Hurricane Survival Tips
- Remember that your children are watching how you handle everything, so model how you would like them to behave in the future (and now).
- If you have to evacuate, (you probably should have already gone!) print your route or screen shot it on your phone. Cell service will be spotty at best once the storm gets close to our shores.
- If you need to get out, make sure you have all of your important papers, small valuables, prescription medications. I usually put things like this into ziploc bags to keep them from getting wet, then put them into a rubbermaid type tote. (Medication comes in my 'go bag').
- If you are in a zone where you may have to leave at some point, make a 'go bag' for each person. Include at least two days of clothing (including underwear), night clothes, toiletries (including feminine hygiene -even if it's not that time of the month), any medications, spare chargers for cell phones,etc, extra pair of shoes, slippers, eyeglasses/contacts, and small comfort item. This bag needs to be small - like a backpack or duffel bag, so you need to pack wisely.
- If you have pets - most indoor pets are pretty upset with storms - be aware of how your pet is handling everything. Make sure you have food and water for them. Check out the nearby shelters that are pet friendly. Make sure the pet has their collar on; many pets are not reunited with their owners after a storm because there is no way to identify them.
- Don't leave the news/weather/weather channel on around the clock; it only serves to heighten the anxiety. If you have to, turn the television off completely or put a well loved dvd on. You can check out the weather on your phone or computer periodically instead.
- Get some flashlights or battery powered lanterns ready today, during the daylight, so that each person in your household has their own source of light.
- If you are living in a place where it looks like you may lose power for an extended period of time, fill everything you can with water before the storm. We are on well water, so our pump doesn't work during a power outage. Even if you aren't on well water, you may still need the extra water. Fill your washing machine, your bathtub, laundry sink, any large soup pots, pitchers, etc. You can always use that water for flushing the toilet during an outage.
- If you have an outdoor grill, make sure you have some propane or charcoal for it - you may need to cook everything in your freezer! If that happens, get to know your neighbors while you are at it:)
- Have some paper plates, paper towels, plasticware, plastic cups, etc on hand. If you have to dig into your birthday party stash in the pantry during a power outage, then do so. You don't want a weeks worth of dirty dishes smelling up your kitchen, especially if you don't have air conditioning!
- Mark a plastic cup with each person's name and that is their cup for the day - unless they drink something really sticky out of it, they should be able to reuse it for a day.
- If the power goes out, break out the board games, play doh, jigsaw puzzles, etc. Don't spend the time on your phones - spend the time together. Read a good book aloud to the family. Have a lego building challenge to see who can build the craziest animal, building, character, etc. Save the power on your phones - you may need it later.
- If power is out for an extended period of time and you have sweaty clothing, lay it out or hang it up to dry before throwing it in the hamper. Sweaty clothes in the hamper stay wet and get moldy -ewww!
- Remember that even big kids get scared. They don't know how to show it or say it (they might not even know it), so they talk a little faster or louder or get a little clingy or they might even snap at you a few times. Be sure to take a breath before you react to something your child does (unless they are endangering themselves or others), put your arm around them or give them a hug and tell them that no matter what the weather is doing, your family is going to stick together and work through it. If you can confidently say you'll be fine, then say so. If you can't, then don't - kids know when you are lying too!
- It's okay to tell your kids that you are scared too. Just remember that you are the adult, so you still have to be the one in charge. It's not okay to completely go off the deep end and leave your kids to fend for themselves! Tell them that you don't know what is going to happen and that you find that a bit worrisome or scary, but that you have each other and you are doing everything you can to make sure you are all safe and you have already been praying. Offer to pray with them to model what that prayer should look like - kids often don't know - and then tell them that you are going to keep going forward even if you are scared because that's the next right thing to do.
- CHOCOLATE!! If you haven't already gotten some, get some. If you can't, make some brownies or a cake or some cookies. If chocolate isn't your thing, maybe your special treat is popcorn (really?!), make it. Make or buy your special treat and enjoy it - calories don't count during a hurricane party!! (Really!)