Saturday, May 14, 2011

Here comes Hurricane/Severe Weather Season!

Here in Florida the end of May marks the start of Hurricane season.  Where I am, in the Tampa Bay Area, we haven't seen a hurricane in years, so we're overdue!  It's terrifying to imagine your family in a situation where you are completely unprepared and out of control.  Every year my family packs up an emergency survival kit, just in case, because you never know what's going to happen.  The past few years we haven't needed it, but who knows, this year we may!  You may not have Hurricanes where you live, but you may have other natural disasters that are just as dangerous.  Tornadoes, Floods, Fire and other natural disasters rip millions of families from their homes every year and many of those people are unprotected.  I've found a few great tips to make sure that you are as protected as you can be against Mother Nature.

Tips & Tricks
  1. Save some extra cash in a safe or safe place in your home.  During a natural disaster banks and ATMs will probably be closed or inoperable making it difficult for you to get money out of the bank.  Don't forget about all of the people rushing to the banks at the last minute to get their money out, as well!  You'll need some emergency money for gas, emergency supplies (if they run out), etc. When people are desperate they end up doing things they regret, like taking out high interest loans, so it's better to play it safe and keep some money on hand.  You don't need any more financial worries on your plate after a disaster.
  2. Keep a battery powered radio or television and listen or watch as much as possible.  This will keep you informed as to when the storm is approaching, how strong the storm is and how to prepare for it.  If you are told to evacuate, don't take your chances.  Property is replaceable, you are not!  If you decide to ride out the storm, keep your eyes and ears on your radio or TV for updates on the storm as well as news on when it's safe to travel, any water advisories in affect or any other important information.
  3. Keep plenty of batteries around.  Without power, rechargeable batteries are useless so make sure you check your batteries often.  Before the storm season watch for coupons and sales on batteries and stock up at those times.  A lot of stores have Hurricane/Storm Season sales on storm supplies and that is a great time to stock up on supplies like batteries, lanterns and other great storm supplies.  When your batteries die, replace them immediately.  Don't wait until the day of the storm to replace them.  Have batteries and a flashlight in every room in case the power goes out, you won't have to go looking everywhere for batteries.
  4. Keep your cell phone fully charged.  If the power and phone lines are knocked out your cell phone may be your only access to emergency services.  It might also be a good idea to purchase an extra battery for your cell phone.
  5. Keep plenty of candles on hand.  If the power is out for longer than expected and batteries begin to fade out and die than it's time to break out the candles.  When Josh and I first met, we went through a Hurricane and went without power for 3 days.  Candles were our only light source.  They can also be an added source of heat, though not much.  Just be very careful with lit candles, especially around pets and small children.  You don't want a fire on top of a Hurricane or storm!
  6. Keep 1 gallon of fresh, clean water per person per day, minimum and that's just for drinking.  It's a good idea to also fill up your bathtubs, sinks and anything else you can fill up with water to keep around in case you need to wash anything or use water for anything besides eating or drinking.  Water is a necessity so make sure you have plenty of it!
  7. Keep plenty of food you don't have to cook.  You'd be surprised at just how many options you have when you go to your local grocery store and look around.  You don't have to do this all at once but the next few times you go grocery shopping, pick up a few extra things to keep in case of an emergency.  You'll be awfully glad you did!  Also consider getting a small camping stove.  Eating canned and uncooked food gets old very quickly.  A small camping stove uses a propane tank so that means you can cook without electricity!  You can even use a grill, just make sure you don't do this inside!!
  8. Make sure you have plenty of blankets and sweaters to keep you warm.  Without electricity, the nights are going to be chilly.  Blankets are also very important because they can protect you from any flying glass or debris that may come flying in during a hurricane or tornado.  The more blankets you have, the better!
  9. Open all of your cabinet doors in your kitchen and bathroom if they have an outside wall.  Even if the heat is running,  it will help get heat into the area to help prevent the pipes from bursting.  You will have enough damage and costs to take care of, this is one less to have to worry about.
  10. Always make sure your family has a plan.  Just in case something happens and you get separated, make sure the younger children know basic information such as their names, parents names, phone number, and address.  Try to stay together at all times, but if separated make sure your family knows where to meet up and what to do.

What to include in your Severe Weather Survival Kit:
  • Battery Powered Weather Radio- It is very important for you to have one of these.  Set it to sound when warnings are issued.
  • Battery Powered AM/FM Radio- Local radio stations cover natural disasters like flies on honey.  You'll also hear about any business or school closings, road or bridge closings as well as any other important information you need to know.
  • Flashlights- with batteries and plenty of them!  Try to have at least two flashlights with fresh batteries in each room.  Put them in an easy to find location, in case the power goes out.
  • Blankets & Pillows- Besides making you super comfy they act as a protectant against flying debris that may come flying in the windows.  You can also flip your mattress up and sit behind that with your blankets and pillows over you.
  • Activities for Children- Books, battery powered toys, etc.  Something to keep your children occupied.  A crying or bored child is just going to cause more stress to the situation.  You won't have time to occupy a child during an emergency.
  • Snacks & Bottled Water- Remember 1 gallon of water per person per day minimum.  Snacks that don't need to be cooled or froze, obviously.  
  • Camera & Video Camera- Document damage after the disaster for insurance claims.  If you're daring enough you can also snap a couple awesome pictures of your adventure but don't be dumb and put yourself or your family in danger for a stupid picture!
  • Medications (prescription and non)- If possible try to get at least an extra month of your prescriptions to keep handy in case of an emergency.  I have an extra inhaler for my asthma.  Headaches, tummy aches, and fevers don't take a vacation because of Mother Nature either, so stock up on some OTC medications as well!  You never know when you're going to get sick!
  • First Aid Kit- Band aids, Anti-Bacterial Cream, Gauze, with debris every where after a natural disaster it's just a matter of time before someone gets hurt.  That's why it's a great idea to get a First Aid kit and keep it handy.
  • Important Papers- Social Security Cards, Insurance Papers, whatever important papers you may need after a disaster, it's important to find them ahead of time and keep them in a safe place.  If there is flooding or fire, your papers could get damaged so keep them with you and keep them safe!
Keeping your family safe during and after a natural disaster is so important.  Do you have any other tips on preparing for severe weather?  I'd love to hear from you, so comment below and share your tips with me and the other Shopaholics!  Stay safe!

(Sources: 10 Severe Weather Prep Tips : My Blessed Life, 10 Severe Weather Preperation Tips: National Pay Day )

12 comments:

  1. Great tips! I'm so thankful we don't have hurricanes (we're up in MI). We lived down south in MS briefly and moved the weekend before hurricane Katrina hit. I think it's great to always have a survival kit no matter where you live though.

    And getting a 2nd cell phone battery is smart... my phone is almost never charged, lol. Plus I always think I have candles for power outages, but when I look can never find them.

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  2. Wow...what a great post. Being in Philly, this isn't something we encounter, but for the regions that do, this is such a great checklist that covers all the bases that might get overlooked. I can't imagine having to deal with hurricanes!!

    Stopping by from the Alexa hop, would love if you could stop back:
    http://www.keenlykristin.com/2011/05/american-idol-epic-fail.html

    Thanks!
    Kristin :)

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  3. Thank you for posting these great tips! They are important for all families to know.

    I am stopping by from the Alexa hop!

    Hope you are having a wonderful weekend.

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  4. What a great list! My husband and I have just been talking about making a kit for such events! This list will help me get started! Thanks! :-)
    Stopping by with my Alexa toolbar!

    Johanna at Mama Chocolate
    Family life, tips for mom, reviews, giveaways and more!

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  5. I live in Naples and I didn't even realize that hurrican season was so close..eek! And you're right, it's been quiet for the last couple of years...gotta get ready...

    stopping by from the alexa hop

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  6. I don't live in a hurricane zone, but these tips are very helpful to those that do! Thank you for sharing

    Stopping by from the Alexa Hop.

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  7. Those are some great tips! I really liked them!!!

    Visiting your post from the lower your Alexa blog hop!

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  8. We don't get the direct hits in south central GA, but we do get the inland stuff, thunderstorms, tornados, etc. Great post! Following you from the Alexa hop.

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  9. Great tips! I'm in tornado alley, not near hurricanes, but your tips still apply for any type of severe weather or natural disaster!
    Visiting from the alexa blog hop!
    Chase’s View

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  10. Yikes glad I don't have to deal with hurricanes out here but that reminds me I should pack a emergency backpack in case we do ever have a rally bad earth quack here in CA.

    Thanks for participating in the Sundae hop, I'm already following you but wanted to swing by and say thanks and just leave some love.

    -E
    ttcandcookin.blogspot.com

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  11. Such a great list, thanks for putting it out there for us!

    I'm following from the Lower My Alexa Blog Hop. Come visit me back!

    Michelle @ Things Sent My Way

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  12. As a fellow Floridian thanks for this great post! Following you from the Alexa hop...please follow back at www.jamiespreciouspeas.com

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