Hurricane season begins June 1st. Living the Florida life means being around hurricanes, Are you prepared? It doesn’t take much to be prepared and it does not have to be expensive to gather the supplies needed for your hurricane kit. Check out these budget friendly hurricane preparedness tips so you are not caught off guard.
Hurricane Preparedness Tips
My number one tip is to not panic. My favorite weatherman always says don’t freak out unless he tells us to. #Rule7 Sometimes a storm looks real bad a week away and then can go a totally different direction. I always love when they just break down or go back into the ocean.
Here are the basic supplies and how to get them as frugally as possible.
You need one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation. This does not need to be store bought bottled water. Water out of your tap is fine. Fill up empty bottles and jugs and freeze. I start collecting empty bottles (2-liter bottles, water bottles, etc.) starting in May and then if a storm is approaching I will fill them and put them in the freezer. Fill up buckets and cleaned trash cans for water to be used for flushing and basic cleaning. You can also plug and fill sinks and tubs for this same purpose.
You need at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food for each person in your family. Canned pasta, soup, granola bars, cereal are best. You are basically looking for food that does not necessarily need to be heated and does not need to be refrigerated once opened. It is best to stock up on what you like at the beginning of the hurricane season and then put into your cupboards in at the end of the season.
You also will need a manual can opener.
You should have a Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both. Make sure your devices such as laptops, tablets, phone, and external chargers are all charged up.
Flashlights and extra batteries. The Dollar Tree sells flashlight batteries. While not the best batteries, they do work and will work for as long as they are needed for the hurricane. Plus, you can buy several packs. I also stock up on matches (have them stored in a waterproof container) and candles.
First Aid Kit
Other Important Items
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Local maps, your local Triple AAA will have them for free for AAA members
- Books, games, puzzles and other activities for children
- List of all medications for everyone in the family
Things to Have All Year Round
- Weather proof security box with important documents such as birth certificates, insurance policies, etc.
- Renters and homeowners insurance, including flood damage. During the hurricane season have those policy numbers and contact information handy.
Most of these items can be kept in a storage tote in the garage or if you are in an apartment like me, in a closet. Once a hurricane is forecasted many places offer access to free sand bags so you can help protect your home from flooding.
Other Great Hurricane Preparedness Tips
- Toss out any expiring food, clean cat litter boxes, empty all trash cans in the house, including bathrooms. Remove anything that will cause an odor when the A/C is off.
- Bring in any yard decor, secure anything that will fly around, secure gates, bring in hoses, potted plants, etc. Bring in patio furniture and grills.
- Before the storm, unplug all electronics. There will be power surges during and after the storm.
- If you can, take a video of your house and contents….walk room to room–open cabinets/drawers and closets. This will help if you need to make a claim later.
- Freeze a cup of water, place a coin on top after it is frozen. Keep this in your freezer to help you gauge the temperature if the power goes out. If the coin stays on top, the food has stayed frozen. If the coin falls into the water, the freezer thawed out and most food will likely need to be thrown away.
How do you prepare for hurricane season? I am not a Florida native so I make sure to stay prepared. I know many who make sure they have hurricane party supplies on hand, LOL.
I hope this year is a safe one for Florida.
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Mary Beth Elderton
Tuesday 6th of December 2016
I am from Texas and Louisiana, so I have an idea about preparing for hurricaners---and slow moving tropical storms. First--if there is an evacuation order in place...evacuate! My son and DIL left Galveston ahead of Hurricane Ike. Their home was behind and additional sea wall and still took on a couple of feet of water. For more "normal" hurricanes, don't forget to have a way to cook...a grill, maybe or camp stove.