Having been through Hurricanes Ike and Rita, evacuated for Hurricane Andrew, and having worked an evacuee shelter for Hurricane Katrina, I think I can offer some tips on Hurricanes.
* Have at least 1 week of food and water for every person in your group. The government says at least 3 days, but shoot for at least 5 – 7 days. Depending on how much debris is on the roads, it could take 3 days for the road crews to get the roads open.
Evacuate low lying areas. Storm surge is no myth, get away from low lying areas and areas prone to flooding.
LED flashlights are better then old style bulbed flashlights. LED flashlights are more reliable then lights with old style bulbs, and LEDs have longer battery life.
Buy lithium batteries. Lithiums last longer then alkaline batteries.
Buy LED flashlights with long battery life and low lumens for inside the house. This is not a tactical situation, anything over 50 lumens can mess up your night vision. As you walk around the inside of the house, you do not want to blind other people.
Have a way to cook, such as a camp stove, or propane grill. Nothing boost morale like a good hot meal.
Video about cooking with a Coleman Perfectflow stove.
Candles and kids do not mix. Keep anything with a flame away from children.
Secure important papers. Put your insurance papers, car title, house title,,,, into a waterproof bag.
Secure anything outside that can blow away. This includes small grills, lawn chairs, yard furniture,,, anything that can move should be secured.
Write down phone numbers and other contact information of friends and family.
Communicate your plans to your friends, family and neighbors.
Have a common contact outside the affected zone – someone that you can call and leave messages with. Then other family members can call that person and ask about the status of others.
Do not forget about pets – stockpile some food and water just for your pet.
Have prescription medicines refilled. Stores can be closed for weeks after a major storm makes landfall.
Lanterns put out a lot of heat, keep them out of the reach of children.
Do not underestimate the storm surge. Hurricane Ike pushed a 9 foot storm surge surge 20 miles inland in southeast Texas.
Fill up the gas tanks of your car/truck or SUV early. If you wait too long, the gas stations will run out of fuel.
Have road maps on hand. Just in case roads are closed you can find alternative routes.
Have a battery powered radio. Try to get a radio that uses the same size batteries as your flashlights. As a backup, have a handcrank radio.
If you will be receiving people that are evacuating, buy some air mattresses and have some extra pillows and blankets. The backs of your friends will thank you the next day.
First aid kit.
Cash, credit cards and check book. Try to have as much cash on hand as you can. When the power goes out, or phone lines go down, a lot of places do not take checks or credit cards.
Post your questions and comments in this forum thread about Hurricane Survival.
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