Saturday, August 25, 2012

Hurricane Strategy

With all the information thrown at you when a hurricane is approaching it's important to develop a strategy for what you plan to do based on the expected intensity of any storm headed your way. DH and I follow the forecasts closely leaving plenty of room for error. For even the most pitiful and weak of hurricanes we clean up the yard and DH closes up the shutters that involve climbing on a ladder. If conditions intensify and things get windy, you want that job done and over with. We have accordion shutters (worth every penny) so we can close up the rest of the windows quickly at the last minute. We move all of the potted plants, lawn furniture, and other yard items up under our patio overhang by our back door so we can either leave them where they are, protected from the wind on 3 sides, or move them indoors quickly if the storm will be a doosey.

Indoors, I get my laundry caught up so I don't have to worry about how or where to wash clothes if we are out of power for a while. That's a big job since my laundry pile hovers just under ceiling height most of the time!

During storm season I try to keep my gas tank full so I refuel when I hit the half way mark. I'd just done that before this storm popped up so I was good to go on that one.

I recently updated and rotated my 10 meal box so that was good to go too, but I still did some last minute shopping. Mostly for things we use on a regular basis more than emergency supplies, but it never hurts to round out your stock. One thing I got caught short on is D batteries, but we don't have many things that use them. Most of our flashlights are LEDs and use AAA batteries; there were plenty of those in the stores. I picked up a box of outdoor garbage bags for debris pick up post storm. We keep those on hand but our stock was running low. I bought some produce and a few other non-perishables and avoided anything frozen or cold. We ate meals using our freezer inventory to get that down. I'll refill the space with water bottles which will make big blocks of ice and help keep everything cold a little longer, plus we can use the water for drinking when it melts. (For us or the dogs!) I picked up more bottled water since we haven't been using it as much lately; the kids are using reusables and I drink seltzer water. It's good to keep some water bottles on hand, though. (And one more thought for my rant from my last post- I like to have cold water bottles in our garage refrigerator for any workers that we hire, like yard guys or tree trimmers or repair people of any kind. It would be kind of weird to offer them water in a regular cup. They would have to drink it right away so the water wouldn't spill or get bugs in it and not when they chose to take a break.)

I haven't decided yet about filling my reusable water containers. If we get a boil water order I'll kick myself if I don't fill them, but if there isn't any problem that water goes down the drain. We've been getting so much rain lately I don't have any need for extra water in the garden.

This is our first storm with dogs. I went to the pet supply store and stocked up on kibble and canned food first thing. We usually feed them a little bit of kibble with some freshly cooked meat on top (spoiled puppies) but if we lose power we will have to resort to canned food. I also bought piddle pads in case the storm parks over us and rains for a long time. I don't know how we'll get them to use a piddle pad, but we'll see how it goes. (We'll take them out in the garage, for sure, then see what happens.) Hopefully that won't be a problem!!! I also got them new bones for the worst of the bad weather. Greyhounds can develop anxiety problems at any age so I want to give them something to distract them if there's a lot of noise from thunder and wind. (Thank you Never Say Never Greyhounds for that idea!)

Oh, there are so many things to consider before a storm strikes, even a category 1! This is just a sampling of our plan. I hope you develop your own plan for whatever emergency you may face in your area. It could be a life saver!

No comments: