Hurricane Preparedness in the Sunshine State- Part 1 , by D.H.

We, down here in the “Sunshine State”, just recovered from Hurricane Irma. It was a massive storm that covered almost the entire state. Floridians are used to hurricanes. We expect them every year, and most of the locals don’t freak out when the local weathermen starts predicting mayhem from a storm over 1,000 miles away. Don’t get me wrong; we’re prepared year-round and watch storms closely, but as one of the fastest growing states we have lots of newcomers who aren’t experienced with this annual weather phenomenon.

Hurricane Season

Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30th. Since most survival sites tend to focus on apocalyptic events, it’s so much easier to get the whole family on board with hurricane preparedness than the collapse of civilization. So let’s start preparing.

Pre-Storm

Watch your local weatherman. Hurricanes should not catch anyone by surprise. If the hurricane is a Category 2+, if you live in a low-lying area or if heavy persistent, flooding rain is predicted and you may have to evacuate.

Bug-Out Bag

Have a bug-out bag prepared with essential meds, toiletries, change of clothing, snacks, books for you, toys for the kids, and all your important documents (i.e. passports, mortgage statements, DD-214’s, et cetera). These documents can easily be destroyed in a hurricane. Heed these evacuation orders from your local authorities; you don’t want to be a statistic.

Sheltering In Place

If you shelter in place you must bring everything inside. This includes plants, dog dishes, toys, trash cans, et cetera. Otherwise, these can easily become missiles hurtling through the air at 70+ mph. Don’t waste your time taping up windows. The only effective way to keep missiles from breaking your windows is with storm shutters or properly installed sheets of plywood.

Take care of your maintenance. Ensure all your trash is picked up before the storm. Fill up all of your vehicles and gas cans. Gas stations may not re-open for days or weeks after a storm, and store gas cans appropriately. Also, don’t forget your pets; they need to be taken care of too.

Stocked Food

First of all, let’s acquire items that can be used year round. Food is essential, but always stock up on the foods you normally eat. MRE’s will keep for years, but very few people eat them for dinner. Stock up on canned goods that are regularly served at your household, and rotate them. You want food that requires a minimum of preparation. (Remember the electricity is probably going to go off.) Convenient foods like granola bars, nuts, tuna, and the like are essential to any pantry. You don’t have to max out your credit card to eat well either. Look for specials at Wal-Mart, Aldi, and Publix. Often times you can budget an extra $20-30 dollars every payday and maintain a full pantry. Don’t forget the baby. Stock up on baby food, diapers, and other assorted baby gear.

Even with low-prep food you need to cook, buy a small charcoal grill or a gas grill (make sure the gas bottle is full) to cook on.

Perishable Foods

Foods you don’t want to stock up when a storm is approaching are frozen meats, dairy, eggs, ice cream, et cetera. Perishables will keep for about 24-48 hours in a refrigerator after the juice goes out. My suggestion is after the storm has passed, light up the grill and invite your neighbors over for a cookout. This is a great time to meet the people in your neighborhood whom you may not get to know otherwise, and you can use up your perishables before they spoil.

How do you keep food from going bad in your refrigerator? Keep the door closed. The less time the door is opened, the less cold air seeps out. Fill gallon milk jugs with water and freeze them before the storm hits, place them inside the fridge and keep the door closed. Make sure you only use potable water in the jugs so you can drink it when it melts. That brings us to our next essential topic– water.

Water

You will die without fresh water. This simple fact seems to escape people after they have just been deluged with 12” of rain. You must stay hydrated to function properly. Here in Florida, with its abundance of fresh water, staying hydrated shouldn’t be a problem. I suggest every household go to Bass Pro Shop and purchase a survival straw. Any fresh water can be safely drunk using one of these amazing devices. Lakes, retention ponds, puddles, et cetera can be legitimate sources of water in an emergency. Also, buy gallon jugs of water at your local supermarket every payday to stock up. If you wait for the weatherman to tell you a storm is approaching, you’re probably too late; the shelves will be empty. Fill up all bathtubs and sinks before the storm arrives. Water in the bathtubs can be used to drink from and to flush the toilet.

Hygiene

We all have to go to the bathroom. When the wind is howling at 70 mph outside, it’s not practical to pee in your backyard. You can use a toilet when the power goes out. Just take at least a quart of water from the tub, open the lid of the tank (not the bowl), and pour it in. Remember the old axiom, “If it’s brown, flush it down; if it’s yellow, leave it for the other fella.” I recommend having at least two buckets inside the house at all times. One bucket with a lid for poop and the other bucket for pee, just in case. Toilet paper is an essential item and should be stocked up on, just like food or water. Also, get hand sanitizer.

Make sure the ladies in the house have all the feminine products they’ll need.

Tomorrow, I’ll continue with the topics of health, security, and more.

See Also:

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

This has been part one of a two part entry for Round 73 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  5. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  6. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  7. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value), and
  8. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Second Prize:

  1. A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
  2. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  3. A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
  4. A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
  5. A Trekker IV™ Four-Person Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $250 value),
  6. A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
  7. A pre-selected assortment of military surplus gear from CJL Enterprize (a $300 value), and
  8. RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  3. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  5. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances, and
  6. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).

Round 73 ends on November 30th, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.

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7 Responses to Hurricane Preparedness in the Sunshine State- Part 1 , by D.H.

  1. Peter Hedglon says:

    Does the survival straw take out petroleum or other chemicals out of water? I am nervous about drinking from standing surface water in built up areas.

    • Seawind says:

      To the best of my knowledge it doesn’t. Nor does boiling it. Best advice avoid all retaining ponds near roads and or highways.

  2. Roger D says:

    Great info. Having gone through many major hurricanes (CT, ME, FL) the only caution concerns evacuation.

    To evacuate risks becoming a refugee. There are events that require evacuation (wild fires for example) but with planning and due diligence in choosing property location and construction hurricanes should not force evacuation.

    Prep Yes. Fear Not.

  3. Wormlady says:

    A friend of mine who has lived in hurricane country for over 30 years says at the first hint that a hurricane might make landfall any where near them, they purposefully eat up what is in the fridge.

    As the fridge empties, they replace the space with water, usually just filling whatever empty canning jars they have.

    They also begin filling sturdy ziplock type bags with water to put in the freezer.

    By the time the hurricane arrives, they have eaten almost all of their perishable foods and have a fridge full of cold water and a freezer full of ice!

    Great article – especially for folks new to hurricane country.

  4. Robert Moffett says:

    My sister lost her house due to flooding in Dade City Florida. The river rose 17.5 feet!They were not in a flood zone and actually had a berm as a precaution. They felt safe. The water was full of fuel and sewage and made the house difficult to salvage. They are tearing it down and relocating. Our family has been in South Florida since 1919 and we are fairly savvy regarding storms. if you do not have flood insurance spend some time researching historical floods to see if one happened before and then ask why it will not again and buy flood insurance. Also, I found windy.com to be invaluable in tracking the storm and more importantly for knowledge of what direction the winds would be coming from.

  5. R.J. says:

    Our neighborhood seemed pretty well prepped for the storm, with food, gas, etc., but when trying to clear our non-county maintained road, hardly anyone’s chain saws would run. They hadn’t run them or kept fresh gas in them (I even sharpened mine two days before).

  6. VT says:

    For the freezer a block of dry ice will keep temps down for 3x normal ice,label door with warning about co2 danger.

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