Friday, August 26, 2011

Super Easy Ways to Prepare for Hurricane Irene (but to do today)

I spoke to a friend today, who lives in South Carolina. She gave me some tips, and I want to share them with you. Please prepare, and if the storm passes us by, we can all have a laugh tomorrow.

Hurricanes are windy and wet, and can cause flooding, the uprooting of trees, and power lines to go down. Stay off the road during the storm, and if you have a garage, park your car inside. If not, park away from any big trees (if possible). If your garage door is electric, keep it open. Otherwise, with the power out, you won't be able to open your garage.

Move EVERYTHING off of your lawn unless it's much to heavy to move (if you can't budge it, the wind probably won't be able to either). Kids toys, flags, wind chimes, sports nets, free-standing potted plants, shovels, lawn ornaments, decor on the house that isn't bolted down, you name it. These can blow into windows and break them. If you aren't worried about yourself, at least be kind to your neighbors and put all those things away so that they don't break their windows or rip apart their lawns. 

Do not open your refrigerator if the power goes out, unless you absolutely need food inside. Opening and closing lets the cold air out. Freeze some milk, or buy powdered milk for cereal and eating.

Have food on hand that doesn't require refrigeration. Nuts, peanut butter, bread, and fresh fruit don't require refrigeration. Nutrition bars are good, protein shakes in cans, single box juices are all good options. Of course, cereal and granola are good, too, and you can use powdered milk with them, if the power goes out.

Make sure you have lots of water ready. Not just for drinking, but if your toilet won't flush, you can manually flush it by pouring water into the bowl. Fill empty jugs in the house with drinkable water, then fill all your pots, big bowls, and bathtub with water that can be scooped to force a flush, brush your teeth, etc.
Run your dishwasher NOW so that if the power goes out, you will have clean plates, glasses, and eating utensils.
If you have a fireplace, bring firewood inside or get some logs at the store. They provide light and warmth. Remember, you can also use your grill to make dinner, so keep some hot dogs and hamburgers in the fridge or freezer (if the power goes out, your food will last longer in the freezer). Marshmallows can be toasted for dessert. Keep dry wood somewhere for outdoors, as well, if you have a fire pit. Once the storm passes, lighting a fire might be enjoyable.
Keep your cell phone fully charged, your computer, your iPod, whatever. You can get updates on the news and make phone calls that way, even if the power goes out.
Keep candles and flashlights handy.
During the storm, stay away from the windows, and try to remain on the first floor. This way, if a tree does hit the house, it's less likely to land on you. :)
Most importantly, try not to worry, but instead enjoy hunkering down and staying inside.

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