Braindump: Preparing for a hurricane

We live in hurricane country, and OF COURSE there’s a storm headed in our direction because 2020.

I can’t really even get that excited about it. It’s not sure to hit us, and besides, it’s not currently expected to be a BIG hurricane – category 3 is possible but 1 or 2 is more likely.

That said, I looked at the news this morning and thought “I suppose I OUGHT to do something to prepare for this”. With a heavy sigh. So, I decided to make a checklist of things to be done in case it starts looking like a real hit. This is a “keep it simple stupid” list. The rule of thumb in general is – only deal with that which is irreplaceable or would be impossible to replace when needed in a post-storm city.

  1. Prepare for the storm itself: During a storm, the risks are high winds (including local tornadoes) and possible flooding.
    • High winds (including tornado)
      • Bring in all plants, furniture, plant supplies from front porch and both balconies.
      • Close and tape down plantation shutters where possible.
      • (next level of competence) look over house, think about any items which would be exposed if a window broke and would be very sad to lose, such as hand-made quilts or paintings. Remove those to safer location if possible.
      • (very ambitious) Look at whether it’s worth screwing in any larger pieces of wood over unprotected windows on balconies, first floor.
    • High water – protect things on ground floor including garage
      • Have a plan for retreating upstairs (to 3rd floor bath?) if flooding occurs.
      • (somewhat ambitious) Lift things off of floor-level storage
      • (more ambitious) solo cups under feet of 1st floor furniture?
    • Cozy riding out the storm – space away from windows and ideally on lower floor – so 1st floor bedroom, retreat to bathroom and closet if things get tense (eg tornado warning). So, everything should be stored in the bathroom or bathroom closet, in case we end up there. But could be in main bedroom most of the time, and should have a plan to retreat again upstairs if high waters.
      • Close and tape down plantation shutters (better than nothing)
      • Close and lock gate
      • Prepare for cats (beds, boxes, food, water)
      • Put some chairs, a small table, and some cat amenities in the bathroom and closet for tornado retreat.
      • snacks
      • flashlights and spare batteries; battery-powered radio
      • items for entertainment if power goes out – puzzle books, deck of cards, paper/pencil, books.
    • Possible evacuation – during storm, evacuation would mean scurrying to the closest safe space. Would need go-bag(s) with minimum supplies in the ride-out room:
      • cat bags x 3, each packed with a day’s supply of cat food.
      • backpack apiece containing wallets, phones, laptops, ipads, backup drive for big mac, paper and pen,
  2. Prepare for the aftermath
    • Power outages
      • Make sure car gas tank is full.
      • Charge up backup batteries for iphones
      • Grab supply of flashlights and batteries
      • Lay in supply of non-perishable food
    • Water outages
      • Fill all available containers with clean water – store on/in fridge, freezer, countertops
      • Make sure travel water pumps are accessible

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