Those of us on the Gulf Coast call it hurricane season.
It officially starts June 1st but might as well start to prepare now.
I am not talking about going nuts. Don't stock up now on ice. But maybe pick up a few extra cans of ravioli or beans, stuff you can handle cold if you have no power. If you pick up some here and there, then you won't need to grab as much when a hurricane is barreling your way and the stores are empty.
More importantly learn how to cook now.
Yes, you probably already know how to use the microwave. I am talking about cooking without power.
Can you make your morning cup of coffee without power? You can either get a camp percolator that you can heat on your grill or you can get those coffee bag singles (like tea bags) and just heat the water on the grill.
Really, with practice you should be able to cook just about everything outside and the time to practice is not when your area of the state is out of power for a week or more.
Trust me, when it is 90 degrees in the shade you can't think well enough to plan out a meal and how you are going to cook it. You will be grateful for all the preplanning.
Also remember that opening the fridge or the cooler shortens the life of the food inside when you don't have power. Hamburgers may sound good but opening up the fridge to get the ketchup, mustard and mayo as well as the meat may cause you to lose everything else in the fridge.
As a side note, we live almost 170 miles from the coast so evacuation isn't an issue.
Here just for reference is our Hurricane checklist for when one is expected - remember do the shopping well in advance:
We do not have a generator so for us "no power" is no power.
Our Hurricane List
(in no particular order)
- Fill containers with water (now adding filling at least 1 cooler with ice) we haven't lost water yet but why run the risk
- Fill propane tanks for the grill
- Plug in corded phone (cordless phones do not work with no power)
- Make sure there is plenty of food for the animals
- Freeze stuff like milk, cheese ect because it will last longer if the power is out
- Top off gas tanks (don't want to have to wait in line, and prices may go up)
- Print out an easy to read county map so when on the radio we hear the eye is over _____ county we know how far that is from us (easy-to-read because of the power outage)
- Plenty of canned food, easy to eat stuff ie. peanut butter sandwiches. On the other hand, only get stuff that your family will eat anyway. If the hurricane doesn't come, you don't want to be left with 20 cans of tuna when your family hates tuna.
- Bottled water, both the drink bottles and gallon bottles. If you remove some of the water from the gallon bottles and freeze, they will help keep fridge and freezer cold longer.
- Gather flashlights, and know where replacement batteries are. Gather oil lamps and fill them all. Get matches or lighters and put them where you can find them (up out of kids reach if you have small children).
- Find a portable radio to listen to the reports, and extra batteries. A hand crank radio/ flashlight like this one is very handy
- An inverter (one of those things you plug into the cig lighter and then can plug in a normal plug like this) allowed us to recharge the DVD's as well as plug in the router so we could access the internet and weather radar using the laptop.
- Fully charge cell phones, and anything else that uses batteries.
- A week (or more) supply of any med you take regularly
This is by no means a complete list, I am sure I have forgotten something.