Hurricane Preparedness: 6 Things All Moms Must Remember to Do

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hurricane damage

There's a very daunting list of things that you should do to be prepared for Hurricane Irene on the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration's disaster supply kit page. Let me just say they don't make these lists with busy moms in mind. I take natural disasters seriously and want to do all I can to keep my family safe, but I do not have a disaster supply kit. I do not even have my son's baby book filled out past 9 months and he's now 8 years old. The way I move, it would take me a week to do everything on that list (sealing all my important documents in a water-tight container? seriously? can someone please tell me where all my important documents even are?).

I'm guess I'm a little edgy right now, just having lived through a devastating earthquake and all. But I've found in cases like this, when we're not in the direct path of the hurricane and it's unclear what the force of wind and rain will be, it's not surviving the weather that I most worry about.

It's surviving being locked inside with the kids for three days without power and nothing to do. I've learned from my mistakes so you don't have to -- do these six things and you're set.

1. Grab a couple gallons of water from the store. This is on the disaster list, but I'm telling you to go buy that water NOW. Do not wait 'til the day before the storm to go with the kids, because shopping with them is a nightmare as it is. Adding that to that boatloads of other crazy, hyper, panicky people is insane.

2. Make sure the grill has gas. If the storm knocks out your power, you won't be able to make mac and cheese and the kids will starve. Your grill can save the day! Stick a couple of packs of hot dogs, hamburgers, and some frozen chicken fingers in the freezer, so at least if the power goes out, you'll get a day or so out of them.

3. Dig out your landline from the crap in the basement. If the power goes out, your cellphone might too. Your landline might be the only way to communicate in an emergency, like when your son trips in the dark and needs stitches on his chin. Because in a mom's world, when it rains, it pours.

4. Charge your flashlight and buy some candles. I love the "fake" candles that don't require a real flame -- they are great to have when you have lots of curious little hands around the house.

5. Scrub your toilets. Because in a power outage with no water, they are going to get very dirty.

6. Unearth the board games. Or go shopping for some (quick!) if you don't have any. It's a good time to try some new ones so the kids will stay interested longer.

Hmm, a stormy night, candlelit dinner, and a Candy Land marathon. This hurricane is not sounding so bad after all.

Are you prepared for Hurricane Irene? What do you do to make sure the kids are all right?

 

Image via Tammra McCauley/Flickr

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SandM... SandMsMama

the only thing I don't get is the water... I've weathered many hurricanes, and its good to have food you don't have to cook (dry ceareal anyone?) incase your power goes out, BUT I've never once had the water quit working... what gives with the milk bread and water people??

momto... momtolittleg

I think the concern with the water is that sometimes with flooding, the tap water becomes contaminated.  Sure you could boil it, if you have power or a grill, but bottled is good to have around.

TC00 TC00

SanMsMama I live in the Houston area and there are two reasons for the water


1 a lot of water plants are powered by electricity and although they have backup generators they don't always work


2 when they do come back on or when they detect a breach of some kind you need to boil the water coming out of the tap before you can drink it, if you have no power and you don't have gas you can't boil the water so that's when the bottled water comes in handy


 

TC00 TC00

Now one thing I found that came in handy was to buy water bottles and put them in the freezer about 2 or 3 days before the hurricane.....go ahead and throw out all the food in the freezer because it's going to go bad and you need all the space you can get for the water bottles


Once they are frozen you can use them like ice to keep things cold in the freezer or fridge or cooler PLUS when it melts you have water.  That's what we did and it worked out wonderful, we had no power for 7 days so of course the ice didn't last that long but it was very helpful


Also we were told that the power lines are set up to go out when the winds hit 70mph for safety reasons, not sure if that's just here in the Houston are or all over the US but keep that in mind if you stay.  Our power went out about 7 the night before the storm hit because of the high winds


Also make sure you have a car adaptor for your cell phone, land line phones don't always work


 

TC00 TC00

The other piece of advice I have is if you plan on staying then realize there comes a time when it's too late to leave and that's the worst feeling in the entire world.  I remember that, it was about midnight September 12 and the wind was BAD and I was terrified we were going to be killed by a falling tree but the wind was too strong and I knew I couldn't get out in it.  It was just the most awful feeling in the world of being stuck and knowing there wasn't anything I could do until morning when the hurricane passed over us


(sorry had to do 3 posts)

nonmember avatar Dabo

Enjoyed the article even though I'm on the West coast. Gl and be safe

SandM... SandMsMama

we've never left for a storm, so no worries here! if we were on the obx I'd be leaving

Nicho... NicholasMama608

We have well water so we need extra water.  When power goes out it kills the pump so we can't even flush the toilet unless we "manually" do it.  In order for us to bathe we have to dip buckets into the pool, fill them with water, boil the water, then let it cool so we can bathe in it.  When power goes out for us it REALLY sucks.  So far my plan is to wait till Friday and if I feel I have to evacuate I'll go to my friends out in Ohio.  I can drive there in like 9hrs but it will be worth it to not be here when the hurricaine hits.  Esp. with a 3yr old.

lanie... lanie1595

Housto Ike person here.  The reason you get your paperwork together and such, is sometimes your house doesn't come through in one piece, like say, when a tree falls on it????  Hey, three trees came down, and only one hit the house!  Also, make sure you have batteries for a radio, no power,no TV, and it is nice to know what is going on after.  Also, plan on cooking out on what you have in the freezer for the first few days, invite your neighbors over, have a party.  There's nothing else to do with the power out for two weeks!  And don't count on burried lines, somewhere they come out of the ground for high powered at least, and those get knocked out too.  Praying for the East Coast, they are having a roller coaster August!

jaxmadre jaxmadre

Mass resident here. I hope it doesn't get that bad in my part of the state. I'll get shopping tonight -- thanks for the tips!


 

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