Shortly after we moved to Texas, Hurricane Katrina and then Hurricane Rita hit. A few years later, we were faced with Hurricane Ike. I was raised in west Texas and was pretty much clueless in terms of hurricane preparedness. I learned a few things along the way and thought I’d share them with you!
Fill your cars with gas ~ After Hurricane Ike hit, it was several days before the gas stations opened and when they did open, the lines were long. If you have a generator, you will also want to make sure you have extra gas on hand for that. We also keep an extra propane tank on hand for grilling food.
Make sure you have cash ~ When the grocery stores re-opened after Hurricane Ike, many of them were not able to accept credit and debit cards. If you didn’t have cash, you weren’t able to make purchases. It was like this for several days.
Make sure you have water ~ A good rule of thumb is to have at least one gallon of water per person per day on hand. I personally like to keep enough for 7-14 days on hand in my house because if we lose power and it’s in the middle of summer, it’s going to be HOT and we will need to drink water. I try to stock up on bottled water when it’s on sale. You will also need water for washing dishes and possibly flushing toilets depending on the circumstances.
We purchased a Water Bob for each of our bath tubs so that we can store water there as well in the event of an emergency.
We also have several Collapsible Water Containers – these definitely came in handy during Hurricane Ike!
Have non-perishable food to last at least 3 days – Our “hurricane food” (as we refer to it around here) includes non-perishable items that we can easily prepare if we don’t have power such as canned soup, instant oatmeal packets, peanut butter and crackers, and Vienna sausage. None of these are favorites for the adults, but in the event of an emergency, we’d be able to get by.
Have plenty of light sources – Flashlights are great, but they don’t give off much light and they go through batteries pretty quickly. Candles are one option that is relatively inexpensive.
A battery-powered lantern is another great resource because it provides more light. These were a huge help in our house during Hurricane Ike. A family-sized lantern is just $24.99 on Amazon right now.
Solar-powered or crank-operated flashlights are also a great investment. I’m a huge fan of this American Red Cross Microlink Self-Powered AM/FM/NOAA Weather Radio with Flashlight, Solar Power, and Cell Phone Charger. It’s just $30 on Amazon right now. It works as a flashlight, radio, and cell phone charger!
Prepare for special circumstances – Don’t forget about your pets (they need food and water, too!) and prescription or over the counter medications. It may be several days (or even weeks) before you are able to fill prescriptions!
When a storm or other disaster is headed your way, it’s incredibly stressful and it’s not the time to be preparing. Stores are crowded and supplies are limited. Have piece of mind and plan ahead.
For more tips on emergency preparedness, check out the article written by Nathan Engels on WeUseCoupons.com and FEMA tips on food and water in an emergency.
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