Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hurricane Tips...

Because so many of my friends panic each year about hurricanes, I thought that I would write a blog about how to 'weather' them (Pun... Hah!). So, I compiled some tips, tricks, suggestions and advice for how to deal with hurricanes to help take some of the panic out of your lives.

Now, not to stereotype, but the majority to the panic-ers are younger military wives who have just been stationed in NC (from say... Ohio where they do not have hurricanes). Ladies (and Gents, whatever the case may be) let me assure you that your base will do whatever they can to keep you safe... even if your husband is deployed, your FRO (Family Resource/Readiness Officer) and his command will contact you with directions. It is their job to keep you and your family safe, and my job to keep you sane.

Let me start out by telling you what a hurricane is, because in all sincerity, some people do not know.

Hurricane: A large, violent storm with high winds with a force of 12 on the Beaufort scale (equal to or exceeding 64 knots or 74 mph).

Translation? A large thunderstorm with lots of wind. Looks like this:

Supplies to have on hand
*Gallons of water. Not hundreds of them, but enough to rinse dishes, drink, water the dog, make coffee or oodles of noodles etc. This is in case your power goes out and your water pump is electric (probability).

*Easy made food that DOES NOT require a refrigerator. For example, the makings of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, cups of soup, etc. Again, if you lose power, you do not want to rely on the refrigerator to maintain coolness.

*First Aid kit and any over the counter medications (cold meds, benadryl, midol etc). Just in case.

*Diapers, formula for babies etc... I do not have a baby. Never have had one. So, as a mother, I assume you know what the baby will need. The rule of thumb is to have a weeks worth of whatever they need.

*Pet food. The pets will not feed themselves during the storm... they still need you. It is sad that I need to say that, but judging by the number of pets left behind in Katrina, I'm going to say it anyway. DO NOT leave your pets behind. I don't care if you have a pet elephant... it is your responsibility to care for it just like you do your other family members.

*Batteries of all sizes.


*Feminine products... because nature has a way of biting us in the arse when we least need it. Note: Your toilet may not flush, so be prepared to deposit your sanitary napkins etc into a trashcan. Gross? Yes. But you only need to deal with it until the storm is over.

My personal 'Storm Kit' looks like this:

Yes, that is a .45 caliber hi-point and an energizer flashlight on my nightstand... but I digress.

How to get ready for the storm:

*Pick up everything that is not nailed down outside and store it. Lawn chairs, plastic flamingos, childrens toys and swimming pools, dog toys, scrap wood, etc. Otherwise, the wind will whip it around and either A) it will get lost or B) it will get flung through your window or up against your car and scratch it. No bueno.

*Take off your trash... you will have debris and trash after the storm that needs to be taken out as well. It is best not to have the stinky stuff sitting around if we can avoid it, right?

*Get board games. If you have children, the biggest problem you will have is filling their boredom with activities. There will be no TV, computers etc. So, stock up on books, games etc and prepare the children for the idea of being bored.

Hurricane Parties!

Hurricane parties are not just for adults who want to pass the time getting drunk (though it is a blast... you know, drinking a hurricane during a hurricane? FUN!). If you live nearby another family with similar aged children, etc, feel free to get together and set up a super long play date. Children entertain other children way better than adults ever could. If you do not have children, then feel free to refer back to the getting drunk and having 'adult time' in sentence one of this paragraph.

Above all else, be sensible. Do not drink so much that you get sick or injure yourself, because let me assure you that the rescue squad will not thank you for them having to brave a hurricane to come get your dumb ass... in fact, depending on the weather they may not come get you. They CANNOT put themselves in danger... so if it's too dangerous for them to come out, you are screwed.

Do not go out walking in the storm, or in the eye of the storm. Stay inside.

Do not drive your car through water during a flash flood... too many stupid people do this. You will not make it... then they will have to pluck you off the roof of your car as it gets washed away. Again, no bueno.

Do: chores ahead of time. Dishes, laundry, bathroom scrubbing, mailing off bills, school work (if it must be done on the internet) etc so that you do not get panicked because something ends up being late or you run out of clothes or cups. 

Do: Stay calm and stay indoors. Be prepared to the best of your ability and then take it with the punches. There have been times that I have slept through the majority of a hurricane because it hit later in the evening and by the time I got out of bed at 10 the next day, it was all but gone. Now, if it is a category 5 or up and you are warned to evacuate... DO IT! Do not wait until the last minute to leave. Make your arrangements, pack up your kids and dog, and go. They will give you enough time. Go stay with family or friends or get a hotel away from the coast. If you wait until the last minute, you will end up like hundreds of people in Louisiana and spend the hurricane hunkered down in your car with screaming children and drooling dogs in traffic during the storm. Not a good time.

I cannot stress enough that you do not need to panic. Hurricanes are an inconvenience at best. They should be respected, but not feared.  Be sensible and it will work out fine. If you have any questions, post below and I will answer them. I have probably been through upwards of 30-40 hurricanes during my life living here on the coast of NC. I've seen the best and worst and I'm sure there are still more to come.

To find out about any hurricanes currently threatening your state, do go HERE. This is the national hurricane center and they will have the most up to date information. In case of storms, the news is your friend... stay up to date and know what is going on. Hurricanes are massive... there is no reason for it to sneak up on you. That's like saying an 18 wheeler snuck up on you while you are riding a scooter.

So, gather bottled water and board games and try not to go through withdrawals while the internet is out and you can't read my blog. :P

Sweet Tea and Cookies, Ya'll!
The Hurricane Savy Mrs. Belle



  1. Glow sticks are great for small children, and don't suck the life out of your flashlight batteries. They can wear them as necklaces, or carry one around.

    Walk the dog *before* the rain gets heavy. :p

    Charge your devices (cell phone, laptop, etc) as soon as the hurricane warning comes along. That way you have some civilization for at least a *little* while.

  2. Those are great additions, slavewife!

    Charging the devices is very important... and something that I have forgotten to do in the past that I will not forget to do again! I cling to that little bit of civilization...