As a Florida born I’ve gone through some of the most infamous Hurricanes that have reached Orlando the last 20years, including Floyd & Charlie. I was just a wee young lad then and didn’t realize the extremity of how dyer it was to find good shelter. Thank God for my Mom working at Florida Hospital at the time, the whole family stayed there for the night, when we evacuated our home.
For my brother and I we thought it was a cool way to stay somewhere new, when in reality a huge storm was a brewin’ and who knew if we would still have a home?
Flash forward to now my husband and I are living in our own home and just recently celebrated our 1st Anniversary of owning our humble abode. Now, Irma is going to come blow our dreams away. It’s funny how when you’re an adult your mind flips to panic mode.
Described to be a large and violent storm, with winds exceeding 75mph, a Hurricane is judged on a scale that can reach to a category 5 with winds greater than 156mph. When looking at the scale you want to be more concerned with a category 3 and up. These categories are the ones that cause major destruction to your home, or are means to evacuate.
At the salon I had a couple of stylists I knew who are just now experiencing a Hurricane, and why not for your first to be a Cat 5, named “Irma.”
For anyone who wants to survive a Hurricane here’s some tips and tricks from a Florida born savage.
In a state that is known for Hurricane season, it is safe to say that you should board up your home. Either with plywood or Aluminum Shutters. Found in a Lowe’s or Home Depot, it’s great to protect your home from the wind tearing through your house, or vagrants breaking in after or during the storm. Unfortunately burglars tend to stalk homes to see if you evacuated and force themselves into your belongings.
DO NOT DUCT TAPE! This is the worst idea you can do. Not only does it leave horrible glue stains on your window, but it doesn’t work! If anything they just create huge shards of glass, that in the event of a hurricane can make scary projectiles that can decapitate you.
Along with boarding, check if you need sandbags as well if you live in a flooding area. Check with neighbors if they’ve experienced it in the past. In a time of crisis, usually Florida will hold stations to fill sandbags for your home. If you can’t get to them quick enough than you can also use garbage bags filled with water.
As soon as I heard Matthew was coming towards Texas I knew we were in Hurricane season. Last year I was not prepared, and even with Irma, I feel like I wasn’t completely set as I wish I was. First things first was water and food. It’s suggested that you should be set with supplies for 3-5 days. For water that means a gallon a day for each person in the family. I recommend dry food, my fav is Cup Noodles. You want it easy to make just incase you don’t have power. Someone I know said that our last big Hurricane made them stranded without power for 14 days. O hell na!
For our house warming gift Gary’s family bought us a nice grill, which also comes with a burner. With the propane it’s perfect for when I need to boil some water. The grill is great as well because you can also use the charcoal too. With meat and veggies that needs to be cooked before they go bad from no power, just throw ’em on the Barbi.
We have an old generator that’s enough power to run our fridge just in case we lose power. That being said make sure you stock up as well on Gas.
Speaking of gas, if you’ve seen the news, when it gets closer to the days before the Hurricane you would understand why it’s so dyer to grab gas ahead of time. I have a horrible way of waiting until E to run to the gas station. I just saw on the news that this woman was on E for 3 hours waiting in lines to the pump. You don’t want that to be you. If you can plan a week in advance to fill all the way and then towards the storm if you can fill here and there at stations that aren’t full of people that’d be great to to top off the tank every once and a while.
Also, be aware of scammers. Sadly, in a world where we need more faith in humanity there are those who take advantage of people by taping up fuel lines at gas stations fooling people that they are out of the least expensive fuel in order for them to use the Premium gas. When found people are blasting their business on social media, and you should to if this happens to you. Exploit these horrible people.
While you’re there, fill up some extra gas cans for your generator. When you’re in the sunshine state and run out of power, the heat and humidity during the day is pure torture. Do yourself a favor and invest in one. It’s worth not regretting it when poop hits the fan and you’re a week without air conditioning.
I screw this one up and I need to be better about it. When I mean “keep up,” I’m talking about keeping all your documents together and important sentimental valuables. This year I’ve gotten better to create a “Grab & Go Binder.” This is a binder that in a state of emergency it’s my life line to important phone numbers, billing information, birth certificates, social security cards, etc.
Next year I’d like to update you on how I will do better on keeping up with my valuables or what matters most to me. I told Gary I’d like to finish updating our room and grabbing a huge gun safe that is enough room for important documents, receipts, his guns, and pictures. I can lose all the materialistic goods but what would really tear me up is not having kept memories.
Time and time again I hear horror stories of floods or fires, that take all of your possessions. My goal is to buy a large enough external hard drive, to hold scanned photos of past family events. A gun safe may be too hardcore, a simple fireproof and waterproof filing box should work just as good. Although Gary would love the excuse of having a gun safe so he can have more guns, haha.
Another idea was to frequently take pictures of items around your house that you can use as proof for insurance claim. Prior to this as well is to check on your home insurance and whether or not you need flood insurance as well.
From what I’ve witnessed the worst is the aftermath of a powerful storm. With worst case scenarios of stories of violence like what happened in Louisiana with Hurricane Katrina, the rapes, looting, brutality, my number one priority in the midst of chaos is being armed. Actually when I knew the storm was getting serious I told Gary that we need to stock up on ammo. I probably have watched too many Walking Dead episodes, and am an underground prepper, but it doesn’t hurt to at least have something to protect yourself. It only hurts the people who are stupid enough to play in your grounds.
Also, map out your area and find safe evacuation spots in case you do have to leave home.
On a serious note, this last Hurricane was a realization of how crucial it is to be prepared. During the storm it was all to real the sounds that were going on outside with the strong winds and the palm trees swaying back and forth. Through the night we’re hearing dings on our phone of emergency alerts for Tornados, which caused anxiety of me wishing I had my family altogether.
Gary and I couldn’t sleep because we were hiding in the hallway away from the windows and we were sleeping on the floor with our cats.
Through this experience, now as an adult I’ve really changed my perspective on how valuable items are in my life, and the love of the people around me. No more Hurricane parties, actually no Hurricanes at all.
Hoping this helped anyone out there. I’d love to hear some of our experiences and what you’ve learned yourself for what you’ll be doing next time for the next perfect storm.
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