It is officially June, and that means summer is in full swing! For us down here in Florida that means beaches, theme park trips, pool days….and the start of hurricane season. Least year’s season was a rough one. Hurricane Irma was a beast to say the least, and this year is predicted to be even more intense. So if you are down here in the south, it is probably time to go ahead and start your hurricane season prep so you are ready and prepared in case another big one comes through.
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Hurricane Season Prep Like A Native Floridian
I was born and raised here in beautiful Central Florida. Except for a 4 year period of time when I lived in Asheville, NC, I have always been here in Florida. So I have been through my fair share of hurricane seasons. Last year, we prepared for Hurricane Irma. She was a deadly behemoth that tore through the state, destroying homes and knocking out power. Since I am in the central portion of the state, our damage was not too bad. We were without power almost a week though, and with two small kids, it was miserable! Thankfully, we were prepared but the same cannot be said for everyone. So many people were trying to do their hurricane season prep very last minute, and the stores were running dry! So if you want to be prepared this year, follow these simple tips and don’t procrastinate!
Seriously, just don’t do it! Your best bet is to do your hurricane season prep nice and early! Not only will this keep you from going broke all at one time; It will also help ensure that you get everything you need. It can start to get expensive purchasing everything you need, especially if you try and buy everything in one foul swoop! Your best bet is to just buy a little extra every week. An extra case of water here, some canned good there… It won’t seem like much but it will start to add up! You can even start getting your gas cans filled early. While you wont want them to sit forever, they will be good for 3-5 months in a sealed can! So really, when it comes to preparing for hurricane season, start early and you won’t regret it!
What You Need To Get
As I mentioned, I am a native Floridian, so I feel pretty versed on what one needs to have in order to be fully hurricane prepared. Not everyone really knows though. Especially people who have moved here from out of state. So, if you are wondering what exactly you need for your hurricane season prep stockpile, I have made a list for you!
- Cases of Water: Personally, I like to have one case per member of the family. For me, that would be 4 cases of water. This is for drinking, bruising your teeth, cooking etc.
- Gatorade: yes, we have water, but sometimes it is nice to have something more right! I like to have a case or two of Gatorade on hand as well as my water.
- Canned Everything: Canned goods are super inexpensive at Aldi, so stock up! I recommend planning for 1-2 weeks worth of food. Canned soup is a favorite in my house, but also grab some veggies, tuna, chicken, and fruits. Even if they don’t all get eaten during a storm, it isn’t like they will go bad any time soon!
- Freezer Bags: So hear me out, grab extra freezer bags! This way, you can fill them with water, freeze it, and keep them in your refrigerator and freezer if/when the power is out. As long as you aren’t opening the doors, they will help keep everything in there colder longer.
- Batteries: This may be a DUH one, but stock up on batteries of all sizes. For flashlights, battery powered lanterns, and anything else that you will need that may take batteries. I promise, these sell out quick right before a big storm!
- A Generator: This is a big purchase, but I promise you won’t regret it. For Irma, we were out of power about 5 days but thanks to out generator, we were able to take hot showers, have lights, and keep our fridge and freezer cold enough to not lose any food!
- Wood: Depending on your area, you may need to board up your windows. Personally, I don’t but if I were further south or on a coat, I would be boarding up for sure! Also, grab some sandbags while you are at it just in case!
- Charcoal: Something that my family enjoys doing is grilling. We will use our charcoal grill when our power is out to cook outside. This keeps us from having to run our generator in order to cook.
- Flashlights: This is probably a given, but you will most likely need flashlights! They will come in handy at night when there is no power in your house.
- All The Alcohol: Alright, this one may be the most important to most native Floridians. Us natives like to party once we have the prep done, so if you plan on getting any beer, wine, or alcohol.. get it while you can because it will be flying off the shelves.
Now of course, these aren’t all of the things you will need, but if you have all of these, then your bases are covered!
How To Prepare
So you know what you need to buy, but what else do you need to do? Well, a lot of this depends on where you are in the state, but I will be talking about it from my perspective as someone who lives in the central area.
For one, please do not panic. I remember last year with Irma, people were panicked! People out of state were even in a tizzy over this giant storm. Seriously, my step-brothers, who have never lived in Florida in their lives, even told my parents how idiotic we were for not evacuating.
When it comes to evacuation though, sometimes it is better to hunker down. Now, people in the south or on the coast, they should probably evacuate! Those of us in the middle of the state though? If we were to evacuate, it would cause more traffic congestion and put more people into potential danger. You see, more congestion means the chance people will be stuck in their cars when the storm comes. It also means less places for evacuees to stay. So my opinion, only evacuate is you need to. Those on the coast, down south, or those in a mobile home. Even those in mobile homes are told to seek shelter with friends and family or go to a local storm shelter.
One that really helps with some of the last minute hurricane season prep is to store some non drinking water. Yea, you want your bottled water for drinking, but it is also a good idea to fill up a bathtub or large barrel to have non-drinking water. This is useful for washing dishes, bathing, and other things that you may need some water for!
Bring in Anything Heavy
If you know a big one is coming through, it is time to move some stuff out of your yard. Clean up sticks and limbs from the yard as well, because they can become flying projectiles! Large kid’s toys, trampolines, and any other potential projectile should all be brought inside or into a shed if possible! I know that some things can’t be brought in, like the giant play-set I have to leave outside. But if there is anything you can bring in, go ahead and do it!
Prepare to Be Out Of Power
Probably a given once again, but for hurricane season prep you need to prepare to be out of power for a week or more. Think about what you would need during a week without power…then make sure you have all of it and then some! Do all of your laundry, eat all of your ice cream, and unplug all of your electronics before the storm hits. Stock up early, and be prepared for the worst!
Hurricane Season Prep Early
My top piece of advice though, is to do your preparations early! I can’t reiterate it enough, you do not want to be stuck out there with no water, no gas, no canned goods….All because you decided to start the hurricane season prep last minute. Get what you need, stock up as you can, and I promise it will make the season much easier!
And once you have everything you need? It is time to start the hurricane party!