Unique Hurricane Prepare Tips

neighbor backyardThere 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!

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  • Good tips, especially charging the batteries and backing the car in.

    The yard work one makes me feel guilty… Nobody can blame you if you dont mow for a couple weeks in the aftermath of a hurricane, right? Then you come along and spoil it for me 🙁

    Personally I prefer to eat everything in my fridge ahead of time so we arent worried about stuff spoiling if the power goes off. Eating all that stuff by myself isnt easy, but my family’s safety is worth the effort.

  • rob

    @Matt – LOL! I’ve been trying to ‘take on for the family’ also by eating anything that might spoil. 🙂

    About the yard stuff, after a storm, yeah, no biggie. But that’s why, if I can, I like to cut it before so it’s one less thing to deal with later.

  • Scott Williams

    A big tip is fill your washer (clothes) with cold water before the storm. Stop it just before the agitator starts and you will have several gallons of water just in case. Tubs are a good choice too, but you have to clean them really well first and because they are exposed you can get bugs/dirt/dust/etc in the water. Washing machines are small, out of the way and have a cover to keep out the cruddies.

    Of course do some laundry ahead of time just in case the power outage lasts longer than you think. Without A/C we all know how hunid it can get so, depending on your sweat factor, you may be changing your clothes often.

    Also coolers filled with ice bags are a good idea.

    Stock up on paper products: plates, napkins, towels, plastic utensils, baby wipes. Anything to avoid having to use water for anything other than drinking or cooking.

    You can make small hand fans out of sticks and paper plates.

    Make sure your cell phones are charged up and have minutes.

    If you still have a generator and the power is out long enough to use it, make sure the oil is changed and you have plenty of gas. Also if you have a cable made to plug it into your clothes dryer outlet, MAKE SURE TO TURN OFF THE MAIN BREAKER TO THE HOUSE! It’s the big one outside on the wall. If you don’t and the power comes back on while you are running the generator you will send a feedback surge to the power company and could blow the neighborhoods transformer. Do that and your neighbors may make torches just for your house. 🙂

    That’s all I can think of right now.

  • rob

    @Scott – never thought about the washing machine. don’t know if i’d want to drink from it though. I did once hear of an interesting use for a wash machine: use it as a cooler. Fill it with ice, bottles, and cans of drinks. Then let the ice melt and drain it away!

  • Rob, this is a great list!