Hurricane Basics for Newbies
So, all you central East Coasties ready?
No? Is this your first time? Well, relax. It’s just the biggest whooping wind and rainstorm you’ve ever seen.
Now, if you are right on the coast, pay attention to the evacuation zones because of the Storm Surge. You’ve got low pressure in the center of the storm lifting the water a bit, with a hundred plus mph wind driving it inward. This is especially hazardous if it comes ashore at high tide.
If they tell you to evacuate, tell the spouse and kids it’s time for a vacation. Grab your paperwork—insurance policies and the irreplaceable family photos—and go.
Same with low lying areas inland that have a history of flooding. Grab your paperwork—insurance policies and the irreplaceable family photos—and go.
So, you’re away from the coast, up high and you’re staying?
No problem. Go to the store and get food. If you drink milk, I recommend getting half gallons and freezing them. Quart size freezer bags are handy to fill with ice cubes or freeze water in to keep your freeze and refrigerator cold a few extra days if you loose power. I save those cheap plastic disposable, sealing lunch meat containers. They stack nicely and the ice bricks are handy sizes.
Speaking of losing power, don’t forget candles and batteries.
Food-wise, get what you usually eat, and can improvise heating, just in case. Canned chili, soups, veggies. A small pre-cooked ham or roast is handy for an improvised candle-light dinner.
Get some things that don’t need cooking. Cereal for breakfast, for instance. Peanut butter, jelly, crackers, cheese. Canned fruit.
Speaking of which, fresh fruit is really nice to have on hand.
Water. You can buy the bottled stuff, or just go home and fill up all available vessels. Freeze a bunch of them. No such thing as too much ice.
Bread. Buy an extra loaf and freeze it too.
Dog, cat, and gerbil food. Well, only if you have them.
Okay. Enough shopping. Now police the yard. If it can blow away it will, and possibly through your window. Put it all in the garage. Things like heavy picnic tables can be turned upside down, with the table top flat on the ground.
All done? Then do your laundry, even the sheets. Just in case the power’s out for weeks. At least you’re starting with clean sheets and towels.
Car in the garage? Probably fine. Parked outside? Look around at trees that might fall, and park it away from there, and maybe not on the street, there’s going to be a lot of street flooding.
Then sit back and enjoy one of nature’s spectacles as safely and securely as you can.