There are a lot of tips online for how to get ready for a tropical storm or hurricane. After going through a few of them myself, I’ve realized there are a few tips that are worth passing along to you. I’m not going to cover the big stuff like boarding windows, getting medicine, and your hurricane survival kit. These are the “smaller” tips I learned from my hurricane riding experiences.
For us, the biggest thing we dealt with was power outage. We were fortunate. If you have real damage, these tips don’t help a lot. Everything changes. But here’s some of the small tips I want to share with you:
- Get your fridge/freezer ready: set the fridge to as cold as it’ll go. One tip is to freeze bottles of water and put them in both the freezer and fridge when the power is out. Portion out food so all you need to take out is a portion. This really helps with frozen food. Have things you can grill outside (big veggies like squash, meat like burgers/hot dogs) and have a pot and pan around to warm up other stuff on the grill.
- Get your grill ready: have a fresh-filled tank of propane ready or whatever fuel source you need so you can cook without electricity.
- Get your yard ready: I like to have the grass cut so if I have to do cleanup after the storm, it’s easier to move around the yard. Clear dead limbs. Bring in patio furniture. Strap down anything that could fly away (including possibly a screen door (see photo above)). If it’s sturdy (like a grill), put it up against the house. You’re trying to eliminate anything flying away and damaging your house or someone else’s. Make sure you have some good work boots and work gloves for cleaning up the yard later.
- Get your car ready: Fill it with gas. After the storms we needed/wanted to move around a bit. It was the only place we had A/C and a decent AM radio for updates! I like to back them into the driveway if I can’t get them in the garage. That way it’s easier to drive out.
- Get your batteries ready: Recharge all of your rechargeable batteries before the storm. I mean, why not? But it’s easy to forget. Get your mobile phone and anything else up to full power (even though the cell towers didn’t work after the hurricane). And be a good neighbor if you find a place open with power – take an extension cord with extra plugs. Starbucks had power after one storm and everyone was there to recharge laptops, phones, etc. I took a cord so that a few extra people could charge stuff too.
- Get your lights ready: At night we needed candles – preferably ones that are unscented. Have flashlights ready – at least one per person. I also like the large spotlight flashlights that put out a lot of light. Worth it for moving around at night or in the dark.
One thing we found to be a bit of a blessing in disguise with no power was we got to know our neighbors better. Everyone was outside grilling, staying cool, helping each other out, sharing water, food, conversations, tools. If you find yourself in this situation, take advantage to serve your neighborhood!