Are You Prepared for a Hurricane?

This year there have been several hurricane threats but fortunately they have not gone beyond tropical storm status. However that could change so it’s important to have supplies, a plan and a backup plan. If you are in an evacuation zone then you need to take that seriously; make sure that your vehicle has plenty of fuel and fill up extra gas cans. There will be lines and shortages so bear that in mind. Also stock up on non-perishable food and bottled water, pack some clothes, get a car charger and/or plug point for your cigarette lighter. You need to be able to get in touch with friends, relatives and emergency workers. Be careful on the roads because there might be trees down as well as power lines and that does pose a problem for ambulance crews. Similarly if you stay at home instead of evacuating it’s at your own risk as emergency crews are unlikely to be able to get to you.

We lost power for 16 days but luckily we still had gas to cook with and we had running water. If your home is all electric then buy a camping stove or make your meals on a barbecue grill. When I heard that Ike was about to hit I made a big lasagna and we reheated portions in a pot on the stove and toasted garlic bread in a skillet. Other than that our food was grilled. It is a good idea to fill up a small pool with water just in case your water gets cut off. Another useful tip is to fill empty bottles with water and keep them in the freezer, this way your food will stay cold longer.

Generators make life a lot easier, some can be converted to work on propane and natural gas as well as gasoline. We could only run a few things at a time and we had extension cords everywhere. There was a lamp in the kitchen, one in the bedroom and a third in the bathroom. The refrigerator and freezer were also plugged in. Central ac was out of the question so we had to use a window unit and keep the doors closed. Our old television with the “bunny ears” came in handy in terms of being able to watch the news and get some entertainment. Board games, books and cards come in handy so be sure to keep some in the house. If you have trees close to your home it’s a good idea to have a chainsaw or at least a handsaw around just in case you have to cut your way out of your driveway like we did.

The supermarkets are going to have long lines and empty shelves so it’s important to have provisions that will last for a few weeks.

Martina McCullough

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