As I sit here on the humid, warm day, awaiting the arrival of Hurricane Laura, still out in the Gulf, still not quite an official hurricane, I’ve been going through all our preps, wondering, “Is there something I’ve missed?” Hurricane prepping isn’t new to me, but I still get the jitters of uncertainty.
I guess we all second guess ourselves at times, and really, no matter how well prepared we think we are, it takes just one major crisis of one sort or another to reveal weaknesses and gaps when it comes to being prepared.
When our town bore the brunt of Hurricane Harvey almost exactly 3 years ago, we learned a lot about hurricane prepping as well as how to recover from a disaster of that magnitude.
As a mom, my very first thought was of my son, now living on a boat along the shores of Lake Charles, Louisiana, just 55 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico. I know he’s with people who have decades of experience living in hurricane country, but still, this morning I put in the mail to him a package containing a battery-powered fan like this one, this collapsible solar lantern, and a bag of Doritos! An 18-year-old kid will appreciate the Doritos and as Survival Mom’s son, he knows exactly how handy one of those fans and a light source can be.
My last-minute hurricane prepping
Back at the ranch, then, I’ve made a list of a few preps I want to take care of in the next 48 hours or so.
- Make sure all our solar panels are charged. They’re out in the backyard catching the rays even as we speak! Once they’re charged, we’ll have emergency power for our electronics, lanterns, and our emergency radio, among other things.
- Double-check to make sure our generator is ready to go with plenty of extension cords. One of my husband’s many careers is that of a Master Electrician, and last night when I asked him if we had enough extension cords, without hesitation he said, “Oh, yeah.” I should have known. The 3 major appliances I want to have powered up no matter what are the refrigerator, our big, upright freezer loaded with a couple hundred pounds of meat from Savory Butcher, and the wall air conditioning unit in our bedroom. We could exist for quite a long time with those 3 appliances running. The solar panels will take care of smaller devices.
- I’ve filled about half a dozen gallon-size Ziploc bags with water, and once they’re frozen, I’ll slip them into small nooks and crannies in the freezer. This will help keep the freezer’s temperature cold just in case the generator fails (please, God, don’t let that happen!), and if we need ice to see us through some particularly hot days, we’ll have those as an extra resource.
- My washer and dryer are running right now to make sure everything we wear is freshly clean, and doing laundry in a power outage and/or a post-hurricane clean-up won’t be a concern for at least a week or more. When you have advance warning of some sort of crisis, take action so you face that event with a clean slate, so to speak. If you have meals cooked ahead of time, clean laundry, the house vacuumed, and you take care of any other chores requiring electricity, your life will be so much better and easier if the worst happens.
- Later today and then tomorrow, I’ll be cooking several meals to keep on hand, so meal prep will be the least of our concerns, regardless of what happens.
- I’ll be running the dishwasher and washing pots and pans immediately after use for the same reason. In a crisis, the best plan will be the simplest one, and freedom from any chores that typically require appliances and, especially, hot water, is a priority.
- We’ll be topping off the gas tanks of our vehicles and refilling gas cans with fresh gasoline. By the way, if your stored gasoline has become too old to be useful, some hardware stores may be able to dispose of it for you.
- Make sure all electronic devices are fully charged. Right now I have a couple of USB-powered lanterns charging in the kitchen. They also have the capability of being solar charged, but this way is quicker and today is pretty cloudy.
This hurricane is being called a “classic hurricane” and will surely bring very heavy and destructive winds and massive amounts of rainfall. How much of that impact will directly affect us is yet to be seen, but I’m making a list and checking it twice, just in case. What else should I have on my list that I may be overlooking?