Top 10 Hurricane Tips From a Miami Girl
Hey East Coasters, take it from a former resident of the sunshine state… don’t laugh at Irene!
I moved to Miami in the spring of 1992. The first hurricane I ever experienced was Hurricane Andrew, just a few months after we arrived from New York. I was a young girl in a new city who knew nothing about hurricanes and thought everyone was a little crazy running around buying up everything in sight at the local Publix Supermarket. Water, batteries, gas, dry goods, you name it. And then the storm came. It is a day I will never forget. The months following I won’t forget either. By the grace of God or some other force, I was spared the atrocities that affected so many others. But I learned a lot.
I learned that you should never f*#k with a hurricane, you should never underestimate it’s wrath. They will win.
Here are simple, easy tips that can help you stay safe and then help you bear the inevitable inconveniences that a hurricane brings to the table.
1. If You Are Told to Evacuate, Heed the Warnings.
This is non-negotiable. If we learned anything from Katrina, certainly this would be it.
2. Have a Hurricane Kit (and no, it’s not too late):
Cash, batteries, flash lights, battery operated radio/television, bottled water, toilet paper, non-perishable foods such as cereal or crackers, canned goods, a can opener, a small cooler, candles and diapers, baby wipes, formula, baby food if you have small children. If you take prescription medicine, make sure you have extra on hand. This is especially important for people who are elderly or have medical issues that require a little extra care. It could be a few days before you can get to a store.
3. The Colder The Better
Put your refrigerator at the coldest setting. Fill your bathtub with ice. This way, if you lose power it takes much longer to defrost and ruin everything in there! Make sure you buy a lot of food. It’s always better to have more than you need. Cans of tuna, bread, snacks and other non-perishable items.
4. Charge Up
Fully charge ALL of your electronic devices and then fill up your car with gas. You can always charge devices in your car.
5. Secure Important Paperwork
Place all your important papers in a secured plastic bag, box or even better, a small safe. Identification is difficult and time consuming to replace so be sure to include social security cards, birth certificates, titles or deeds to property, as well as your hurricane insurance policy, should you have one. Special family photos like wedding photos, baby pictures should also be considered.
6. Hit Up a Home Depot ASAP!
Plywood is a coveted commodity for those of who decide to stay. Boarding up windows that will take the brunt of the wind and rain is a wise decision. If board is not available, protect your windows from the wind by criss-crossing them with layers of duct or packing tape. This will be enough protection for light-to-medium winds. If you need plywood, go to your local Home Improvement store asap. Trust me.
7. Don’t Forget Your Pets!
I have had two dogs throughout every major hurricane in the past 15 years. They get scared, just like we do. Keep this in mind and give them some extra tlc. Dogs are especially intuitive to weather conditions and might get more freaked out then you. They also get hot. Ice, water and extra treats and cuddles are a must.
8. Prepare For Loss Of Power
Assume the power will be lost. It might not happen, but assuming you will lose power will prepare you much better. You will be hot, sticky and pissed off. Water, a bathtub of ice, lots of beer, wine and/or hard liquor usually helps. If you have kids, you’re kind of screwed. They get really bored really fast. Board games, books, a fully charged iPad with tons of movies is your new BFF.
9. Stay Inside, Please!
Don’t go outside. It is hands down, the dumbest thing you can do. I cannot stress to you how many stories I’ve heard through the years of people getting struck by a tree, a down wire, flying debris. Stay inside, stay inside, stay inside!
10. After the Storm, Check on Your Neighbors.
Sometimes, a pack of D batteries is all it takes to make someone else’s day.
Good luck and stay safe.
Check your local TV listings for more of Courtney Cachet’s style and design ideas. You can catch her frequent appearances on NBC nationwide where she dishes out all the latest in home and lifestyle! Keep up with her online at facebook.com/TheCourtneyCachetPage