Anyone who moves to the gulf coast needs to be aware of the weather and alert for approaching hurricanes. Official hurricane season runs from June 1st through Nov 30th with mid-August to September being the busiest. You can find loads of information from the National Weather Service from hurricane preparedness lists to links for evacuation plans. (www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/ready) A hurricane tracking chart and map with evacuation routes have been included in your welcome gift. I have extras should anyone want another. Having lived through Hurricane Katrina and many other evacuations, here are some tips you might not find on-line.
1. Keep you cars’ gas tanks over ½ filled at all times as well as filling any gas cans.
2. Buy a portable generator or install a whole house generator, especially if you have someone in your household that relies on electricity.
3. Don’t store too much extra food in your freezer. Instead fill it with bottles of water. I fill up empty milk jugs or 2 liter bottles. Your freezer will run more efficiently and if your home loses power and water, you will have cool water to drink.
4. Keep extra baking soda on hand – it’s the best way to get odors out of a refrigerator or freezer when you come home from an evacuation that resulted in power outage! Throw one in your garbage can too!
5. Better yet – take with you or throw out any food (especially seafood) in your refrigerator or freezer. Put an ice cube or two on top of an item in your freezer. If you come back and it’s gone, you lost power and you should throw out the contents of freezer.
6. Keep all your important documents (birth certificates, immunization records, passports etc.) in a file box. Take it with you when you evacuate.
7. Keep cash on hand. ATMs will run out of money or may not work with a power outage.
8. Bring enough clothes for a week – you never know how long you might be gone!
9. Take your valuables with you when you evacuate. Think about your photos in albums and boxes that can’t be replaced. Bring your computer backup too!
10. Enjoy your “hurrication!” Use the time to visit friends, relatives or some museums you’ve always wanted to see!