Preparing for the hurricane

If you’re reading this, I’m assuming you haven’t been evacuated.

In fact, if you are at risk of flooding, you should leave your home and go someplace safe.

And if you represent the rest of us, you’re just praying the internet won’t be out for too long.

I happen to live on a hill, and we have not been issued evacuation. I live on the coast, which is quite intimidating, and I’m anticipating that our entire downtown area will be under a few feet of water. I’m not at risk of being flooded, thank God, but I’ve been told that the power here goes out if you sneeze on it.

The purpose of this post is to give some ideas as to some last minute things that can be done to prepare:

Food:

Remember- you won’t be able to cook if the power goes out unless you have a gas stove and manually light it, or a propane grill. Even if you have a grill or camp stove, it’s in your best interest to save the fuel for heating water to bathe.

Think 3 meals a day, starch, protein, veg, fruit. Now, the carrots, beets, green beans, and applesauce from harvest season will be perfect because the canning process already cooks them, and they can be eaten at room temp. We bought some grapes, bananas, and oranges as well for fruit.

Protein can be a little more tricky- after all, most vegan protein comes from beans, soy, or nuts. I have dry nuts on hand always, but my son is allergic, so we also were sure to make up some tofu scramble this morning, and I also boiled some soy dogs for him to eat cold. One of our favorite foods is cold baked beans, and a three bean salad has soft white cannellini beans in it!

Starch was also a little tricky, but I was quick on my toes. Granola is a perfect snack or breakfast, and I whipped up a batch of muffins. I also baked a quick batch of biscuits to replace rice in our meals. Its also a good idea to have bread on hand. Avocado and tomato sandwiches with balsamic vinaigrette is my favorite sandwich and you can’t go wrong with almond or sun butter. Of course, if you’re into sushi rice or rice salads, that is a great idea- I’ve even seen quinoa salad recipes. I made noodles for a quick pasta salad in a pinch. We also picked up some organic tortilla chips to have with canned refried beans.

For snacks we have cookies from our holiday, and we pre-popped some popcorn for a salty snack. Rice cakes are fun and versatile as well as pretzels and raisins.

Also do yourself a favor and make some coffee and put it in the fridge. I made teas and coffee and put them in mason jars. I’ll take cold coffee over no coffee ANY day!

Do your dishes while you have hot water

Power:

I instantly began charging everything- all of the phones, the Kindle (ya ya, it’s my kid’s), and the laptop (for morning Elmo). You can also charge mp3 players. We’re not heavy into tech, so it doesn’t bother me.

One of the hardest challenges for us this storm was wrangling the light substitutions- this includes our lanterns, candles, flashlights, and batteries. Its very important that you know where they are in a storm. We took inventory and learned that we needed extra batteries and lighters.

If the power goes out, we won’t have hot water. I gathered up a small cooler and 6 quart jars, and I keep a pot of boiling water on the stove. When the power goes out, I fill up the jars, put them in a cooler, and put a lid on the pot. It typically lasts 2-3 days, and is perfect for sponge baths.

I also get ice. Our freezer is rather empty because we don’t eat meat, and all of our veges are canned or fresh. Very rarely do we buy frozen veges, and we’re more likely to have coconut ice cream in there and vege burgers than other things like fruit or pastries. When the power goes out, we leave the ice in there until the fridge starts to get warm, then we lower it. This gives us nearly 3-4 days!

But most of the things in our fridge don’t require refrigeration. Soy and rice milks are easily bought in cartons, and produce keeps well if it’s just a little cool.

Do all of the laundry, especially the cloth diapers. Have organic disposables on hand.

When things fail:

I usually have cash on hand, and very little money in my account when things like this happen. The reason is because when the power is out, many stores cannot use their debit or credit machines.

I fill my gas tank as well. You never know how far you will have to take an alternative route to get around downed limbs or flooding. This is also a good time to make sure you have a map- I don’t rely on gps anyway, but map reading is a lost art nowadays.

Get a watch. You never know when your cell phone runs out of batteries, and if you don’t have a car charger, you’re probably not going to know what time it is, because people don’t have wall clocks anymore. We have watches AND a wall clock.

Think big AND small:

I made sure that my kids have activities to do in the home. I located the crayons and favorite story books, and made sure I had plenty of “fort” blankets. We’re using flashlights, we might as well have fun.

I have plenty of food and water for the pets, and the kennels in case we have to evacuate.

I have an evacuation plan- I have lists of things we need to bring with us in case we have to leave suddenly due to flooding or dropping temps. The reason I have a list is because in an emergency, it’s easy to forget things.

I know where my emergency first aid kit is. I actually took inventory of all of our medication, in the event we had to leave. I NEVER fill my medication before a major storm. The pharmacy techs are overworked and overtired, and they’re more likely to make a mistake before a storm because of this, and because they’re doing so many orders in such a short amount of time. If you don’t have this option, tell the pharmacist explicitly that they can take an entire day to fill your script. Check it before you leave the pharmacy.

Make sure you have your pet first aid kits as well. This includes suture materials.

Call people who aren’t local and tell them what’s going on so that they won’t worry, but also so that they can check up on you.

If you can, get a storm radio so you can tell if there’s an emergency evacuation.

Follow safety, like using a propane heater in a safe manner. One could argue that a fire would be worse than a hurricane.

Just some tips! I’m sure there are more- stay safe!

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