And so it begins…Tropical Storm Alex has formed in the Gulf of Mexico. Fortunately, the forecast track doesn’t appear likely to threaten Florida but this could be considered a warning to get prepared. Last year we were lucky, and it’s easy to get complacent until something springs up in our neighborhood. Stocking up on a few items each time you’re in the supermarket won’t pinch your budget too much. So take stock of what you have in your pantry, test your flashlight and lantern batteries, and prepare to hunker down.
HURRICANE PREPARATION LIST
1. Buy bags of ice. Put on lower shelves in freezer, and later in fridge if power is out, so melting ice doesn’t flood the interior. Turn fridge to colder setting ahead of storm. Freeze water in plastic containers to help keep food cool. If you drink/use bottled water, save containers and fill with tap water to freeze or refrigerate.
2. Buy bottled water and fruit juices; sports drinks if you like them.
3. Have enough snack foods in stock. Fruits that keeps well: grapes, apples, bananas. Buy bread for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
4. Cook and eat perishable foods. Hard boil your eggs, and make sure you cook dinner early in case the power goes out.
5. Consider boarding pet at kennel.
6. Backup important computer files. Send an email to yourself at another online address or to an out of state relative or friend with your important data files attached.
7. Bring in all loose objects from outside.
8. Do the laundry.
9. Perform personal grooming essentials. It’s hard to shave and wash hair with no lights, and the water might get contaminated..
10. Fill gas tank in car.
11. Get extra cash to have on hand. ATM’s won’t work in a power failure.
12. Pay bills.
13. Charge cell phone.
14. Prepare list of repairmen and tree trimmers who might be needed.
16. Buy hand sanitizer and moist wipes in case the water is contaminated.
17. Have paper plates and cups on hand along with plastic utensils and paper towels.
18. Stock up on trash bags to clear away debris.
19. Place a flashlight or battery-run lantern in each room. Buy extra batteries, cooking fuel if necessary, duct tape, and a roll of plastic sheeting. Candles can be a fire hazard and they don’t provide enough light to read by in the dark.
20. Eat all the ice cream in your freezer!
What else would you add?
Watch the weather reports at:
National Hurricane Center: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/
Navy Tropical Cyclone Page: http://www.nrlmry.navy.mil/tc_pages/tc_home.html
National Weather Service, Miami: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/mfl/
The Weather Channel: http://www.weather.com/
Broward Co., FL, Hurricane Page: http://www.broward.org/hurricane/Pages/Default.aspx