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Preparing for Hurricanes

Shelf Reliance Mom: Preparing for Hurricanes

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Preparing for Hurricanes

Luckily, I've never had to prepare for a hurricane because I live in the dry, humidless, rainless, cropless desert...did I mention there's very little moisture around here.  I was talking to someone from Florida who told me that  their area is in hurricane season nearly 6 months of the year! That has got to be so tough knowing that you might have to leave at a moment's notice half of the year.  If I lived in the hurricane alley, these would be my must-haves and why.  But first, here are some of the main pointers I've learned about preparing for a hurricane:

Before a hurricane:
If you've never had to leave in a hurry, you should take the calm before the storm to gather things you need for an emergency kit.  The following are things FEMA lists as most important to do before the storm.
~Board up window or use permanent storm shutters.  Lock doors.
~Install clips or straps to the secure the roof and prevent or lesson roof damage.
~Have well trimmed shrubbery and trees.
~Clear out your rain gutters and downspouts to help with the flood control.

Preparing for Evacuation:
~Make sure you have a full tank of gas since many gas stations close down in the event of an emergency.
~Unplug all utilities except your fridge and freezer.  (You will want to unplug these as well if you are at risk of flood)
~Have a battery operated (or hand crank/solar radio) so you can hear local instructions and news of what to do.
~Turn off your propane tanks
~Let others know where you will be going so they will not worry.
~Take suggested routes rather than short-cuts in case there are unknown blockages.
~Be on the look out for washed out roads, bridges, flooded areas, downed power lines.
~Fill large containers with water so you will have a clean water source for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and other sanitary purposes.  (Trust me, you always need more than you think.  Our family never realized how many times we wanted to flush the toilets or wash hands until we had 0 water access for 5 days)
~Moor your boat.

During a Hurricane:
~Avoid using the phone unless its a serious emergency
~Listen to your battery operated/hand crank radio
~Evacuate if you live in a mobile home or other temporary housing as they cannot be well-secured.
~Stay indoors, away from windows, glass doors, and as close to ground level as possible.
~Take refuge in a closet or small room of some sort.
~Keep curtains and blinds closed. Do not be fooled if there is a lull; it could be the eye of the storm - winds will pick up again

I know that I say this alot (but I feel like it is extremely important), my #1 priority would be a 72 hour kit.
There are different levels, but if you are just getting started and don't have a lot of money to spare, this one is so cheap that I guarantee you won't be able to build one that is this complete for this cheap, with as sturdy of  a backpack on your own.
This pack guarantees that you will have medication, shelter, light, warmth, survival food and water in case, perhaps, you were to get trapped in a bad situation.

The next thing you want to consider is water safety.  Even when most things are back to normal in the event of a hurricane, you usually have to question the water safety.  I own this Katadyn pocket filter personally and know that its works excellently.  The reason why I chose this above all of the others out there is because it is good for 14,000 gallons.  This is important to me because I don't ever want to have to question whether the quality of the water is ok or if I need a filter in the event of an emergency.  For many water products, the replacement filter price is so close to the original mechanism that over time you will spend a lot more on others that are only good for 400 gallons or whatever the case may be.

There are lots of water options so you can gaze at bunch.  Let me know if you have questions on the differences between them and what might be best for your specific needs.  I would also recommend a water barrel that you can store clean water in that you store before a storm happens.  This is what I have for my home (I have one in case of a drought).

Our company is currently out-of-stock of these as well as the official website, but I would suggest getting your hands on a WaterBob if at all possible.  It is well suited for people in a hurricane area as it stores 100 gallons of clean water in a safe place without a lot of hassle.

A battery operated/hand crank/solar radio provides you with the security of not having to find an electric outlet, or worry if you have current batteries.  This one even has a siren in case you were trapped and needed help, LED lights if the hurricane were to happen in the dark, as well as a USB phone charger.

Last but not least, food.  Many people know that the roads are often damaged and cooking can be near impossible when grocery stores are out of stock of fresh fruits and vegetables, much less canned goods.  Make sure that you can have peace of mind by having food in stock for your family (and if you are generous, friends and neighbors).
Our company has heard plenty of stories from people who were hit by the most recent tornadoes who were able to feed themselves as well as others due to the Just-add-water food they had on hand.  To learn more about freeze-dried food, food storage, or other emergency options please visit for the best prices available.

If you liked this post, you might also like how to build water storagewould you be ready in 10 minutes, and what's your plan?  Time is running out to enter the drawing for the free Harvest 72".  To enter, "like me" on facebook by clicking here, follow me on my blog, or for full details, visit, click here.

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