What are you doing to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season? Anything? Nothing? Why or why not?
Hurricanes and how I prepare for them
Well asking me if I am prepared for hurricane season is in a sense a silly question to ask me, Seems I am a Florida native born in Key west and have lived in Central Florida for 30 Years. The threat comes every year and every year I watch the same thing, people spending thousands of dollars on wood, shutters, storm doors, roll down window doors, shatter resistant windows and so on. I myself have rode out a lot of nasty weather here including the Charlie, Frances and Gene triple whack of hurricanes that hit Florida in 2004. Do you really want to know what I do as far as preparing for the season? I do not do as much as I should let's just put it that way. Now don't get me wrong I may not go all out and get my tracking chart and follow every little storm that pops into the picture however I do some of the basics just so that I may be able to survive without power, water or food in the event of a major hurricane. and/or a power outage that can last days or even weeks.
My strategies for preparation:
1. I do not go during the mad rush to the grocery store when a hurricane is a day or even just hours away, Instead I go on my normal weekly grocery shopping trip and I buy a few extra cans of canned goods ( chef boyardee, ready made canned tuna, vegetables, soup, etc.).
2. For every gallon or half gallon jug I use from milk, juice, etc instead of just throwing them out I wash them well and place them away for storage in the event that I need to fill them for water. Doing this is cost effective and it makes it easier in the event that you do actually have to buy water as a last resort to having enough you will not have to buy as many making it easier to get in and out of the store if need be. Try to keep in mind 1-2 gallons per person per day as well as at least 1/2 a gallon per pet per day.
3. I also like to keep 3 gallons of bleach in the house at all times. This is used to help sanitize water in the event that drinking water becomes contaminated. I do not know the exact measurements I usually research this when I think I may be needing it before the storm hits.
4. I keep all important papers in a water proof safe, if you do not keep these in a safe at least keep them somewhere dry where you can access them quickly.
5. For me working in the construction field it is fairly easy for me to come across scrap wood. It is not a bad idea to have some stored in a garage or shed in the event a hurricane is approaching. I look at it this way for a minor storm it is good to block all major windows and sliders to prevent shattering in on you if you are going to take shelter in your home. But on the other hand if you have a category 5 creeping up and landfalls with in 25 miles of you that wood is not going to help your house in fact your house will be lucky to be standing after that. But if you have the wood on hand go ahead and hang it before you evacuate.
6. Last but not least I make sure to have a first aid kit on hand and any necessary medications. If a storm is approaching I always make sure to refill any prescriptions that are running low.
These are the basic steps I take to at least be prepared with the basics. I did learn the hard way in 2004 because I always chocked it up as it is not going to hit here. That was not any fun when I had to go the Red Cross for food, water and ice. In any event I watch the weather reports and if there is a hurricane in the ocean it bears paying close attention to if it starts to get close.