to that. Also, medications: general stuff like Tylenol or alcohol wipes with bandages, as well as any prescription medications or things like EpiPens/inhalers (we keep pre-maid first aid kits from Sam's Club in our cars, something like that is a great option).

It may sound silly to have a "bug out" bag, but...look at the pictures of people displaced by Harvey. You may not need it, but is it really going to hurt? Nope. If you want to be really prepared, include a spare change of clothes (per person) and a laptop/hard drive if concerned about loosing documents/pictures. I try to gather all the "emergency" supplies to one spot so I can access them easily and not run from room to room in the dark. Also, think about contact solution/glasses.

Good luck to everyone in the potential path of these storms. Praying for us all.


  1. I really should adult better and have more water on hand when hurricane season rolls around, but I just have failed. Granted, we still have the case of water from last year's season (because when people even LOOK at the bottles of water I practically stab them and tell them that is for HURRICANES ONLY and Hurricane Megan doesn't count), and we have at least a few gallons of distilled water for Teh German's cigar humidor, which I will reallocate if necessary.

    If we stay, I'll prob also fill up the tub with water just in case.
    We're planning on weathering it out if it's cat 1/2. 3+ and we'll be heading to the mtns.

    Good luck!

  2. It is crazy how many hurricanes are spinning up this year. This is a great list and we make a similar list here during tornado season, hurricane season and for winter weather when we get it every few years. It is always good to be over prepared than under!! I hope you guys stay safe!

  3. i could not imagine having to prepare for something so awful as hurricanes or tornados. it's why, although i hate snow, i try not to complain about it because it's just snow..not something as devastating as hurricanes/tornadoes. stay safe!!