This is not a list of typical hurricane supplies. You already know you need canned food, batteries and water. There are tons of those lists out there, you don’t need one more. I am going to tell you what I learned from first hand experience. After weathering three hurricanes a couple of years ago I no longer take chances with hurricane season. We learned a couple of things that year, especially with the second of the three when our power was out for five days and a tree fell on our house.
Bagged ice sucks! Once the ice in our cooler finally melted we had to switch to buying bagged ice. I couldn’t believe how quickly it melted. If we hadn’t made our own ice, we would have spend a small fortune in bagged ice for sure. A better solution is to start storing ice as soon as the storm is expected to come your way. Fill up plastic grocery bags with ice and store all you can in your freezer. Use old plastic containers with lids, recycled yogurt containers work great, to made huge ice blocks. Take a couple of those gallons of water you bought and throw them in the freezer. Make sure you pour a little water off the top so your bottle doesn’t explode. Then you’ve got cool drinking water for a few days if you need it. Why is this so important: the ice from our ice maker lasted over three days but the bagged ice hardly made it through one.
Learn what radio stations are in your area besides music. Trust me, you will get tired of listening to music. We found a station that played the CBS TV station and we listened to sitcoms one night, a very pleasant change.
One of those spray bottles with a battery powered fan is wonderful for the hot nights. A day or two after to storm passes the cloud cover will be gone and the sun will be back. It will be hot and humid whether your AC is on or not. Fill the spray bottle with melted ice from your cooler and you’re good to go.
Ear plugs will help you sleep through the roar of generators. These are especially helpful if you are the only family in the neighborhood without a generator and you’re having to sleep with the windows open.
When you’re picking out food at the grocery store, don’t just buy junk food. If you’re anything like me the thought of “having” to live off Little Debbies and Doritos doesn’t sound so bad, but you will get tired of it and wished you bought at least one can of beef stew.
If there are trees close enough to fall on your house and they are big enough to break through your roof, buy a tarp. The last place you want to be the morning after the hurricane is standing outside Home Dept with 200 other survivors waiting to buy a tarp. Especially if Home Depot’s power is out and they are only letting in customers five at a time so they can hand write your order.
Have something to do. If your power goes out or you’re just tired of watching to storm move at 5mph on TV you’ll want something to entertain you. Watching the rain fall from your open front door while you’re trying to stay cool will get boring real quick.
These are the tips that would have made the season go a lot smoother for us. It’s better to be prepared and not need the stuff than have to fight for the last box of Swiss cake rolls. Besides, if you end up not needing them you can always give them away to trick-or-treaters, if they make it that long.