Top Ten Tips You Never Hear
on Preparing for a Hurricane

Youíve already heard the usual tips for preparing for a hurricane: shopping ahead and filling the car with gas. Here are ten tips nobody mentions but sure make a difference if you stay in your home and lose any services. If you donít have a generator, these tips will come in handy.

If you are in for a major force hurricane and you have been asked to evacuate, please do so. These tips work well if you home is not destroyed but you lose city services for an extended time.
  1. Empty all trash. Take things to the dump if necessary. If you end up stuck in your home with roads that are not passable and city services are delayed, the last thing you want is trash piling up, especially in hot weather.

  2. Do the laundry. If you lose electricity for an extended period, you could run out of clean underwear.

  3. Clean the kitchen. If you have running water, you should be able to keep the kitchen clean, even if the water isnít hot. Starting with a clean kitchen just makes the job easier. The best idea is to buy paper products that you can throw away, but even with that there will be items that need to be washed. If your water is dependent on an electric pump for access, and you lose power, you will be glad to have a clean kitchen and paper products.

  4. Fill jars with water for hygiene. The idea of filling a bathtub with water is great. But if your bathtub is like that of many people, the water leaks out in a relatively short amount of time. Filling jars at least gives you water for brushing your teeth and washing your hands and face.

  5. Locate and organize your tools and find that pair of sturdy work glove you bought. Everyone talks about a flashlight and batteries but nobody ever mentions needing your tools or work gloves. If the fence gets blown across the door and knocks off the window screens in the proces, you may need your tools just to create a path to safely leave the house. Get your toolbox organized and make note of where you put it so you know exactly where it is. If you end up having to make repairs, you'll have enough to deal with without adding the frustration of having to look for the hammer.

  6. Back-up important information on your computer and put the disk in your purse or overnight bag.

  7. Get your Heirs Affairs documents and put them in your overnight bag.

  8. Buy a personal, battery-powered fan for each person. You can get them at the dollar store. Itís a little luxury youíll appreciate if you lose power.

  9. Get two battery powered radios with weather stations - and TV Bands if you can find them - along with extra batteries. One for the adults and one for the kids that also serves as a back-up. If you lose power, those radios will come in handy for news, weather reports, and entertainment...and you won't have to listen to that music your kids like.

  10. Pre-pack an overnight bag with basic essentials so that if you decide to leave at the last minute, or if your home sustains damage such that you cannot live there during repairs, you can leave knowing you have the basic items you need to get along for a few days while you make other arrangements.

  11. Send out an email to pre-selected friends and relatives keeping them updated on whatís happening during the storm, as long as it is safe to do so. They will be hearing all sorts of things on the news and may not be able to get through on the phone due to busy circuits or fallen cell towers. It will be a relief to them to have heard something from you.

  12. Every family member should have something with which to entertain themselves (books, magazines, games, etc.). Consider buying small toys that you gift wrap for children, only to be opened when things are at their worst in a hurricane.