Being Prepared for a Hurricane
Hurricanes are one of the most destructive forces in nature. Heavy winds, flooding, rain, structural damage, and panic are just a few of the dangers one needs to prepare for with an inbound hurricane. But as with other types of emergencies, advanced preparation can make a world of difference for the comfort and safety of your family.
Make a Plan Early
Depending on the severity of the storm, you may be forced to evacuate, but in most instances, you will need to decide for yourself. Making a plan ahead of time will help you make measured decisions and avoid panic. If you are going to remain in your home, make sure that your plan includes a routine for securing your home against wind, water, and intrusion. See that you will have enough food and clean water for several days, and that your food supply can be kept dry and accessible. If you are choosing to stay in your home, always be prepared for the possibility that conditions may force you to ultimately evacuate. Make sure that you will be able to take water, food, and other essentials with you in the instance that an unplanned evacuation occurs.
Ready.gov gives a few tips on how to prepare your home ahead of an incoming hurricane. Here are a few of their suggestions:
- Hurricane winds can cause trees and branches to fall, so before hurricane season trim or remove damaged trees and limbs to keep you and your property safe.
- Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property.
- Reduce property damage by retrofitting to secure and reinforce the roof, windows and doors, including the garage doors.
- Purchase a portable generator or install a generator for use during power outages. Remember to keep generators and other alternate power/heat sources outside, at least 20 feet away from windows and doors and protected from moisture; and NEVER try to power the house wiring by plugging a generator into a wall outlet.
More suggestions can be found here: https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes
If you choose to evacuate, always do so in orderly fashion and with prior planning. The earlier you can evacuate, the better. Do all that you can to secure your home before leaving, and make sure that you have a communication plan to stay in touch with family and friends.
Peace of Mind: Have an Emergency Food Supply
After a hurricane hits, there’s no predicting how long it will take for aid to arrive to your area. If the damage is spread out in a large area, it could be quite some time before food is available for purchase again. With the loss of electricity, refrigerated and frozen foods will spoil quickly. Having an emergency food supply at home is essential for proper preparation for natural disasters. There are several ways to create a food storage for your family, which include:
- Purchasing freeze dried food. Freeze dried food lasts 25 years on the shelf and can be used easily in a time of need. Buying a packaged food storage is easy, but selection is limited and it can be a steep financial investment.
- Canning fresh foods. You can create a food supply by canning fruits, vegetables, and some other types of foods. Canning is inexpensive, but canned foods don’t have as long of a shelf life as freeze dried foods and your options are a bit more limited overall on what you can store. It’s a viable option if you’re mindful to rotate your food storage often.
- Freeze dry your own food. For around what it costs to buy a pre-packaged food storage, you can buy an in-home freeze dryer and create a larger, more diverse emergency food storage. Freeze dry leftovers, garden surplus, or buy bulk and discounted foods to freeze dry and store. Over time you’ll build an emergency food supply that’s made up of the foods your family enjoys eating that you can add to continually. You’re also free to use your food storage for quick meals, snacks, or to take camping for when you need an easy-to-pack meal without worry that you’re “eating your investment.” Simply replenish your food storage as you use it.
Your budget, size of family, and lifestyle will dictate how you create your own food storage, but having an emergency food supply is an absolute necessity for family security.
Looking Forward to the Future
Changes in weather patterns and climate on earth have caused hurricanes to be more severe than they have been in the past. Michael Mann, a professor at Penn State University and Climate Scientist, released a statement on Facebook that compares how Hurricane Harvey was far more severe due to changes in sea level and current climate conditions. With a higher sea level, hurricanes like Harvey and Irma bring increased rainfall and deeper flooding than hurricanes we’ve seen in the past. With even larger and more frequent hurricanes predicted for the future, it’s essential that we live prepared.
Every family should have an emergency food supply, especially families that live in areas that are at risk for hurricanes. With a home freeze dryer you can easily create an emergency food supply that will sustain your family through a prolonged period of uncertainty or natural disaster of any kind.