So, I was born and raised in Amarillo, TX.
Spent 18 years of my life in Tornado Alley.
The house I grew up in has a storm cellar outside.
My senses know what to hone in on, I know what to look for in the clouds, what the air will smell like, what sounds to listen for…
Basically I know my chizz.
Tornados are a thing of, meh, to me in a sense of how to prepare and hunker down.
Hurricanes however – hurrricanes are a foreign concept.
While I am admittedly excited to experience my first one, I am also understandably nervous for what to expect due to the fact that I’ve no clue what I’m doing.
I bought milk and cereal to serve as a quick breakfast, lunch, or dinner if need be.
Refrigerators use electricity which apparently will be unavailable.
Waste of a gallon.
So my know-nothing self took to asking questions, and I think I’ve learned how to prepare for Hurricane Harvey.
Get lots of canned goods (low sodium spam, yum)
Buy frozen foods like fish sticks and chicken nuggets, so they can be cooked in advance and available for a few days if power is lost.
Buy fruit. Oranges, apples, bananas, things that don’t need to be refrigerated, but can fill you up and be eaten in one sitting.
Have ice and an ice chest ready in case you need to keep something cold when the power goes out.
Grab some cases of water.
Fill pots, and cups with water for later use. Once it floods the water supply will be contaminated so any new water you collect from a faucet will need to be boiled.
Fill your tub with water and have a trash can clean and ready to place outside to collect rainwater. These both can be used to flush your toilet, and boiled to use for wash-ups or baths.
Get a first aid kit. Mine is the size of Texas and loaded like a baked potato.
Grab some whisky and bandages if a first aid kit is unavailable. Rambo style.
Have your inhalers, allergy medicine, anxiety medicine, etc. on hand and in sight. When you need it, fumbling around looking for it is the last thing you want to do.
Have flashlights at the ready.
Have candles, lighters, and matches in stock. Apparently if you can only access crayons, those will provide light for about 30 minutes.
If you have a fireplace, firewood is good to stock up on because it can also be used to cook things.
Clean up. You’ll need to take pictures of your things before flooding to use in an insurance claim, and it makes it easier to find items. Also, when the going gets tough, trying to maneuver around toys and clothes on the floor will make life more difficult when you’re in a hurry.
Put your important documents in a plastic bag. SS cards, birth certificates, etc. keep them dry and keep them close.
If you’re on the ground floor (like me) stack your belongings up. If your place is flooded it may help in less of your items being ruined.
Bring in items from outside and the garage that could be ruined or blown away.
Prepare a bug out bag. Basically a bag with spare clothes, extra pair of shoes, toiletries, flashlight, bandages, and put your your bag with important documents there also.
Double check your insurance policy.
Charge ALL of your electronics (phone, laptop, iPad, portable charger, etc.) and turn them off to reserve the power.
When the power goes out, unplug everything so they don’t short circuit when power comes back.
Have bug spray on hand.
Have extra batteries.
Get a battery operated or wind-up radio, and place it somewhere high.
Grab some sandbags to block openings to your house, like doors, garages, etc.
Finally, trust your instincts.
Lots of questions, lots of listening, and lots of note taking, but hopefully this will save me lots of stress.
I’m not worried though. If things go south (haha), the world will see what we mean when we proclaim, “Texans stand together.”