It doesn’t matter whether you have been through dozens of hurricanes or the incoming one is your first, they are all scary. There are so many things to get done to be as prepared as you can be. Even if you have your prepping down to a science, there are most likely still hacks that could make it a bit easier on you and your family.
Kid Friendly Lanterns
Stock up on glow sticks. Glow sticks in a bottle of water is a great kid friendly way to provide them with their own personal lantern. Plus, no batteries are needed. You can also make a milk jug lantern...
It is most common for those who are preparing for a hurricane to gravitate towards snack type items. These are fantastic to have on hand but, there are meals that you can feed your family that don’t require refrigeration.
Fruit and Vegetables
Foods like tomatoes, oranges, cucumbers, potatoes, pears, watermelon, apples, plums, bananas all can be left on the counter.
Tuna sandwiches can be made if you buy a new jar of mayo as that doesn’t require refrigeration before opening.
Not all summer sausage requires being refrigerated before opening either, so you could have summer sausage sandwiches.
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are fantastic too. The jelly is shelf stable until opened making these a great option too.
As frozen meat thaws it can be cooked and eaten.
Things like mac and cheese, hamburger helper or tuna helper can be useful to have on hand as well. They may not be the healthiest items but, in the end they are food that can easily be made to feed your family.
If you have a dog, at some point it will need to go to the bathroom. Place a kiddie pool with sod in your garage or elsewhere in your house so your dog has a safe place to go potty.
Cooking can be difficult without power. Having a camping stove will make cooking much easier. If you aren’t familiar with a camping stove they use small portable canisters of propane. This is why it is an easy way to cook during power outages. It may take a bit longer to cook since the surface is smaller but, well worth the investment if you live in an area prone to hurricanes.
If you don't have a bathroom nearby, make a toilet out of a bucket and a pool noodle! Just slit it down the middle and put on the rim of the bucket.
Long before the hurricane is close to hitting land, your local stores are out of water. Don’t worry though, there are a couple of things you can do to make sure your family has enough water.
Fill your bathtub(s) with water. Doing this will give you a decent amount of drinking water.
Fill gallon bags with water and freeze them. Make sure to leave a bit of space in the bag for the expanding of the water as it freezes. Doing this does two things: first, it keeps your freezer colder longer and secondly, it gives your family more drinking water as it thaws.
Using paper plates and cups will help limit the amount of water that is being used since you won’t be washing dishes.
The first place people race to are the grocery stores and big box stores. These places quickly sell out of the essentials and don’t typically restock in time. Check places like office supply stores, home improvement stores and army supply stores. Any of these places will most likely carry some of the items you may need during and after the storm.
Fill your washing machine with ice and place your perishables in it. Doing this won’t necessarily keep things cold longer but, it will be easier to get rid of the remaining water from the melted ice later.
The day before the storm hits, close all of your blinds and curtains to keep the heat out and cool air in. Turn your AC way down. The cooler it is in your house when the power goes out the longer it will take to warm up.
Take pictures of everything before the storm. Every room, closet and major possession should be documented before the storm hits. I also suggest taking pictures of the food bin your fridge and freezer so if insurance will reimburse you for spoiled food you know what you had. Also make it a point to document the exterior of your home as well.
Get as much cash as you can to have on hand for after the storm. With no power your debit and credit cards won’t work so cash will be your only way to buy the things you need.
It is important that if you are on any daily medications that you refill any and all that you possibly can. Even if the pharmacy remains open, it is likely their shipments won't be coming in anytime soon after the hurricane passes.
Put your photos, diplomas, important papers in the dishwasher (unplug it or make sure no one presses a button) to keep them dry!
Fill heavy duty trash bags with water to act like sandbags for minor flooding- don’t know if this will work or not.
For those of you that are evacuating from the coast, I just heard a great tip. It's called the one cup tip. You put a...
A Helpful Tip
I have seen all over the internet about putting valuables such as important documents and photo albums in the dishwasher. Doing this does not guarantee that they are safe from flood waters. In fact, they are very likely to flood themselves.
If your area has an evacuation order, it is best to prepare your house as best as you can and get out. If there isn't an evacuation order or, you do decide to stay these tips should hopefully make being at home more bearable for you and your family during the hurricane and after.