Storm Preparation is Tuesday’s Tip


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Tuesday’s Tip – Storm Preparation

storm preparations

Sometimes we know when a storm is coming and have time for storm preparation and sometimes we don’t. It doesn’t matter where you live or the weather you face. Be prepared the best you can for anything. I want to share mine with you and ask what you do to prepare for storms in your area. Please leave a comment below to share with everyone.

My First Storm Preparation Experience

I grew up in San Diego, lived in Colorado and California for 10 years, and in Florida for 12 years. I knew nothing of storm prepping other than security screens (my uncle in CA had them in order to protect his windows from wind damage). Many people confuse security screens with hurricane shutters. Also, there’s the question Hurricane Shutters vs. Security Screens, Which Is Better? I understood that most homes in CA make use of security screens to protect their property from storm debris. While security screens are more aesthetically pleasing, shutters have a colonial outlook. Both help keep the debris out but are not entirely hurricane proof. So when I was faced with my first early season blizzard in Colorado (trees were still green) my first winter there, I had to rely on those around me. Lessons learned in Colorado and CA carried with me to hurricane country.

Have a couple check lists, keep them together in an easily accessible location such as with your vary important papers.

If you have elderly neighbors please check on them often. Did they think to get food and water?

ALWAYS have an ICE number (In Case of Emergency) programmed in each phone. Rescue workers look for ICE in your phone. This is better than “Mom” in your kids cell phones. Example: ICE Jill mom, ICE Jack husband etc. I also have an ICE with a local friend listed in the event they need a backup number.

Check list for house/property
  • What do you need to secure, how are you going to secure it?
  • Do you need to let a couple of outside faucets drip to protect your pipes from freezing? (I always forget)
  • Do you have enough wood, propane, etc for heat and cooking for a week? If not then you may want to check out a company similar to a Virginia propane delivery service like Quarles to be safe.
  • Living with a well/septic, I clean all of my bathtubs and fill them with clean water. I have plenty for the dogs and I will be able to flush toilets. No power = no water for me.
  • I clean the house, vacuum, and make sure all laundry is clean. There’s a good chance you will lose power. I prefer to be in a clean environment and I have clean clothes to pack if need be.
  • Have 1 gallon of freshwater per person, per day, and twice that for each large dog. Cat’s and small dogs don’t need as much. I plan for 5 days. Don’t forget about the little critters like hamsters, fish, etc.
  • Have enough non-perishable food for three meals a day per person. I plan for 5 days. Most canned foods are fully cooked and can be eaten without heating.
  • Have paper plates, utensils and a manual can opener on hand.
  • Use up the food in your refrigerator so it doesn’t spoil if you lose power. Also use up ‘soft foods’ such as frozen pizza etc. Soft foods defrost and spoil faster than a thick roast.

storm preparation

Storm Preparation Personal checklist

Use a large enough water proof Ziplock bag to store the below items. Label it evacuation VIP’s (very important papers) so you can grab and run if needed. Keep it updated every time a change is made with a creditor, doctor or medication etc.

  • Birth certificates
  • Marriage license
  • Social Security cards
  • Visas
  • Vehicle pink slips
  • Children’s schools and phone numbers
  • List of doctors, phone numbers, medications and pharmacy for everyone in the house. Don’t forget to update as needed. For example, if you recently have been taking cialis, you will need that to be noted down just in case.
  • Homeowners/Renters insurance policy along with a list of contents if you have made one and your agent’s number.
  • Animal proof of ownership, rabies certificate, their veterinarian’s name, phone number and medications.
  • An updated list of every single creditor, from the electric company to your visa card to your auto insurance, etc. List their name, account # and phone number.
  • Any other papers that you deem important to protect or contacts you need on hand.

Miscellaneous
  • Fill all cars and extra gas cans with gas beforehand.
  • Get cash to have on hand. If the power goes out, so do ATMs. Many stores have generators, but may not be able to process debit cards.
  • Charge all phones and PCs. If you need to evacuate, having your devices charged will be helpful if you can get somewhere with WiFi. Do you have a car charger?
  • Have extra batteries for radios, flashlights and lanterns, plus fragrance free candles on hand.
  • Have more than one evacuation route in place.
  • Inform someone outside of the storm area if you are staying or evacuating. Give them your evacuation route and which car you are driving. My family knows what we are doing and where we are going. It makes them feel better too.
  • I don’t keep my freezer fully stocked with meat during storm season. I do make several “blocks of ice” using plastic storage containers to keep in the freezer and refrigerator. I make different sizes to fit the space as needed. Once frozen, I put the lid on it to contain the mess if they melt. The larger the block, the longer it lasts.
Pets
  • If traveling with pets, have a list of pet friendly hotels along the way. I update this before each hurricane season as they can change. Some hotels will make exceptions if they know you are evacuating. Call ahead first, speak with the Manager.
  • Do you have a pet friendly shelter? Do they require animals be housed in kennels?
  • Have all tags on all animals. Mine say “I am chipped with MY name and my cell number” not my animals name.
  • Have plenty of food, water, treats, medications and their favorite toys. Their toys make them happy.
  • As stated above, have all their VIPs included in your evacuation packet.
  • Have a list of all animal shelters/numbers within a 40 mile radius of your home in case they get loose. Animals will be taken to any shelter with available space, not necessarily the closest one to your home.

Some of these may sound silly to you, but if you need it, you have it on hand. Best case scenario you won’t need it, worse case, you have done your storm preparation and that alone will alleviate some of the stress.

Check the local news stations websites for a list of what the authorities recommend for your area.

~Valerie

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Comments

  1. Lisa Hebert says

    Get a generator when they are less expensive during the off season. From being in hurricane areas, they come in very handy. And have a couple of window AC’s. That way at least if your power goes out, you can still stay at home. It will be primitive, but at least you could hook up a fridge, freezer, and the window AC’s to keep cool somewhat. We like to make sure we are stocked on charcoal too, so if we have lost power, as least we can cook outside on our grill.

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