Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Top 17 things you need to prepare for a Hurricane!

1. Tub full of water (if you are on a well)
See w/ a tub full of water you can still flush your toilet. This is quite the luxury... in case those of you that are still flushing are not aware of how nice it is to be able to flush the waste of six people in any given day. We did not 'get around to' filling our tub before the power went out because we thought we had another couple of hours in the morning. Tom was able to drain the furnace after the power was out and fill the tub about half way. A day and a half later we bailed water from the creek across the street. (Some people are calling me Laura Ingals Wilder Mount now) That was, um, a pain in the ass. And I'm guessing I'll be doing it again tomorrow because Tom is conveniently in Europe WHERE THEY HAVE ELECTRICITY AND RUNNING WATER! You could also boil this water and cook and/or bathe with it.

2. 1 gallon container of some sort
This would be necessary to flush aforementioned toilet w/ all the water you filled your tub with.

3. POTABLE water.
Yes you can get some at the grocery store or local coffee shop... so long as they have power and aren't sold out of water.

4. ICE! A second freezer doesn't hurt, but I wouldn't go out and buy one.
We were able to fill our garage freezer (That was thankfully empty because Tom usually uses it as a beer cooler. He uses some contraption to turn the freezer into a fridge.) with ice to turn it into a damn good refrigerator for our perishables.

5. Flash lights/candles
You will likely want to see after the sun goes down. I used a head lamp to cook dinner and clean up after. It was super helpful. It was also helpful when I broke a 5 gallon glass carboy full of water in my mom's VERY DARK kitchen at around 8am one morning. Wow, that was super fun!

6. Batteries
Ya know.. for the flashlights and your kids toys (if you have them.. both kids and toys) that will invariably run out of juice 5 minutes after the power goes out.

7. Grill
You might want to cook some of that food that is getting ready to rot in your fridge.

8. Propane
The grill won't work real well without it!

9. RUN the dishwasher!!
We failed to run our fully loaded dishwasher the night before the hurricane because we were dumb enough to think that the weather people knew EXACTLY when the shit would hit the fan. Um, they can't know exactly. Power went out over night... and our gross dishes sat there for two days before I filled the sink w/ our saved potable water to wash all of them by hand. More good times!

10. Coffee - GROUND
This might not be a must for you, but it is a must in this house. We did not have this either. So far we are not excelling at Hurricane Prep! We had beans, but the grinder needs electricity to run. Funny how that works. We considered smashing them w/ a mallet, but we were lucky in that the grocery store was open.

11. French Press
Your coffee maker won't work... but you can boil water on your grill w/ that propane you got. Did I mention that while we have two propane tanks only one was partially full. Another fail... at least we had some... and again stores were open so we were able to fill the second.

12. Wine/Beer/Spirit of choice
I DID manage to buy beer and wine! YEAH ME! You will want this to calm your nerves... particularly if you have small children that might be so spoiled as to be accustomed to having the bathroom light left on when they go to bed and are therefore terrified of the dark... it could be a late night. Wine helps.

13. Gym Membership
This is a multifunctional item. Not only does it provide a hot shower... again if you have well... but you know you'll need to get your sweat on to relieve any stress you MAY have accumulated through this process. Or you could just haul some more water... that's a pretty ass kicking workout!

14. Money in savings
First and foremost in case of damage to your house. Some things will be covered by your home owners insurance. Some things won't. Some things will need to be fixed NOW! And it wouldn't hurt to do a once over prior to the storm and fix things ahead of time. Also you'll likely find yourself needing to eat out should your power be out for more than a few days and you lose both your will to prepare food and the food in your fridge.

15. Patience
You will certainly need some of this! If you don't have it... well, good luck.

16. Sense of humor
This makes all things better! You will need to laugh at yourself while you are hauling 10 gallon barrels of water up hills through mud and depositing them in your tub to then dump water in a toilet full of urine and feces that may or may not belong to you! Good times! You will need to laugh when you are so happy that your basement didn't flood that you go ahead and flood a portion of it w/ a 5-10 gallon jug. And keep laughing when your kids are up all hours of the night because.. well who knows why really.

17. Able Body
You may have to haul lots of stuff. You may be up later than usual and you will likely find yourself doing stuff the old fashioned way. Note: It was way harder to get normal daily tasks done back in the day.

And a bonus... wouldn't hurt to have ME there to prepare your kick ass 'roughin' it meals!!

We are fairing well and maintaining our sense of humor. I'd rather have no power and now water than have power and water and extra water filling my basement or a gaping whole in my roof from an old huge tree smashing into it or a tree smashed on top of my car. We're safe and we're toughening up... but just a bit. I am in a coffee shop right now using their electricity and wifi after all so it really can't be all that bad!

For those that were hit w/ the storm and hit harder than us I hope you have good support around you, an able body, tons of patience and a rockin' sense of humor. I'm thinking about you!

What did you do to prepare? What did you forget? What will you do next time... cause we all know more storms will come in our life!!!


  1. Living in the Gulf Coast area this is something we deal with every year. I actually have a hurricane closet that is checked and replenished at the beginning of every hurricane season!

    #10 and #12 are a must!

    #18 - A generator. This would actually be #1 on my list! Use it once and it is worth it's weight in gold!

    #19 - About 20gallons of gas in the garage, gotta run the generator and if the power is out all the gas stations are closed!

  2. You have power now, right??? You made the best of a craptastic situation. Way to "weather the storm".