Houston, when we have a problem, are you prepared?
IT IS HURRICANE SEASON
Do not wait until there is a disturbance in the Gulf to begin preparing. Start now by stocking up on the essentials a little at the time.
(Experience has taught us, that waiting until the last minute means there will be NOTHING left on the shelf at the grocery store or the big box stores and the lines at the gas station will be very long!!)
There are so many websites that help us prepare our homes and families. I would recommend visiting a few
of them to make sure you have the right things on hand.
Here is a check list of a few things to help get the process started, if you haven’t already.
I welcome your suggestions, as well.
Water. Begin to collect at least a 7 day supply of water. One gallon of water per person per day is
recommended. Remember, your pets need water, too.
Freeze water in a plastic milk carton or 2-liter bottles. If power is lost, having these large containers of ice will keep your food cold a little longer. When the water melts, it can be used to flush toilets, take a sponge bath, or refreeze when the power comes back on. When initially freezing these containers, fill leaving a couple of inches from the top for expansion during the freezing process, leave the cap off. Replace the cap after the water has frozen.
Food. Collect at least 7 days of non-perishable foods, enough for your entire family. Be sure to have a couple
of manual can openers. Yes, it is a good idea to have at least 2 can openers. Along with those non-perishable
foods, have plenty of crunchy junk food and chocolate! There is just something about having crunchy foods
when dealing with stressful situations. Camping equipment comes in handy at this time of no electricity. If
you do not have a gas stove, a camp stove with gas for cooking. I have an old fashioned drip coffee pot. All I
need to do is boil water and allow it to drip…coffee! Matches and / or lighters are a necessity at this time, too.
Stock up on baby formula, food and other baby needs. Have extra pacifiers, too!
Pets will need plenty of food and water, as well. If your pet is like mine, she gets very nervous during noisy
weather, so keep them close by and give them as much comfort as possible. During the last storm, my dog
lived in her Thunder Shirt ®.
Grab and go bags. Prepare a couple of bags that are ready to go at a minutes notice. Here is what each bag
>Identification for each member of your family, as well as immunization for children and pets.
>Insurance info for car, home, medical and any other insurance info you have.
>CD or photocopies of important documents such as birth certificates / marriage certificates, titles, and
any other important documents you have.
>Household inventory, credit cards and latest utility bill
>Cash (small bills, $1’s, $5’s, $10’s. Rolls of quarters are also helpful.
>List of all medications everyone in your home is presently taking. Eyeglasses, contact lens solution, and
hearing aid batteries.
>Flashlight w/ batteries (I recommend LED lanterns instead of flashlights for better lighting)
>First Aid kit
>External hard drive
>The good jewelry
>Clothes and personal needs
>Battery operated radio
>Toys, books and other fun things for your children (and you)
Batteries. You knew this was coming! Check out your flashlights and the size batteries and amount of
batteries that each needs. A great alternative would be a LED camping lantern.
This is so much safer than candles and gives off more light in all directions.
Last minute things to do before you leave your home:
>Be sure to have a full tank of gas
>We rely so much on GPS, with anything technical, it isn’t always reliable and unknown if that service
will be available during a storm, it may be a good idea to have a map of the area. During Hurricane
Rita, we evacuated to go 60 miles north (took 12 hours, I digress). We had to take back roads to get to
our destination, having a map helped. Be sure to tell family members where you are going
>Empty your refrigerator and freezer or you will come home to some stinky stuff!!
>Board up doors and brace garage door
>Take in any outdoor furniture or anything that can cause damage in high wind
>Turn off propane tanks
I hope these tips help you to begin gathering the information and items you need, as well as formulate an
emergency plan in case of an emergency. Let’s pray we don’t need it! Famous words from my grandfather (in
my family), “It is better to have it and not need it, than to need it not have it.”
What is on your emergency check list?