What to Do When You’re Waiting for a Hurricane

What’s it like to wait for a hurricane?  In my opinion, it’s like being a sitting duck.  Now, you would think that, after spending half my life in Florida, it would get easier.  To be sure, in certain ways, it is. That’s because Floridians take hurricanes seriously.  This is what to do when you’re waiting for a hurricane.  

waiting for Hurricane Dorian
Hurricane Dorian August-September 2019

You’ll have maybe five days to prepare.  So, please don’t put it off.

With this in mind, here’s a checklist of the essentials you’ll need to be safe:

  • Water.  Yes, to drink.  But also for some other basic necessities, i.e., to wash up, toilet.
  • Ice.  You’ll need to cool off when the electricity goes out.
  • Canned Food.  Unless you have a generator or grill outside, no cooking for you.
  • Flashlights or battery-operated hurricane lamps.  For obvious reasons, candles are frowned upon.
  • Batteries.  Go ahead, try to find some D batteries at the last minute.  Hah!
  • Medicine & First Aid Kit.  You might not be able to leave the area even when it’s all over.  Be safe. Downed wires and trees, don’t you know.
  • Pet Supplies.  Gotta take care of your best friend.
  • Gas.  Supplies will be low because trucks can’t get in to refuel the pumps.
  • Cash.  No electricity, no ATM or cash back at the supermarket.
  • Board Up Your Windows. Get your shutters up early.  Try going to Home Depot for wood when a hurricane’s approaching – fuggedaboutit!
  • Store Outside Stuff Away.  Tables, chairs, bikes, garbage cans, and plants are flying projectiles for the target painted on your windows.
  • Charge Phones & Laptops.  It’s important to realize that you’ll be very lonely with no electric, no phone, no computer.  For this reason, score a portable cell phone charger and use your laptop to power it if need be.
  • Fill the Bathtub.  You know, the toiletries.
  • Find a Safe Room.  Look for a place to ride out the storm, such as a room with no window.
  • Weather Radio.  You’ll want to know what’s going on while you’re hiding in the closet.
  • Here’s a link to the National Hurricane Center so you can monitor the storm.

Add to this:

  • Make a plan with friends and family to check in on social media in case your phone dies.
  • Know your route in case of a mandatory evacuation.
  • Identify a place to stay if you need to evacuate.
  • If you’re going to a shelter, be aware that many will not accept animals.  You’ll need to find a place for your pets.  DO NOT LEAVE THEM BEHIND!  Yes, I’m hollering.
  • Check on the old folks.  This can be really scary for them, too.
  • While you’re riding out the storm, this is a good time to ponder this Dance Safari post, “12 Easy Ways to Stay Cheerful When Surrounded by the Cheerless“.

When you’re finished waiting for a hurricane and it’s finally gone:

Be super careful if you leave the house.

  • There will be downed live wires.
  • Roads will be filled with debris.
  • Some paths and roads will be cut off by trees knocked down by the storm.
  • Flooding and storm surge may have damaged your property.

Lastly, as you’re waiting for the hurricane, be thankful that you get a heads-up.  Some acts of nature aren’t so kind.

P.S.  Don’t forget to check in with your family and friends to let them know you’re alright.  We’ll get through this together.


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