1. Prepare as much as you can now. You will be surprised how hard it is to get things like gasoline and groceries when a disaster is coming or has hit. Preparation can save you a lot of time waiting in lines with people who are stressed and hurried. Make a plan and take steps to prepare your family. Before the hurricane hit, I waited in line with my infant to buy gas. The credit machines were not functioning properly. Having cash on hand in small bills saved time and stress. (Not needing gas in the first place would have been even better!) People were flocking to the stores to buy bread, water, and food that could be easily heated and eaten. After the storm, stores had less employees working and people had to wait in line to have a turn to go in. The frozen food section was blocked off with caution tape, and the convenience foods had still not been replenished. Have ample food stored ahead of time and be sure it is food you are comfortable preparing and like to eat.
2. Have a way to heat your food. Sure, you can eat it straight from the can, but your family is already under stress, and it is so much nicer if you can make things as close to normal as possible. Having a way to prepare simple foods, such as a camp stove, gas stove (if your gas hasn’t been turned off), solar oven, or other method of cooking will be invaluable.
3. Water storage is a must. After the hurricane, the quality of the water was not yet determined to be completely safe. But since we had water storage, I could make bottles for my infant without concern.
4. Have some forms of entertainment that don’t need to be plugged in. A loss of electrical power will be just plain boring and stressful if you don’t have some means of keeping yourself, and your children, entertained while you wait for things to get back to normal, especially if your husband is gone helping with the clean up efforts. Having games, coloring books, and means of occupying your children that don’t require electricity will go a long way to help everyone stay happy – and you may even Replace that you enjoy the break from other distractions.
5. Have medications on hand. This is an obvious one, but very important. A disaster is not the time to be attempting to contact your doctor or pharmacist. Have extra medications, as well as medicine for general ailments, stored safely away from where children can reach them, and have enough to get you through at least a few days to a week.
The approaching hurricane season is a good time to take an inventory and see how prepared you are for any dangerous weather that may come your way. Any steps you can take beforehand, any amount of time and money you can afford to spend now, will be well spent.
-- Coleen, TX
If you have any other tips that you have learned through dealing with hurricanes, please leave them in the comments section! We would love to hear from everyone who has experienced a hurricane of any size.