We were ready to travel to my niece’s wedding in Charleston this weekend. We worked to get clothes ready, gifts ready, and preparations for someone to care for our home and pets for while we were gone. It was to be an exciting weekend with family while we celebrated their commitment to love each other. Then came Matthew! Totally unexpected Matthew began to churn our way. Matthew is a hurricane that is currently wrecking havoc on Haiti and Cuba. Now we are stuck at home and they are having to evacuate Charleston because predictions have him heading our way. After all of their time planning their perfect day, I am saddened for them and all of us who were looking forward to time to celebrate them together.
Now we suddenly have to switch to emergency prep. We basically have a one day warning to get our stuff together. Now where to start? Below is my preparation list. Feel free to use it to help you if you need direction. But please keep in mind. I am not an expert. I have had some experience in this as I’ve grown up in Central Florida but use your own judgement and follow this at your own risk. 😉 (my disclaimer)
- Find important papers, (insurance papers, birth certificates, social security cards, etc.) and seal them in a waterproof container such as a zip-lock bag and place them in a safe place or pack them to go with you if you are evacuating.
- Take stock of what you have in your pantry, refrigerator and freezer. Start eating from fridge and freezer to reduce possible loss of food due to lack of electricity. Make a menu “canned” menu in case you loose electricity.
- Make sure you have a manual can-opener! You will need this to open cans if you lose electricity. Check a hurricane preparedness list such as this one http://www.mynews13.com/weather/hurricane-center-checklist.html#supply to ensure you are prepared.
- Make your list and head to the store. The sooner, the better. Stock will be depleted quickly. Don’t forget personal care items like medicines, feminine hygeine items etc. While you are out there, fill your gas tanks, and fill your propane tanks.
- Next step is to prepare you home. Pick up anything in your yard that can become a flying missile! (Chairs, garbage cans, trampolines) Secure them. If you have a pool you can throw your outdoor chairs in the pool. We remove the jump pad and netting on our trampoline to prevent the wind from catching and tossing it. Then we secure the poles as best we can. We bring our garbage cans into the garage. Do whatever you can to protect yourselves and your neighbors. If you have a neighbor who has not done this, offer to help them move their outdoor stuff.
- Next, prepare the inside of your home. Board or tape your windows if you are going to do so. Make a living space to wait out the storm in the safest room in your house. Usually near the center of the home where you have no windows or the fewest number of windows. Put your battery operated radio in there with pillows, bedding and games to wait out the storm.
- After you have done all you can to prepare and helped those around you prepare, keep a close eye on the news. Make sure cell phones are fully charged.
-Put your expensive china or anything you want to protect in your dishwasher. It is one of the safest places and is sealed to protect from the elements.
-Clean your bathtub and fill with water. This is to use if water use is lost. (Think flushing toilets etc.)
-Pack necessary items for last minute travel into backpacks that can be quickly grabbed if needed. (Think medicines, change of clothes, important papers, personal care items)
Please feel free to share any of your tips below. I’m always looking for different ways and different ideas.
For anyone in the path of this storm, you are in my thoughts and prayers. Stay safe and prepare!