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Hurricane Tips and Preparation



Amazing what can be in store when a storm is coming your way. Being prepared is key. If you are in an area that has tropical storms, this post will give you some of the important
tips to follow. Awaiting 9/5/2017 for Hurricane Irma to hit Florida.


Today is 9/12/2017.  Irma pounded us for more than 15 hours. We experienced 20 tornado activity in Brevard county. Lots of floods, mobile homes ripped to sheds. Fish thrown from the rivers and alligators walking across the street in downtown Melbourne. We just got our power back on and very grateful with minimal damages. God Bless Florida and pray for all with the devastation throughout the entire state. We are grateful in Melbourne Florida. This time we had lots more of frozen plastic water bottles and containers replacing the food in our freezer to keep coldcuts, cheeses safe during the outage.  I also had bread dough made ahead of time to use out side on the grill to make pizza in cast iron skillet, fried dough and the old fashioned coffee pot didn't fail me. Perfect must haves with no power. This was the first time we had plenty of days to prepare using the tips below. 





As we were waiting in 2016 for Hurricane Matthew to hit on October 6th and 7th, we began preparing the shutters on the doors, getting everything necessary to stay inside for a few days to include non refrigerated foods, lots of water. Fill the bathtub, drain the pool 2 or 3 inches. The unplug anything that could be a possible power surge like laptops, any extra tv and other electronics that wont work in a power outage. We packed just in case putting  all our valuables in a plastic container to include all important paperwork needed after the storm. Don't forget any medications. Also place things higher in the home wrapped in plastic that can get water damage. This is a bit stressful to say the least. I like to cook when I am stressed and knew if it was coming I was losing alot so I started to make what I could. Some of them in the photo below.





The storm strengthened and Melbourne Florida (which is Brevard County) became the target of this huge storm. The news continued to say it would make landfall here. 

Now the valuables, packed suitcases ready to go and pets packed in pet carriers were all we took to evacuate. House was secured. It's always a guessing game on where it lands but packing a category 4 or 5 strength, there was no way we wanted to take the chance. 
Back in 2004 we got hit by Jeanne and Frances. Both storms damaged our home with a total of around 50k in loss. Grateful it was only material things and we were not harmed as we stayed. 
The storm sounded like a freight training going through and pounding against the house for over 19 hours. This time I wasn't staying for that stressful night and praying for the best outcome for everyone in our state.
We did evacuate and drove to Fort Myers and stayed with family. 

Our cousin's home, Karen and Bill, they were gracious hosts and offered to accommodate our family in their home. We truly  are blessed to have them in our lives here, we appreciated their hospitality. My husband, son Curt,  daughterinlaw Jenni and both grandchildren Antonio and Talia packed up and left. We also brought all three cats in carriers. Trina, Fonzo and Regina. Remember in storms hotels book quickly make arrangements early you always cancel if you don't have to evacuate.

My other son Chad stayed behind and secured his home and waited it out. He is fascinated by storms as a hobby and kept us up to date along with checked out home after the storm as he was completely untouched by damages.

Every time we have these storms I learn a little more on what we need more of. Batteries are never enough and flashlights. 
Water is never enough because if you have a boil water alert you use it for even brushing your teeth. I had a case for each person.
The tub should be filled for sponge baths.
Cell phone portable chargers charged ahead of time. Of course you can sit in your car and charge the battery also.
Landline phones if you have service they have to be corded
You will have no tv or internet in a power outage unless it's satellite and stays stable. Buy a portable weather radio.

Get an extra tank of propane for your gas grill to cook on.
Power outages are very inconvenient for sure, get led candles to put in the bathrooms, closets and other darker areas. 

Fill those gas cans have at least 3 - 5 gallon pails or more everyone runs out of gas at the pumps.

Cook as much food as you can ahead of time and buy ice to keep in a cooler you're going to lose it without a generator.

Don't throw out soda plastic 2 liter bottles and milk container.  Fill with water and freeze them. They will keep the freezer cold much longer.

Buy extra pet food. Kitty litter if you have a cat.
Cakes, cookies, muffins, bagels, peanut butter, jelly, tuna, bread. Get foods that do not need refrigeration.
Get disposable plates, cup, plastic forks and spoons. 
We have a gas grill with a side burner to make coffee on it in the morning. Buy an iron cast skillet and camping coffee pot.




Gas up the cars.
We got to our destination safely. Glad to report we had minimal damages, screens ripped and frame to the screen enclosure was the worst that happened and we were grateful. It took 3 days to get power back on and we had a boil water order.
The after effects are hard to deal with. Cleanup, roadblocks, no traffic lights, diversions, boil water orders, everything is closed. Remember it can take much longer to get power back. Preparing is key.

The beach side had massive damage and this storm continued North damaging one area after another. These storms should never be taken lightly. Prepare, be safe and listen to direction. Life is too precious to take chances. Thankful they were wrong and it stayed on shore no one is ever certain what the outcomes will be.

Hope this helps someone out there that ever has to prepare for a storm and new to Florida or other places Hurricanes can happen.
Any questions I will be happy to answer. I have never left until this one. I will always leave the area when it's higher than a category 2.
Thanks for reading. Grateful here in Melbourne Florida and very fortunate, good luck to all my readers.






Here is my old list from 2004 Frances then Jeanne took off our roof:
Some other useful tips during a hurricane, or any power outage storm can be found below:

Here's my go to list!  :

Charge mobile phone and buy car charger for phone in case the power is down.
Check tire pressure, fill gas tank and top off all liquids.
Back-up computer files and keep external hard-drive and/or flash-drive in a Ziploc bag. Unplug everything except tv and refrigerator you need to keep it cold as long as possible.
Freeze bottles of water and keep them in the freezer it will keep the food frozen longer then you still have drinking water later.

Photograph or video all personal property that's expensive like jewelry if you can't take it with you. video every room, closet, use a tablet or your cell phone. Video even the food in your freezer for proof insurance will need; download to a thumb drive. Keep one copy and send another to a lawyer or family member for safe keeping. 
Create a master list of accounts, contact names and numbers for all credit/debit cards, bank and mortgage accounts and insurance policies; also include contact information for lawyer, accountant, financial adviser, friends and family. Download a copy to CD or flash drive to wear around your neck.
Keep identification on you at all times, including a small, wallet-sized card listing emergency contact numbers and insurance information and social security.
Secure animals in a crate with their favorite toys and a long-lasting rawhide bone before, during and after the hurricane and always keep them on a leash. Pets should wear collars with current identification and also be micro-chipped.
Store a week’s supply of pet food, flea and tick and heart worm medicine, as well as some prescription pills to relax your pets during the storm, in an air-tight container.
Keep prescription medicines, spare eyeglasses, wallet, credit/debit and ATM cards, checkbooks, passport, and copies of all insurance papers (homeowners, auto and medical), as well as current HUD statements, car titles, medical records, pet licenses/vaccinations and any other valuable papers, stored in a Ziploc bag. Scan copies of the above items to a thumb drive.
Fill all bathtubs with water to use when flushing toilets. 

Note: You can use tap water until the storm hits.Bottled water is best for drinking,  if you run out of clean fresh water, be sure to purify with eight drops of bleach or water purification tablets.

Again you will not remember everything you own
VIDEO TAPE YOUR HOUSE whole house for insurance. I will keep reminding you. Insurance companies are not your friend!


Must-haves:

A gas grill with two or more extra tanks of fuel.
Have plenty of cash on hand;$1's, $5s, $10s and $20s are best.
In lieu of matches, purchase multi-purpose lighters.
Stock up on canned foods,  peanut butter, dried fruit and granola bars.  Canned Oranges, raisins, snack bars, crackers and apples dried or fresh. Hand canopener.
A large cooler and plenty of freezer packs. Disposable, rinse-free toothbrushes, liquid hand sanitizer and baby wipes are also good to have on hand.
A watertight storage container with a snap-on lid, plenty of Ziploc bags and disposable disinfecting, surface wipes.
Freezers should be jam packed with container of frozen water with lids. To keep it cold if power goes out and you can drink it later.
Tubs full of water to flush toilets.
Ply wood or storm shutters up on all windows.
Ziplock bags with all important papers, insurance, birth certificates,  anything important so they don't get wet.
Old fashioned coffee pot to use on a grill to make coffee.

Get ready ahead of time and plan leave if it's mandatory take no chances.
Take all valuable jewelry there will be looters.
Fill empty jugs with water to drink most places are out save milk, soda and 2 liter bottles with it. Freeze it until ready to leave or place the refrigerator frozen to thaw and keep cold in an outage.
Propane tanks filled,
Extra Gas cans filled extra you will get stuck in traffic sometimes for hours when trying to evacuate.
Generator: if you can get one make sure it works in May not when a hurricane strikes in the season!
Every food you can eat that is ready made such as peanut butter, jam, breads, snacks, soda, tuna, dried meats etc.
Bleach you will need this to disinfect if any sewer water gets into the home
Batteries for everything flashlights, electronic candles
candles, matches
Pack a suitcase with lots of clothes you wont know how long you may be gone or what you come back too
Pills do not forget medications
Pet carriers and don't forget them!
Full tank of GAS days before they run out with gas cans full

If you leave:

Unplug everything, TV, shut off hot water tank ( we made the mistake of leaving it on and it got hit by lightening, flooded the whole house, because it's inside the wash room) all small appliances can start fires so unplug EVERYTHING!
Bring extra phone chargers for the car. Get extended battery packs for your phones.

Finally to all good luck and god bless, leave a message if you have any tips for us..

3 comments:

  1. @DianePeak if you see the photo that pool was half full. After the storm it is to the top. You will risk flooding in the house and pool overflowing if you dont drain it. Also if you have patio furniture you can throw it in the pool when there is a storm so it doesn't fly through the enclosures if you have screening. We had 9 to 12 inches of rain that would have caused a flood if we didnt drain the pool. Great question thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for your answer. Now I understand. I live in the Midwest, and have never had to deal with hurricaines!!

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