Author of Be Ready for Anything and Bloom Where You’re Planted online course
What if something happens and you CAN’T evacuate before a hurricane? What if it’s too late to evacuate before the storm makes landfall?
While it’s easy to say, “Oh, they should have left earlier” and run through the gamut of blame, the fact remains that there are all sorts of reasons that leaving didn’t work out.
Gas stations run dry, which means that people can’t drive their cars to leave. Roads are at a standstill as people all try to leave at once in a mass exodus. Train tickets are sold out. Plane tickets are outrageously expensive, in some cases more than three thousand dollars apiece. Maybe someone in the family is disabled and unable to relocate. Maybe they don’t have the money or maybe their work refused to give them time off. (This happens more than you’d think.)
There are a million reasons that someone could be stuck facing a hurricane whether they intended to or not.
The point is, for many, there comes a point when it’s too late. There is no further option for escape from what will most likely be a category 3, 4, or 5 hurricane.
Here’s an explanation of the categories.
I can’t urge you more strongly: evacuate if you can at all when officials say that your home is in peril. (Here’s an evacuation checklist.) When a life-threatening hurricane is headed your way, leaving is the wisest course of action.
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What should you do if you can’t evacuate?
A hurricane headed your way can be a life-threatening emergency. Not to scare the daylights out of you, but this is what it looked like on a webcam in St. Maarten during Irma. You’re going to want to do what you can to be ready.
If you have waited until a day or two before landfall, it’s too late to order online. There is practically no chance that the items will reach you. You aren’t going to be able to buy standard hurricane supplies at the store at this point, either, so you’ll have to make due with what you have or can still acquire. I wrote this article about substitutes you can find when the store is out of standard emergency supplies.
Let me be absolutely clear, lest someone accuse me of recommending that people remain in their homes: remaining at home is not a wise course of action. If you haven’t been able to evacuate, call your local police department or other emergency service and ask if they can help you get to a safe shelter before the storm hits. Do not wait until the storm hits to ask for help. Be proactive and do so now.
If you have absolutely no other option, below, you can find the best advice I can offer.
What if water is sold out?
Water will be sold out across the region. But, your taps are running just fine, right?
Fill every container you can get your hands on with tap water so that you have something to drink. It’s likely that you can still buy containers that will hold water. Get Mason jars, pitchers, canisters…whatever you can find to hold water. Then fill ALL of them, immediately. Use empty soda bottles or water jugs, too.
Fill one-gallon Ziploc bags with water and freeze them, allowing room for expansion. Not only will this provide drinking water, but the ice will help keep your food safe for longer.
When the storm is about to hit, fill sinks and bathtubs with water. This can be used for sanitation.
What should I do about prescription medications during a hurricane?
Fill prescriptions for any essential medications immediately. Plan for at least 2 weeks of medication to be on hand in the event that pharmacies are closed after the storm.
If you run out of your prescription and it is necessary for life, you can go to the local hospital after the storm has passed. Bring in your current bottles so that they can see the date the meds were last filled, the doctor’s name, and that you still have refills. Prepare for a very long wait, because they will be seeing others who were injured during the storm.
What food should I buy if I can’t evacuate?
If there’s anything available, buy food that doesn’t require any cooking. At this point, you can’t afford to be picky. Get enough for at least a week, preferably two.
There’s a good list here of substitute supplies and there’s a list here of no-cook food.
Keep some cash on hand, preferably in small bills. If there is a regional power outage, you won’t be able to use a debit card or credit card during the aftermath. I suggest keeping several hundred dollars if you can.
Go out and take all the cash possible from the ATM machine, then make some small purchases (lighters, snacks, water bottles) to break the bills.
There are always shelters set up for those who could not evacuate. Check city government websites or call your local police department to find out where the shelter nearest you can be found.
Particularly if you are in a manufactured or mobile home, there is practically zero chance it will be able to withstand winds of 180 mph or greater. You must relocate to a sturdier location.
If you are staying in your home…
- Secure anything outside that could become a projectile. (Barbecues, bicycles, outdoor furniture.) If you can’t secure the items, bring them inside.
- Clear your rain gutters and downspouts. This will help reduce the risk of flooding in some cases.
- Trim trees. If you have branches hanging over your home, remove them if you can. If you can’t, do not use the room beneath the branches for shelter during the storm.
- Turn off propane and outdoor utilities. If recommended by officials, turn off the utilities to the house. If the power goes out, turn off your breakers to avoid potential surges.
- Unplug appliances except for the refrigerator and freezer. Set those at the coldest setting to keep your food safe for as long as possible in the event of a power outage.
- Board up your windows to reduce the risk of injury from flying glass. Keep curtains closed for added protection. Do NOT tape them – see the video below. If plywood is not available, use regular boards. Chipboard will not hold up to the combination of hurricane force winds and rain.
- Secure exterior doors. While it may not be sufficient, you can use a bar or place a large piece of furniture in front of them. This is not for home security. It is to keep the powerful winds from blowing them in.
- Close all interior doors.
- Find the innermost, sturdy part of your home in which to take shelter during the worst part of the storm. Stay away from windows and skylights. A downstairs closet, hallway, or bathroom may be the best option. If you have a basement, this could provide the most safety. Shelter under a sturdy piece of furniture. You’ll feel like a dork, but if you have a helmet for bicycling or riding a motorcycle, wear it.
- In a high-rise, floors 3-10 are considered to be the safest. Above and below those floors, people should evacuate or take shelter between those floors.
- Watch for storm surges. If you’re near the coast, 10-20 foot storm surges are expected. Not only can these cause tremendous structural damage, but if you are caught in one, you could drown or suffer serious injuries by being slammed around by the water.
- Don’t be fooled by the eye of the storm. There is a lull during the eye of the storm that can deceive people into believing that the worst is over. Unfortunately, high winds are likely to pick back up again shortly, so don’t be caught off guard. This lull can last anywhere from 5 minutes to 45 minutes.
For a much more detailed plan, grab my book, The Prepper’s Hurricane Survival Guide. It’s a PDF so it will be available instantly for download and printing.
The book will tell you what to do before, during, and after a hurricane with checklists and plans for a wide variety of situations.
TThe following video has some useful tips.
And here are more expert tips from Hurricane Joaquin, a Category 4 hurricane that hit the East Coast in 2015:
The aftermath is dangerous, too.
Once you’ve survived the hurricane, you must take care to survive the aftermath. As we saw during Hurricane Harvey, a disaster of this level is the gift that keeps on giving. You must watch for:
- Health risks related to flooding
- Downed power lines
- Industrial dangers, like explosions, nuclear emergencies, and chemical spills
Just to name a few.
Any tips from those who have weathered a hurricane at home?
Please share your advice in the comments section below. Your suggestions could save someone’s life. Due to the extreme nature of this situation, I urge you to be civil. In other words, if you’re a jerk, I’m deleting your comments.
Very best wishes to those in the path of danger. Please keep us posted when you can.
Dome homes/buildings are inherently storm resistant. This link is just for information.
I have helped build a dome out of portland cement, paper, and reground expanded polystyrene.
Dome homes are great, when we had the 2015 fires up here in the PWN / INW one went thru the fire storm and did very well.
Issue with storm surge, I have seen a doom underwater. Not good. Still, I would love to build one in the right location. Ranger Rick
Went thru Hugo in ’89. We were without power for 2 weeks and we lived 65 miles inland. Our propane camp stove was a God send. We had neighborhood cook outs and bar b q’s to save meat that would have otherwise gone bad. During the clean up, as usual there were people who did not take the time to be careful with small chain saws. You can really get some nasty cuts from them. Our neighborhood we all got together to clear trees.
You’re right. The aftermath can be just as bad if not worse than the storm. And it lasts a lot longer.
in South Carolina Upstate
By the way. Jet Blue and American should be praised for holding their ticket prices to $99. Whichever airlines jacked their prices up, the CEO’s should be dragged out of their office and horse whipped. The airline that jacked tickets to $3000, the CEO should be hung on the nearest light pole.
Brilliant. This is as an excellent guide to help those who are stuck in place.
Put your I’d on you, if your house floods and you have to leave quickly, the last thing you want is to be looking for your wallet.
If you have young kids, write on their arm with permanent marker, their name and an emergency contact details of a relative (just in case your separated or worse).
Homes in Texas had waist-to-shoulder deep water on the main floor – so keep some (but not all) water & food on the upper floor too, just in case your main floor floods.
Food that doesn’t need cooking:
peanut butter, potato chips, nachos, crackers, jerky, nuts, tin-fruit, tin-tuna, apples, Vitamins. Baked beans are high in energy, and can be eaten cold straight out of the tin (maybe not the ones with pork).
You want food that’s Fattening & Filling. This isn’t the time for dieting.
Forget about bread, in high humidity it will go mouldy very quickly, especially if it gets damp.
Put your food in several locations in the house (if your roof collapsed will you be able to access every room?
Put food like crackers in a sealed container or ziplock bag to keep them dry.
A bucket and empty large ziplock bags make an excellent toilet, because in a flood sewers won’t work. Be prepared to live upstairs after the storms over, especially if you live downhill, because sewers will fail, and they will back up, starting with the lowest areas first, and sewer water could back up into your home.
Get Pull-up’s for children (even if they are toilet trained) because this is not a normal situation and you don’t want to be dealing with wet clothes or blankets on top of everything else.
Put spare sets of clothes or blankets in a zip lock bag.
Wearing a t-shirt & shorts might be best if you have to evacuate through water, jeans & bulky clothing will soak up water and weigh you down.
Remember water: Fill the bathtub, kids paddle pool, any empty bucket or container or tote box. Even Tupperware or clean margarine tubs can hold clean water.
Rinsed milk jugs will hold water for washing. Do not drink any flood water – it will make you sick.
Tips from those who have weathered a hurricane at home before. First and foremost if you are not prepared now, then leave or seek shelter. It is better to go where there are those who are better prepared and know what to do in case of an emergency. Take with you all your bedding materials, extra cloths and comfort foods, like snacks, and games for the little kids and adults. Don’t forget your flashlights, extra batteries and your cell phone, with extra power pack. Bring any and all important papers and photographs that you can’t do without. Put them into a tub so that they will be all in one place and you can use the tub to store your bedding materials.
When preparing for a hurricane you must plan well in advance. You need to store fuel in gas cans so you can move them to where they are needed. You will need to store water in advance. Get a 55 gal plastic blue barrel. Start to fill it a day or two before the hurricane hits. Your tap water will still work and you won’t have to go to the store and stand in line for hours just to get maybe 2 cases of water. Have your hurricane lights ready as well as flash lights and extra batteries. Be sure to have a radio that runs on batteries or is a hand crank. Have a grill that runs on propane and another that uses charcoal. If you are with out power for a week or longer, you will find that your propane may be exhausted and all you have left is the charcoal grill. (Make sure you have at least 2 or more spare propane tanks. This should last you 14 days or longer.)
Move all your belongings away from the windows. If you have shutters a projectile still may penetrate the shutters and break through your windows. Safety is close to the walls as possible. If you have weak tables or small tables turn them upside down and place your breakables in the center. This is so nothing will break or get knocked over should the winds manage to get into your home through a broken window.
Look around your property. Bring any and all patio furniture or what can be blown away inside. Look around you and see what your neighbors may still have out. You may take care of your stuff; but, other people may not and their belongings may be come a hazard to you and your property. If you can, let your neighbors know that they too need to batten down the hatches. Check your shutters and door ways. In Florida, there are the old fashion shutters that are already attached to the house from the top. All you have to do is to latch them down at the bottom. The new shutters are flat, you have to put them up as you go around the house. Make certain that they are secured. Should your home doesn’t have any shutters, (when you have time – get some.) then you have to go to home Depot and get 3/4 or 1/2 inch ply wood. Fasten them across your windows. If you miss the boat in your planning, then use a hammer and nails. You can patch the holes latter. Use ply wood to cover your back door. Use duct tape to seal the outside cracks of the door that you had boarded up. This will help if you have a flood. The tape will slow any leaks. Also, use duct tape inside your home and do the same for the same reason. The duct tape may get wet outside the home, but, it will stay dry inside the home and will help prevent leaks.
Believe it or not people throw a hurricane party during a hurricane. Now isn’t the time to host a party. People can get hurt or killed should they get the full bunt force of the hurricane. It is better to be safe than to be stupid or silly in a life or death situation.
Saw another tip elsewhere..place all valuables and important papers in a dishwasher..it locks solidly closed..is water tight and usually secured into the building structure…
I read elsewhere that this was incorrect and water could back up into a dishwasher … not sure which is accurate.
Most dishwashers are not watertight. In a flood they will fill up with water. It will just take a while.
From a woman that grew up in Corpus Christi. I had a friend knock on our door during the eye of a hurricane on his way home from surfing the wild surf. He parked in our driveway and a tree fell on his car while we were battling the second half of the storm. My brother was two months old and my father was gone on a hunting trip so we did not board the windows and it got ugly as we lived on a 6 lane street which became a funnel for all the big stuff flying around. The entire content of Woolco blew past our house.
If plywood is sold out or unaffordable, you can take the boards off your fence and use them to cover windows. If you have no fence, use the closet doors (pretty thin, but better than nothing) or even big thick tables or a thick butcher block like we had for the windows facing the wind tunnel that broke. Put babies in a closet lined with pillows and stand guard. Light fixtures can blow off and crash on floor. If water is turned off, use cat litter for number two in plastic lined bucket…If you hear a tornado coming, get in the bathtub with a mattress on top. The tub,, which you filled with water along with every other container you can find because the water may be turned off for weeks. Tornadoes form inside hurricanes, and it is better to be wet than dead..
I’m in central Florida. Not in an evacuation zone, so I don’t have to worry about storm surge, thank God, but we’re supposed to get pretty high winds. Everything was closing up around 3 today. I’m a new prepper, only started last year, & have a very limited budget, but took your prepping course last year, Daisy, & am so thankful for all of the wonderful information you provide. I have been able to store up enough food and water for this storm. My sister & I have been getting extra water every time we go to the local warehouse store & didn’t have to run out to get any for this hurricane. That was a blessing, because people panicked & wiped out the stores quickly. I also got a water Bob a while ago because of hearing about it when I was taking your course. Now I’ll have tons of water for washing clothes, my hair or whatever else I might need it for. I have lived in Florida all my life (born & raised), but was never good about stocking emergency supplies before a pending emergency until I started reading about prepping. I trust your advice because you’re just a “regular” person like me, not a former green beret or navy seal(although they have wonderful advice to give as well). You’re easier to relate to for me & it made me more willing to start prepping even though I have a really long way to go to be prepared for a long term emergency. This storm is going to help me see where the holes are in my prepping. I can already see a few places I need to work on where types of food are concerned. Thanks for all of your help, & please say a prayer for those of us in Irma’s path.
remember, you have about 30 gals of water in your water heater. You also have about 3-5 gals in the back of your toilet tank. Just remember this saying, ” If its yellow let it mellow. If its brown flush it down.” If you have 2 toilets in the house separate the way you do your personal business. This will help on water use. If you have a washer then fill it up with cold water. You can do the same in the bath tub. This excess water can be used for washing or flushing. Don’t forget to use your pots and pans and other containers that you can fill in your house. Look at your cook books and see what you can make from scratch. You can make biscuits, pancakes and other items as long as you have flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, lard or Crisco oil in solid form, you can even make your own pasta noodles. While you have time look it up on line and see what you can come up with. You can make soup with dry ingredients, oil and a few vegetables.
Most important is your safety and that of your neighbors. Together you folks can pool your resources together and clean and cook together. Good Luck.
Make sure you have enough tools to get through the roof if you are forced into the attic by rising water. Battery powered saws and axes…you do not want to be choked to death in a small insulated space with gas powered chain saws…but if that is all you have, I guess you will have to at least try. You will need a way out…I read about a woman drowning in her attic in Texas. Stay safe and be strong all. ❤️
Thank goodness Irma has been downgraded after this horrible storm.
Im in the after math, but lucky to have home left.No electric yet. The only things i have that arent on your list is diaper wipes ,great for a wipe down. And rubbing alcohol , that has been a life saver, rub down with it, clean the pits and cool off at the same time. Also dry shampoo,but be sure you have a dry towel and good hair brush to get it and dirt out of your hair or you will have gravy on your head. The other thing to keep cool is wet sheet and set in a breeze,has kept the kids cool. Its hot here in Florida.
If you live in an apartment building, in the aftermath, the people living in surrounding apartments will put you in danger by using candles for light and by lighting up their charcoal grill in the living room or on a balcony stacked directly below yours. The flames and the fumes are a danger to you. So, unfortunately, you need to have that bug-out bag by the door, ready to run if your neighbors set the building on fire or poison you with carbon monoxide fumes. This is an issue for apartment dwellers not just after hurricanes but any time the electricity goes out.
The bathroom is one of the safer places to be during a storm since they are double-studded wall construction plus the plumbing wet wall, pipes offer some structural support. Door openings and closets are also double framed. Being under tables with mattresses and surrounded by furniture offer some protection. Attics are death traps since usually there is only one entrance/exit. Figure if the storm surge reaches that height how far can you swim underwater.
If trapped on the roof with water streaming pass you jettison the first person who starts to sing “Old Man River”. Seriously, pants tied offed at the leg openings and waist, and filled with air make ok flotation devices. Inflated tire tubes also, in addition to seats.
Carry around crowbars, large and small, with you if trapped by, say, a sticking door.
Structurally any sharp building angle, ninety-degrees or so, creates a negative pressure which can be dangerous in pulling a house apart. Geodesic domes, barn roofs lessened this negative pressure. I heard are teepees are good since the cylindrical form allows air to flow pass it while pushing down the structure.
Before the next storm check if there enough hurricane clips holding the rafters to the walls.
Use tap-con screws to attach plywood to masonry C.M.U. walls for easy attachment and removal.
Cisco cooking oil in tubs can be candles with a wick put in. Please be very careful with an open flame in the house. It would be a shame if you-all survived the storm only have the house burn.
My preference buy a Ka-Bar knife, they’re cheap for the dependability they offer. Morakniv knifes also.
Best riding out the storm.
If you have a pre-Andrew house or a house built under older codes, find a way to brace the garage door. In a wind event (tornadoes too) the garage door is often the initial failure point.
My family and I lived about 20 miles from the coast south of Houston Texas and had to stay through Hurricane Ike. The storm was headed straight for us in the Brazosport area but jogged to the north at the last minute to hit Galveston. This put us on the southwest or “clean” side of the storm. In the northern hemisphere, hurricanes rotate counterclockwise with the storm pushing the highest winds and storm surge on the northeast or “dirty” side of the storm. Because we were on the “clean” side of the storm, we didn’t get the flooding and damage that Galveston received.
The good thing about hurricanes is that you usually get several days warning before the storm hits. During the week leading up to the storm, I filled water jugs and put them in our deep freezer. After Hurricane Ike hit, we were without power for two weeks. Because we had frozen the water jugs, we were able to eat out of the freezer the whole time and the only things we lost were two bags of frozen vegetables. We had a natural gas stove and water heater so we were able to cook inside and have hot showers. I stocked up on charcoal ahead of the storm in case, so we also were able to cook on the grill. I added to our stock of batteries before the storm and we needed all of them. Always check that you have plenty of all the batteries sizes you need. I was able to listen to my battery powered radio through the storm and keep up with it’s progress. With five of us in the house without power for two weeks, everyone needed their own flashlight. My three daughters started back to school before our power was restored so they needed their lights to do school work by at night. We had an ice chest that we used for refrigerated stuff after the storm. Right after the storm, we we had to go about 60 miles to find ice, and most places limited you to two bags. I should have filled the extra space in our chest with bags of ice as well as the gallon jugs of water. Gas was hard to get as well. I had two 5 gallon gas cans before the storm, and I should have had more. One thing I learned is that you can’t have too much gas on hand. I didn’t have a generator at the time but needed gas for my chainsaw and truck to cleanup the downed trees around my house and neighborhood. having a couple more gas cans would have saved me a lot of time standing in line once the gas stations were back up and running. We had several cans of insect repellent but that is another thing that you can’t have too much of on hand. We should have gotten more. I try to keep at least four cases of bottled water on hand for each member of my family. We stocked up on extra bottled water before the storm but ended up not needing it because the city water was up and running after the storm. The extra water enabled us to help our neighbors while everyone was cleaning up. DO NOT wait till a storm is on the way to begin to get bottled water. It is one of the very first things to disappear from the store shelves. Non-food items like paper goods (plates, towels, toilet paper), trash bags, plastic cups and silverware are a huge help. It is amazing how much of this stuff you will go through. It is worth the effort to stock up on them to save on the water used to wash dishes.
The biggest thing I have learned by going through several hurricanes and their aftermath is that you can’t wait till a storm is on the way to get ready. You have to prepare ahead of time so that while the rest of the people in your area are rushing around you can be battening down the hatches and getting ready for the storm.
This very recent article assumes that a storm surge is not likely to carry away your house, so it’s about prepping to camp out in your attic — including ways to escape if your assumption doesn’t hold up:
How to prep your attic for disasters, whether hurricane or something else
Some hurricane tips from our local prepping group – http://volusiacountyprepping.com/hurricane-irma-what-worked-what-didnt/
Don’t forget to prep your pets! If you’re evacuating, have their records, food, snacks, water and toy ready to go and research which shelters/hotels allow pets in advance. I have Benadryl on stand by in case my dog starts to get anxious (I checked with my vet for the appropriate dosage. They do it by weight). I also bought a piece of turf that I put in my shower so she can potty. I had to pretrain her to understand what to do but it’s a great back up potty in bad weather.
As a south Floridian, I have lived through many hurricanes. Our best defense for security was living in a concrete block house inland and on higher ground. As per your advise, an interior room void of windows is wise. Water is to be saved in clean containers for drinking & cooking, other containers, such as bathtubs, & sinks for other purposes . You should already have can foods-hopefully you will have a NON ELECTRIC can opener!! Electricity will probably be out. Have batteries and flashlight for nighttime.
I now live in a mobile home, well inland. I still take precautions when we have severe thunderstorms come through. Stay safe!
I went down to Galveston, TX during a hurricane once. 110 mph winds allows one to lean forward 45 degrees and stay in that position long term. I saw one guy out in the water waiting to surf. Probably both of us, being adventurous, were not thinking clearly that day. There was an evacuation mandatory for the area. Not sure how I slipped through that? What I remember is one person drowned in her car, at a 10 ft. low spot in the road. Drove along, you can not see this sort of thing. So tragic. One last thing. A woman and her horse. I talked to her about leaving, but she had such close ties to the gulf, she believed what will be will be. I’m not sure what happened to her. but I heard about her horse was found on the roof top, when the water subsided. I’m thinking the horse could have done without that episode in its’ life. Boats replaced cars on the roads for some time. I got out before the roads were flooded. How is one able to ride a hurricane out, when your house has 4 ft of water in it? Get your keep sakes, food and water, and get out!!
I’ve been through a couple of storms, but the strongest was only a category two, Bob.
We were lucky, but I do have a couple of thoughts to share.
Monitor the weather for as long as you’re able. Keep the TV on the weather channel or a local news station. Tornadoes are often spawned during hurricanes and tropical storms, so be prepared to take cover. Straight line winds are also common and can do a great deal of damage. I’ve seen 200 – 300 year old massive trees either snapped in half or completely uprooted.
Diseased or damaged trees are a risk in high winds. If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, have them trimmed or removed before the season starts.
Storm shutters, (really good ones,) are worth the investment if you are able to get them.
Canned food is a good choice, especially veggies and fruits, as you can use the liquid they are packed in to supplement your liquid intake. Get your supplies before you need them – you can always eat them if you don’t have a disaster.
Make sure all electronic equipment is fully charged, and pack chargers in your bob.
There are solar and battery ones on the market now that aren’t too expensive. Add minutes to your air time before the storm hits so you can stay in touch with family members.
Set up a rendezvous location in case you get separated from the rest of your people.
Make sure you provide for your pets. Food, water, meds etc., and check before the storm to see if there are pet friendly evacuation centers near you. Your vet or SPCA chapter may be able to help you with information. Keep copies of license and inoculations with your other important papers in your bob.
Thanks for a timely post, Daisy!
Habitat for Humanity ReStore stores sometimes have hurricane panels. I got some dirt cheap. Also other building materials and tools. Definitely worth checking out
My issue with people staying, there is no excuse, NONE. I have decades in Disaster Response. I am a former Dist Asst. Fire Chief, Director of Emergency Management, Red Cross Disaster Response Team, as well as Swift Water / Flood Water Rescue. I worked the East Coast and Gulf for hurricanes.
I have never been to a State or County that did not have resources to help people evacuate. People can have up to weeks to see harm is coming there way. When I would get activate, I had to get off work, grab my gear and head to the area before the storm hit. I was always there before the storm hit and I was coming in from Indiana. Folks need to pay attention and call for help if needed. I hate sending teams out into harms way because some folks thought they could ride out the storm or thought they would be OK. Don’t mean to sound like an A$$, I just think folks can do a better job of taking care of themselves and endangering Responders who will give their lives trying to save yours.
Automatic Survivor Training Group
I get it, truly, Rick. If people can leave, they absolutely should.
I think for a lot of folks, particularly in the flood zone in New Orleans, it’s that they simply don’t have the money to get out. Evacuation is expensive. And it can be out of reach for those with no transportation, no cash to stay somewhere. Having been that broke, I understand that sometimes, people have no options. Or Grandma refuses to go and you can’t let her stay by herself. I have heard so many stories of people who regretted not leaving but few who regretted making the choice to evacuate.
You’re right – they should definitely go when evac is called for. But I can see some gray area because I’ve been dirt poor.
Thank you for your inside view. It should make anyone who CAN evacuate do so.
I have lived through multiple hurricanes and tornadoes. The aftermath is the worst. Sometimes lasting 3 weeks without power and running water.
I see all the prep stuff you need but I never see anything about tools and supplies. I keep hand tools, cross cut saw, machete, different size ropes, nails and screws, etc. I do not rely on power tools because they need electricity or gas. Neither may be available.
The other thing I see is how to cook food. We survived 3 weeks (feeding 4 to 6 adults) using a Habatchi (18″x12″). Believe it or not we only used 20 pounds of charcoal. Being able to cook “real” chili, spaghetti red beans and rice and other comfort food helps you get through those dark nights awaiting sunrise. I do not want to be misunderstood. I am not saying you do not need ready to eat food. READY TO EAT FOODS ARE VERY IMPORTANT ESPECIALLY IF YOU NEED TO “BUG OUT” IF YOUR SITUATION DETERIORATES. We are going into severe weather season here in Tennessee. I am doing inventory and replenishment operations right now. As I think of other things I’ll pass them along, if you wish.
Please do add to this if you think of something else, Mike. Great advice!
Key things for hurricane prep
1 galllon jugs of ice- water and ice, keep in cooler for milk etc
propane stove and propane
chain saws, fuel, chains fuel additives be sure they run May be weeks to service after storm to get parts.
battery for electric start generator- may have died since the last time you used it
test start and run Get drop wires, review load management.
Extra ice freezer, Cook lasagna chili, etc great foods to thaw, cook
Gas grill can be used as oven- good on side without burner on with top closed
extra gas and oil and filter if long outage expected/ (Friend had generator, no extra gas had real problems till local stations got back electricity. )
cash, —if you have business credit card embosser. Could also mimeo contract, fill in no, have customer sign
Fresh fruit, dried fruit– fresh fruit, fresh bread hardest to find for week or two after storm Cereal, milk
Milk keeps fine in cooler with frozen gallon of ice. Also eggs good, easy to cook. Could also
hard boil some eggs before storm. Great for tuna fish, egg salad. Get some onions and celery, mayonaise, all could be kept cold in cooler after prepared, or fridge with generator several hours per day.
If likely to have long outage with out generator freeze, small cup ice, turn on side see if melts Also penny on surface of ice
Likely loss of adequate cold. Freeze extra water to ice in freezer- keep freezer colder, might help neighbors if you don’t need it.
Do laundry, may not have access to laundry for week or two.
Have clothes line to air dry
Extra chlorine for pool or water purification, sanitation. (No scent chorox for drinking water)
Store vehicles on 3-4 floor of interior parking decks. Avoid flood and flying debris.
One vehicle, ideally 4wD in garage or carport, avoid falling debris. Of course fill all tanks if possible.
Usually a run day or two before storm on all of above. Get in gas cans first. Can use in generator, chainsaws or vehicles. Hard to siphon modern cars don’t count on this.
Extra meds, update tetanus shot, (lots of rusty nails in debris)
TP, paper towels, plastic forks, spoons, etc. Fill tubs etc if water likely off a while
Extra tarps, nails, tools, bungie cords to tie down
Empty trash, and have extra trash bags, maybe no trash pickup several weeks.
Playing cards, board games
Good contract is money!