Hurricane Florence is predicted to hit the coast at North Carolina as early as Wednesday night. Multiple radars and weather reports show that this storm could be a Category 4 at landfall. A Category 4 hurricane is pretty much guaranteed to cause significant damage to trees and structures due to high winds and flooding. It’s important to be prepared, even if you live in an area close to impact that may or may not be affected.
I live in southern Virginia, and we are expected to get heavy rains and possible flooding, as well as severe storms. Shelves, of course, are already bare of bread, water, canned foods, and generators. Although television, radio, and social media and news sites are all giving checklists on what to have in case of emergency, there are a few other things to think about. For supplies, experts recommend enough for a three-day evacuation and for two weeks at home (without power, water, etc.).
In case of a mandatory or voluntarily evacuation, do you have a plan for your pets? As you would with the human members of your family, make sure you have enough food, water, medications, and comfort items ready for your pet if needed. Or make sure to know where to take your pet if absolutely necessary. Remember, pets have no clue what is going on, so they’ll need lots of extra love as well!
Obviously the safety of you and your family is going to be top priority, but overall hygiene can play a big part in keeping healthy when there’s no water to bathe or even wash hands. So, my main tip is to wash laundry and shower the day before the storm is supposed to hit. Make sure your hair is washed, and, if needed, shave whatever to keep feeling clean. As far as what to have for hygiene products (that can all be found at the Dollar Tree), you can buy a travel-size bottle of dry shampoo for hair, and body/baby wipes, as well as a big bottle of hand sanitizer and a well-stocked first aid kit. Also a small bottle of mouthwash and some disposable flossers can help with oral hygiene. If you wear glasses or contacts, make sure to have a carrying case, a lens repair kit, and extra contact solution. Utilize the water as much as you can before the weather gets too ugly. Wash all dirty clothes and blankets if needed. This way if electric/water is unavailable for days, you have everything as clean as possible.
This is a big one for areas guaranteed to have bad storm damage. For those with flood or home insurance, take pictures to store on your phone (or USB that won’t be lost) of absolutely everything. Document each room of your house, and try to capture as many important items as possible. Also, capture appliance and electronic serial numbers, model numbers, bar codes, etc.—this can be a huge help in case of major loss.
Preparing for a hurricane can be scary, but with careful thought and planning, you and your family can feel just a bit safer knowing you have plans in place and emergency items.