*disclaimer, this is partial satire and partial good info.
Riding Out a Hurricane
Let me start this by saying if it is above a Category 1 and you live on the water, don’t ride out the storm. Just get out.
Secure your property as best as you can, stay with friends off the coast, book a hotel somewhere, just go. It’s a terrible idea to stay. However, if you live a bit inland and the storm isn’t a Category 2 or above and you feel like taking some chances, this might help if you decide to stay.
- You are not going to have power for a while. If you don’t have a generator, start freezing some bags of water to keep your perishables cold. Unfortunately though, ice melts rather quickly. If you have a bunch of meat, be sure that your grill is secured during the storm so you can have a post hurricane feast. After that, I hope you have a can opener and plenty of canned food to get you through the next week or so. Chick peas and green beans aren’t too awful straight out the can but here’s a link to some great recipes if you don’t have any power. In addition to the whole eating thing, be sure to do your laundry before the storm hits. ( I stayed during Mathew last year and I really wish I had done that.)
- Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink. Be sure to have a water supply because if it floods, your water could become compromised. Also, you will have to deal with the joy of not being able to flush your toilet. Grab some jugs of water or water bottles, fill up any containers you have before the storm hits, and fill up your bathtub if you have one. Even if you don’t end up needing them, it’s an easy precaution to take.
- Paper Products. I try not to use many in daily living but hurricanes make them a necessity. Purchase some red solo cups, paper plates, paper towels and toilet paper. Make sure you can keep them dry. Put them in a container and put it on a shelf.
- Hurricane Snacks and other Provisions. Buy snacks like peanuts, chips, and other stuff that you don’t have to refrigerate. Please don’t eat them before the storm. ( I ate all the hurricane snacks before Matthew, I will do better this time.) Bug spray is a must and so are board games, cards and books. (Read the Perfect Storm by candlelight as the eye passes over.)
- Booze and Boredom. If you aren’t a drinker, congratulations, you can move on to number 6. If you do like to drink, remember, everything will be shut down for a while, there is no power, it will be hot in your house, it may be flooded, you don’t have to go to work…it’s Miller time! Be sure to buy stuff you can consume that tastes ok if it isn’t cold. I suggest vodka. It also can work as a disinfectant in a pinch. Red wine is also a wonderful addition to any attempt at hurricane survival.
- First Aid Supplies. Unless you want to waste your precious vodka on disinfecting the wound you received while using a chainsaw to clear limbs off your roof, invest in a good first aid kit. I find making my own kit is more helpful than buying one, link here for a list of good supplies Also, be sure to get any prescription drugs you may need before the poo hits the fan.
- Batteries and Candles. Put new batteries in your flash lights and head lamps. If you don’t have any, buy some. At the very least buy those religious candles you can find in the Spanish section of the grocery store. they work amazing and burn forever.
- GAS UP. Fill up your car with gas. Fill up your generator too, if you have one, and make sure you have some back up.
- Smoke if you got ’em. If you smoke, get a carton. If you want to quit, this is a great time as you will not have access to cigarettes for a few days if you don’t stock up.
- A Good Attitude. You decided to stay, don’t freak out. You will be frightened during the worst of the storm, you will be eyeing every tree in your yard and praying that it doesn’t fall on your house as you huddle inside with no lights. Power lines are a huge fear of mine, I found that to be a huge cause of anxiety during Mathew. In fact,I am currently glancing at the pine tree in my yard next to the power line with trepidation as I write this. But even when the storm is over, and you survived, and when there is nothing around that can immediately murder you, i.e. live wires and alligators that have made your flooded backyard their home, you have to keep a sense of humor. The days following a hurricane are not easy. Book a nice hotel room somewhere if you never had Robinson Crusoe fantasies as a child.
Please remember, hurricanes are devastating storms. If your area calls for a mandatory evacuation, you may as well go. Don’t put the lives of our emergency services in peril because you wouldn’t leave. Furthermore, if you live in a mobile home, riding out a big storm like Irma is not safe. Have a plan, be prepared, don’t panic and stay safe!
Hurricane Preparedness Checklist
Quick Links for local emergency management:
Chatham Emergency Management: http://www.chathamemergency.org/
City of Tybee: http://cityoftybee.org
Tybee Police Department: http://www.cityoftybee.org/222/Police
City of Savannah: http://www.savannahga.gov/