My First Hurricane Season in Georgia

I moved from California, where hurricanes are pretty much non existent, to the coast of Georgia and this will be my first hurricane season. I have been told that Savannah, Georgia has not been hit with a hurricane in approximately 7 years, but I am not taking my chances and I am gearing up for a hurricane just in case. I have done some research and have received plenty of advice to know what I need to do to prepare for a hurricane.

Like I said, I moved to Georgia from California, Northern California to be more specific, a little under a year ago. I had no idea what to expect, but after being here for a few months, I quickly learned that the weather is very unpredictable. When I lived in California I could look out the window and determine what I would be wearing for that day. Here in Georgia, I look out the window and can see that it is cloudy, rainy and windy, so naturally I think it is a bit cold outside and put on jeans and a long sleeve shirt, but as I walk out of the house a horrible sticky hot sensation comes over me and I have to go back inside to change my clothes. I also was not prepared for the on and off thunder showers and down pours of rain in the summer. Where I come from, winter is cold and rainy, spring is warm and pretty, summer is hot and sunny and fall is cool and breezy. However, here in Georgia, a summer day here may consist of sun, wind, thunder, lightning, rain and then sun again in a matter of 30 minutes. Things are very different from back home, but it is something I need to get used to.

I can deal with an earth quake, but a hurricane is a different story. I had no idea what I would need or do if a hurricane ever hit, so I started to do some research and learned some valuable information….

You should get your hurricane kit ready and buy the supplies early because if a storm threatens, supplies will be short and lines will be long. Your kits should include, but are not limited to the following items:

FOOD:

water (approx. 1 gallon per person), beverages (powdered or canned fruit juices, instant coffee, tea, etc.), milk (powdered and shelf-packaged/canned), prepared foods (canned soups, spaghetti, tuna, chicken, ham, corned beef, etc.), canned vegetables and fruit, dried fruits, snacks (crackers, peanut butter, cheese spread, jelly, cookies, nuts, etc.), cereals, sugar, salt, pepper, dry or canned pet food, baby formula and food
*You may also need to buy items at the time of a storm such as bread, ice, vegetables and any other perishable foods you may need.

KITCHEN SUPPLIES:

manual can opener, bottle opener, matches (in a plastic bag), pocket knife (preferably a Swiss Army Style), camp stove or other cooking devices and fuel, ice chest/cooler, paper plates, napkins, plastic cups, knives, forks, spoons

HURRICANE SUPPLIES:

flashlights (don’t forget batteries and bulbs), battery operated TV or radio, lanterns, clock (wind-up or battery operated), plastic garbage bags, fire extinguishers, scissors, toilet paper, diapers and wipes (if needed), emergency toilet (small can with tight fit lid), plastic bags (to line emergency toilet), bleach/disinfectant, clean change of clothes, map of the area

HARDWARE:

power screwdriver, 4 by 8 foot sheets of plywood (to put over windows) screws, plastic sheets (to cover furniture), rope, duct tape, nails, hammer

MEDICAL SUPPLIES:

medic alert tags, insect repellent sprays, feminine hygiene items, insect bite lotion, sunscreen, soap, first aid handbook, bandages, aspirin, adhesive tape, tweezers, needles, disinfectant, water purification tablets, children’s medication and any over the counter medication that may be needed

IMPORTANT PAPERS:

family information sheet (names, birth dates, social security numbers, medical needs), copies of social security cards/driver’s licenses/insurance cards, home/renters insurance papers (including your home’s inventory list), copies of all cards in your wallet (if your wallet is lost, you will have your credit card number and customer service phone numbers), and any other papers you feel are needed
*Keep all papers in a water safe plastic bag.

You may also want to check your local news channel website for additional information on hurricanes along with the National Weather Service and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

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