Hurricane Season – that dreaded time between June and November we all watch the Gulf of Mexico and miss Nash Roberts. Whether you go our stay, it's best to always be prepared and to start preparing early. Our team put together this list of tips to shelter in place during a hurricane to help your family prepare and stay safe. If you are evacuating we have some tips for you too.
Shelter In Place Hurricane Supply List
- Bottled water – enough for at least 3-5 days
- Canned goods and pantry foods that don't need refrigeration
- Non-electric can opener
- First Aid kit
- Car charger for cell phones and tablets so you charge them in the car
- Paper products
- Baby wipes for cleaning hands and faces when there is no water
- Baby food/canned formula
- Gas in all vehicles
- Board games, books and puzzles to keep the kids busy
- Prescription medicines
- Bug Spray
- Pet food
- Collar with tag that has owner info and chip info
- Battery power packs for cell phones
- Battery powered fans
- Whistle to signal for help
- Garbage Bags
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Over the counter medications you may need
- Propane or charcoal for the grill
- Shelf Stable Milk
Before You Shelter In Place
Gather your important papers
Put them in a a place where you can get to them easily and find them in a hurry. Do the same with pictures.
Pack a go bag
Pack a bag with clothes and essential items for every member for the family that you can grab quickly if you need to leave.
Put an axe and a white towel and whistle in your attic.
Yes this sounds morbid but this is New Orleans, and water rises quickly. The axe will help you get through the roof to escape if need be and the white towel and whistle will help you flag down help.
Put the food in your freezer in black garbage bags.
This way when you have to clean it out, you can just tie up the bags and throw all the food away. Less mess and less time! Oh and less smelly too!
Fill freezer bags with water to make ice
Put them in your freezer. This will help keep things colder longer. You can also use gallon jugs, two liter bottles, and water bottles.
Fill your bath tub with water.
If the power goes out you can flush your toilet by scooping water with a bucket from the full tub and dumping it down the toilet. This water can also be used for washing off.
Clean up your yard.
Pick up toys, decorations, garbage cans, and anything else that can be a projectile during a storm. Check the storm drains on your street and make sure they are clear.
Board up your windows
You can use plywood or storm shutters. Duct tape does nothing to really protect your windows
Check your insurance.
Read through your dock and even call your agent to check your coverage and what you need to do to make sure things are as easy as possible. Some policies will cover an evacuation under certain conditions, some will cover the contents of your freezer, and some will cover items in a storage unit. It’s good to know this before the storm hits.
Take videos and pictures of the contents in your house and your cars.
Write down serial numbers for electronics etc. This will help a lot when it comes time to make a claim and replace lost items.
Charge all electronic devices including your computer.
This way they will still work for a while after the power goes out. Your computer can also serve as a back up battery charger for your cell phone.
During Isaac, stores like Whole Foods had more stock than say Walmart. Also Costco and Sam's carry more stock than the average grocery store so they will have supplies in stock longer. Also don't count out Walgreens, CVS, or stores like Office Depot who all carry water and batteries.
Hit the Bank
If the power goes out, so do ATM machines and debit/credit machines. Make sure you have some cash on hand for buying things after the storm before the power is restored.
Fill Containers With Water
Even if you bought bottled water. Fill every container you can close with water. Ziploc bags work in a pinch. You can use this for drinking, brushing teeth, cleaning off, etc.
Shelter In Place With Kids
The worse part of hunkering down with no electric is dealing with the kids. We feel ya! Here are some ways to keep them entertained without electric.
Cards and board games
This is a great chance to relive your childhood and teach kids about the classics from before the world of tablets and iPads. Dominoes, War, Monopoly… literally hours of entertainment.
This is especially great for keeping toddlers entertained when you need to be hands off. Also, no chasing lost crayons with a flashlight!
Hand Clapping Games
This is a winner if you have two or more kids, because you can teach them and let them entertain each other. Also, every kid needs to know Miss Mary Mack and A Sailor Went to Sea!
Build a Fort
Blankets, couch cushions, cardboard boxes, and pillows and let them go wild! This can also make for a fun way to sleep together in an interior space, if you need to be displaced from bedrooms!
Move Legos, play dough, and other non-powered toys into an accessible area, so you aren't digging in the dark!
Read, read, read! And don't forget a book light! They're much more battery efficient than flashlights and can even be clipped to a child's shirt for hands free lights during potty breaks or play time.
Mess Free Crafts
You may want to hide the paints, but having a pile of paper, crayons, glue, and scissors can help chase the “I'm bored”s away!
Make sure their devices are charged and any portable battery chargers are ready, just in case you get desperate. Load them with games and movies they can play and watch without needing the internet.
Bubbles, sidewalk chalk, and other simple outdoor toys
After the storm, you may be a little stir crazy. Before you bury the outdoor toys in patio furniture and other outside clutter, consider setting some things aside for when the rain passes.
Marshmallows and toothpicks can be used as TinkerToys before turning into an afternoon snack. Peanut butter and crackers can be used for house building too.
Now go get prepared and let's pray this hurricane season is a big much ado about nothing.