On the eve of 2019’s first nasty hurricane, Dorian, I decided it was time to get serious about hurricane preparation.
My husband and I had just moved to Savannah, and I was pretty unfamiliar with being directly in an evacuation zone. We grew up in the piedmont region of North Carolina, so storms typically died out before making it inland to where we lived.
This is a broad spectrum post that will hopefully help anyone in a nasty hurricane’s path.
Facing an upcoming storm can be extremely stressful, and we all know that stress can cause you to forget things. Hopefully reading through this will better prepare you for the upcoming monstrosity. In this article I will cover information that is relevant for people leaving their homes, and for those that are staying.
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Hurricane preparation for your home
Inside of your home
- Empty your fridge / freezer and take what you can with you, if you’re evacuating. Don’t forget to dump out and turn off your ice tray to lessen the amount of water that may melt and damage your floors.
- Unplug all of your electronics. (TVs / Air purifiers / Game systems)
Outside of your home
- Board your windows. A few nails in your siding does MUCH less damage than things that could potentially be thrown through your windows by the wind.
- Anchor down play sets / trampolines. My in-laws had to deal with their trampoline flying into their pond less than 6 months after they got it.
- Move grills / machinery into a covered area like a barn or garage.
- Place sandbags in doorways. Hopefully, this will keep water from entering your home.
Hurricane preparation for your family
Packing up your home and family is a hair-pulling process to do things like go on vacation, so imagine how you will feel packing up to leave with a storm on the way. It is extremely important to take major documents like marriage licenses, birth certificates, social security cards, and copies of your insurance policies if you cannot access them online. If you don’t have a lock-box, then this is the perfect time to invest in one. Don’t forget to restock on your medication before you leave town, or obtain a prescription to take with you to a pharmacy where you are going.
Please, PLEASE TAKE YOUR ANIMALS! Don’t forget to make sure that all of your animals are wearing their tags with your updated information on them. If your vet has any availability, then consider taking your animal in to be chipped. If something were to happen and you were to become separated from your animal, microchips are more reliable than a collar/harness. If you don’t have time to microchip your animal, then write your name and number on their bellies with a sharpie.
Hurricane preparation and your emotions
Understand that you are leaving your home and your belongings in the path of a storm. You do not know the conditions you will return to. Prepare yourself for the worst, and things will be easier to handle. You are leaving your home for the safety of your family, and that is worth much more than any material item.
If you are a believer, then don’t forget to pray. In emotional times we become reckless and turn from God when we actually should be drawing near to him!
For those anchoring down
Of course, the things I mentioned on prepping your house are relevant for you if you are staying, but there is also a whole other ballgame to get ready for.
Consider purchasing a generator if you haven’t done so already. Make sure that your generator is operating beforehand, and that you have gas for it. Fill a bathtub up with water / purchase water. It is a good idea to have a bucket or two on hand for flushing toilets. Purchase non-perishable food items and don’t forget to purchase extra food for your animals. Buy candles / flashlights / batteries / lighters / matches. Stock up your first aid kit. Purchase portable battery packs to charge your phones. Consider purchasing a battery operated radio. For small items that you want to keep dry, use ziplock bags or trash bags.
Dedicate an indoor room in your house as a safe room in the event that things become extremely bad. Safe rooms are typically laundry rooms, bathrooms, or closets that do not have windows.
Hurricane preparation is stressful and emotional, but it is necessary.
Keep yourself and your family protected at all costs. Your home can be replaced, but you can’t!