Easy Last-Minute Hurricane Prep Tips
With Hurricane Florence barreling towards the East Coast, mere hours from landfall, you may be worrying about being prepared. Probably the most nerve-wracking thing about natural disasters is our inability to control certain aspects… thankfully there are easy, small measures we CAN take to help maintain some semblance of control. Here are a few ideas for prepping your home and life that are quick and simple!
Stock your emergency kit!
Obviously first-aid items, nonperishable food, and water are givens, but what about batteries? A battery operated radio, flashlight, or camper light will make all the difference in the world. Waterproof matches are important too, just be careful when using camp stoves to cook or candles for light- extreme flooding can sometimes lead to gas leaks which can react with fire in not-so-happy ways.
Prep your basement.
Finished or unfinished basement in your house? Give it a little extra love. Ensure that any sump pumps are plugged in and in good working order. You can test them to make sure they’re taking on water properly. Check any basement windows for leaks, remove electrical cords from the floor, and ensure any boxes (particularly permeable materials like cardboard!) are elevated.
Clean your gutters and downspouts.
There’s no worse feeling than when it’s already raining and you notice a clog in your gutters and water is pouring straight down your exterior… or even INTO your home. Clean out leaves, sticks, and debris to ensure that water flows properly away from your home. Additionally, if your downspouts end close to your foundation, you may consider purchasing extenders to direct the water further away.
Turn your fridge into a freezer!
Find any spare bottles or containers and fill them with water… pack every available inch of your freezer with these items because, in the event of loss of power, the more items that are frozen, the longer they take to thaw. When they DO thaw, that’s even more fresh water you have access to. And, because we’ve seen a hurricane or two, here’s an Insider Tip! If you decide to evacuate, before you go, place a cup of water in the freezer and wait for it to freeze completely. Once it’s frozen, place a coin on the top of the ice. When you return home, if the coin is on the bottom of the cup, you’ll know you lost power (allowing for the ice to melt and the coin to sink). If it’s still on top of the ice, you’ll know you maintained power and your fridge foods are still safe to eat.
Most importantly, stay inside, stay away from windows, keep your electronics fully charged as long as power will allow, and heed any and all warnings from professional meteorologists. Stay safe during Hurricane Florence!