Another school year is over and summer vacation is here. That also means another hurricane season is here and now is a great time to invest in some thinking time and basic hurricane preparedness planning. Hurricane season is deemed to run from June 1 to November 30 every year in the northern hemisphere. Most storm trackers list the peak tropical storm season activity to normally occur from August through mid-September. Since we can never predict when a hurricane or tropical storm will cause damage and destruction it is good common sense to set aside some resources and time so that you always have a basic family plan in place and create preparedness for any storm or related emergency that might occur.
While many counties, districts, and states may not be in actual hurricane zones it makes good sense to use the opportunity to prepare for whatever conditions or storm that may turn your world upside down. This can include chemical spills, fires, flooding, hazardous material spills, high winds, natural disaster, power outages, or tornadoes, With school out and summer vacation here, the family has the extra time to focus on plans to enjoy fantastic family freedom and fun over the summer while still setting aside some time to gather for a family discussion regarding disaster planning and preparedness drills and rehearsal.
While not every area of the country is prone to hurricanes consider the fact that there are other types of conditions, disasters, and weather-related problems that can be very disruptive. It is important that all family members focus some family time on being prepared with a game plan to stay happy, healthy, and prepared for any chaos that may occur. Many people have become too casual and lackadaisical when it comes to owning responsibility for their happiness and health. This is a reminder and wake-up call to find the energy and time to create a disaster plan for your family to give you better peace of mind and improve the odds in your favor for good outcomes regardless of what adversity, natural disaster, or weather problem may occur.
Heads of the family should schedule discussions, drills, exercises, and preparedness time for each family member to participate in the family preparedness plans. Since hurricane season occurs at the same time each year it makes good sense to put it on your annual family calendar, with a checklist of preparedness items and steps to ensure you follow through and mark any new plans or progress. After your hurricane preparedness planning, you can enjoy your family vacation with more peace of mind.
The Morningstar NEWS blog is passionate about helping people focus on taking care of their families and creating successful strategies to help keep members happy and healthy despite accidents, disasters, and weather problems. Today may be the perfect day for you to step into your leadership role and begin to create plans to help your family be emotionally, mentally, and physically prepared in the event of significant health, safety, and environmental issues that could put family members at risk. To stay happy and healthy we must invest the energy, money, and time in behaviors, beliefs, and habits that will build our confidence, courage, and resilience. The ongoing crazy coronavirus conditions are one example of how crazy things can occur which require us to think outside the box and be prepared for adversity and chaos.
Instead of being afraid, dependent, fragile, and helpless in the event of a storm or weather-related problem now is a great opportunity to become calm, centered, and committed to developing your preparedness skills and self-sufficiency strategies. Having survived Hurricane Harvey, Ike, and many others over the last forty years on the Gulf of Mexico Coast has provided me with many life lessons learned to share and help others be better prepared
Hurricane Season – An Ounce of Preparedness Can Prevent a Pound of Pain and Suffering
It is important to contemplate and think through what supplies are important to stock up with, in preparation for a possible hurricane or summer power outage. There are many checklists and resources available from agencies and government entities that can help you be better prepared.
Top Twenty-Three Things to Think About in Anticipation of Hurricane Season and Severe Storms:
- Water is your most important item to have available in the event of flooding, a hurricane, or a power outage. It is easy to get dehydrated faster in the summer, so store enough water for all members o the family. Experts recommend you plan on three gallons of water per person per day for brushing, cooking, drinking, and a sponge bath. Extra water can be stored in buckets, containers, and tubs to run the toilets. Larger containers and water jugs are better than lots of small bottles.
- Be sure to have a good water filter on hand. You never know when the municipal water supply may become contaminated. Always be prepared for a boil order and have plans in place to sterilize your water for safety. BTW in some emergencies, glass bottles have been used to help make water safer to drink by setting them out in the sun for a full day of Ultra Violet light exposure. Chlorox and iodine tablets have also been used to help purify water.
- Be sure you maintain a full tank of gas in all your vehicles and maybe a little extra gas in a 5-gallon gas jug. Keep a Bug Out Bag packed with clothes and essentials.
- Keep all your cell phones, computers, laptops, tablets, and charging stations charged. If you have battery storage or charging stations keep them charged and handy.
- Bandaids, First aid supplies, and medicines are essential to maintain at all times and especially in preparation for hurricane season and severe weather conditions.
- If the power goes out your food in the freezer and refrigerator can spoil quickly. Have a large ice chest handy and have plastic bottles filled with water in the freezer ready to put in the bottom of the ice chest. Keep the doors closed and only retrieve the items you will consume quickly within 24 hours. Avoid letting the children open the doors as the cold will escape quickly and you will cut your cold storage time down very quickly. Keep blankets and sheets over the ice chest to keep them cold longer. A chest freezer is much better than a stand-up freezer to keep items cold longer. At the first sign of a power outage eliminate the dairy, cheese, ice cream, and milk which are likely to go bad and make someone sick. Have a gas or propane grill ready at all times during hurricane season. Have an extra full propane bottle on standby. If you have a camping stove or charcoal grill be sure you have fuel and matches available.
- Be sure your cupboards and pantry are stocked up with at least a two weeks supply of non-perishable food items.
- Have disposable utensils and paper plates ready to avoid washing dishes and possibly wasting water.
- Good non-perishable food items include; canned chicken, sardines or tuna, cereal, chips, crackers, dried fruit, fruit, granola bars, jelly, pasta and pasta sauce, peanut butter, salted nuts, salsa, and other shelf-stable food items.
- A generator is a good investment if you can afford one. Maybe you and a neighbor can share one and the fuel to keep it running until the power is restored.
- If you have frequent summer power outages, it might be a good idea to get a propane or camping generator to run a refrigerator so you can keep perishable items cold without electricity.
- Flashlights can be our best friends when things go dark at night. Battery-powered flashlights and emergency lights are very important during any power outage. Rechargeable flashlights can be great if you have a way to recharge them in your car or close by. It is best to have a combination of both and extra batteries.
- Some people may want to invest in solar power panels and solar battery power storage sources that are recharged with the solar panels.
- It can be very hot in the summer so staying cool and comfortable is important. Have clean bottles with spray attachments to use as bottles of cooling sprayed water. Spray yourself with water from a misting bottle and wrap a bandana around your neck if you need to work outdoors. Be sure to wear a broad brim hat and lightweight clothes.
- Wearing loose-fitting clothes that also block the mosquitoes and sun to protect your skin. The last thing you want is sunburn or bug bites that can get infected and make you more miserable.
- Eating lighter meals with more fruits and veggies is better than eating heavy-cooked meals. The exception is to cook your meats and serve them to your family and friends first since they are more expensive and likely to spoil if not consumed first.
- Herbal teas and instant drinks can come in very handy. Avoid the temptation to consume excess alcohol which can lead to potential problems.
- Candles are handy items to have on hand in the event the power goes out. They are not good to burn inside a home because they make the home hotter and greatly increase the risk of a fire which could be devastating. Only burn candles outside using extreme caution to avoid starting an accidental fire. Citronella candles can be very useful.
- Charcoal or propane grills are great for cooking any food outdoors that starts to defrost.
- A dehydrator can come in very handy if you still have power. Many items in your freezer or refrigerator can be dehydrated and saved from going bad.
- Ponchos and rain jackets can come in very handy during a hurricane or rain storm.
- Be sure you have your valuable items packed and stored in containers or waterproof bags for easy transport to safety.
- Tents can come in very handy in the event the children or family need to sleep outdoors to stay cooler. It is important to have good airflow and bugs screens to be as comfortable as possible.
Bonus Hurricane Preparedness Thinking
- Avoid keeping your freezer and fridge full when hurricane warnings are being posted. Throw a party in advance to celebrate being prepared.
- Buy a good ice chest and learn to use a movers insulation blanket.
- Learn to capture greywater and use it to water your garden or house plants.
- Get your prepping and survival stockpile ready before the proverbial StormHitsTheFan (SHTF) so you have everything you may need for a hurricane or power outage. You do not want to be out in the chaos and running around like a crazy person when the storm is bearing down on your town.
- Keep your drains, gutters, and yards clear of any debris that can cause stormwater to back up or winds to damage doors and windows.
- Keep supplies and tools handy that may be important to your hurricane and storm planning. Plastic and plywood can be screwed in place to protect windows from windblown damage.
- Have duct tape and tarps handy. You never know when they may be useful.
- Conduct a family drill and regular rehearsal to ensure your family knows their responsibilities and roles.
- Remember to have a plan in place for your pets so the kids will be able to remain calm and cool knowing all members of the family are taken care of. A written plan is a preparedness plan and a plan in your head is a daydream. Your family deserves a written plan in place and to feel confident in you being the family leader and provider.
“Being prepared is based on conditioning, developing, and training our emotional, mental, and physical abilities and skills so that we can face adversities, challenges, and extreme difficulties when they present themselves. Remember – An Ounce of Preparedness can Prevent a Pound of Pain and Suffering” — Michael Morningstar
Passion for People & Planet
The passion and purpose of Morningstar NEWS are to condense hundreds of hours of reading and research down to two minutes of education, information, and inspiration. Many people are susceptible to fires, hurricanes, and storms which leaves them at risk and vulnerable. It only takes several hours to create a comprehensive emergency preparedness plan and keep it up to date with new supplies. Why not gather your family together and design a family contingency plan to help everyone feel better and be prepared. What is it worth to have the peace of mind knowing you have prepared your family with the emotional, mental, and physical resilience to deal with a hurricane, natural disaster, or severe storm? For many that peace of mind is priceless.
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