Hurricane Irma Checklist

Having been born and raised in Florida and having lived on the Gulf Coast for the majority of my life, I have had the unfortunate displeasure of dealing with many a hurricane.  So, when I heard about yet another hurricane threatening to make landfall this year I figured I would share my usual checklist.

First, and most obvious, is water.  Buy water, as much as a gallon per person, per day for 10-14 days to be on the safe side.  Also, fill up bathtubs, canisters and other things.  

Second, grab non-perishable food items.  Canned goods (don't forget manual can opener), beef jerky, bread (lasts long enough), mac and cheese, sports drinks, snacks (chips, crackers, etc.), granola bars, pet food. Basically anything that is not going to go bad unrefrigerated.  Tip:  You can buy meat, but I would recommend freezing it and be ready to cook it when it thaws.  

Third, propane.  Taste the meat, not the heat.  If you buy some meat and freeze it, then after it properly thaws, you will need some way to cook it.  Because you may be without power, you'll need propane and a grill to cook it.  If you don't have a grill, then I wouldn't waste money on meat.

Fourth, Batteries and Radio to keep up with emergency management and ongoing weather conditions.  Also, charge your cell phones ahead of time.  Not super-helpful when power goes out and the 4G LTE network follows, but until then you can keep up to date on what's going on then use the radio for when power is actually out.  Also not a bad idea to get a two-way radio to communicate with the outside world in case you need help.

Fifth, ICE, fill up ziplock bags and freeze them, buy bags of ice from the store and keep in a cooler for when the power goes out and the fridge and freezer no longer is keeping your food cold.

Sixth, Secure Lawn Furniture and other Potential Flying Objects.  Put these items in your garage/storage space, or if they won't fit, then tie them to a very heavy, secured object.  If you have a table, flip it over.  If you have an umbrella, put it inside.  Limit/eliminate the amount of objects that will crash into your home.  A rope is not a bad idea to have to help accomplish this task.

Seventh, Secure Windows.  Board them up if you have the availability, and if you cannot secure the windows, then stay aware from them when the storm comes.  Glass breaks and when it does, it cuts.

Eighth, Home Essentials.  Toilet paper, first aid kit w/bandages, garbage bags, mosquito repellant, plastic eating utensils and bowls/plates, paper towels (think picnic), any prescription drugs that a household member takes, etc.

Ninth, Flashlights and Candle.  Don't forget the matches.  Sitting in the dark is not fun, nor particularly safe.

Tenth, Fire Extinguisher.  Should already have this at your house .  If you don't already now's a good time to get one. 

If you are an avid camper think of it as a camping trip, with your house as a big tent.

I hope this helps and I truly hope you never have to adhere to some of these suggestions.  For further information on being hurricane prepared please check out FEMA's website found here. Stay safe and don't wander around in the hurricane.

*This is not meant to be an exhaustive list.  This is meant to help you create your own checklist and to get you thinking about what will help you in your situation.