Preparing for a Natural Disaster Can Save Lives
by Luke Cain
“There’s no harm in hoping for the best as long as you’re prepared for the worst.” Different Seasons, Stephen King
It goes without saying for most of you, but preparation is key. Here is some great information for anyone needing to prepare for natural disasters such as hurricanes:
1. For a big storm like Irma, you need enough water to drink for 7 days. The water does NOT have to be bottled. You can simply buy water containers and fill them with tap water. Amazon has cheap prices on a case of water.
2. Get a plastic sheet to line the tub. Then you can fill your tub with water without it leaking out. You’ll use this to flush the toilet and for basic cleaning if the water goes out.
3. Have enough food on hand to eat for 7 days – food bars and other packaged food is good.
4. Buy a large number of Ziploc-like plastic bags – large and small. You’ll use them to protect papers and other valuables AND you’ll fill them 3/4 full of water and stuff the freezer full. Do that by midweek to be sure they are frozen when/if the power goes out over the weekend. It will keep the refrigerator colder. Do NOT set your fridge on the lowest setting.
5. Get a portable radio that receives AM and FM. NOAA radio is good, but doesn’t get you information on evacuations and other instructions. Get batteries.
6. Get LED flashlights and/or lanterns. They run forever on fewer batteries. But you still need plenty of extra batteries.
7. Get large plastic bags. They are invaluable for keeping valuable things dry if you have a leak.
8. Get large plastic boxes. If you put your valuables, photos, and papers in plastic bags inside the boxes, they will likely be okay.
9. Get plastic sheeting and plenty of duct tape.
10. Do your laundry this week!
11. Start running your ice makers now and bagging the ice in freezer bags. Fill as much space in between your freezer items as you can.
12. Freeze regular tap water for pets, cleaning or drinking in tupperware-type containers. Remember to leave a small bit of space between the top of the water & the lids so the ice expands but doesn’t crack the container.
13. Start using up your perishables to make more room for ice in the freezer.
14. Fill up all vehicles, check tires and oil.
15. Cash from ATM, at least enough to get you through tolls and gas out of town. Call your bank if you plan on leaving the state so they don’t freeze your card for out-of-area “suspicious” transactions.
16. All important docs screenshot and send to your email. Take originals in sealed bags or plastic bins.
17. Pet, livestock food and supplies. Vet records in case you need to shelter then at a storm-safe facility.
18. Evacuation plans and share with family members so they know where you’re headed.
19. Consider putting heirlooms and photos in plastic bins in a high place, second floor, or safe room if you don’t plan on taking them with you.
20. Secure all firearms and ammunition properly.
21. Old rags and beach towels on your windowsills. Even with the best windows & shutters, water seeping from the wind pressure happens. A few damp towels is better than soaked drywall or floors!
22. Shut windows and doors and bring everything outside into your garage or house now. Do not wait until the day before. Better to get done early and relax than wait until its too late, Especially if you are mandatory personnel. (such as a hospital employee or first responder).
23. If you don’t already have your hurricane supplies, you might want to get them now. Shelves are already empty in most places.
This article originally appeared in The Havok Journal 5 September 2018.