As town officials and media news follow the National Hurricane Center for storm updates, they will begin to warn residents to expect and prepare for power outages that may last up to 10 days depending on the magnitude of the storm’s fury.
The threat of major hurricanes with torrential rain and wind gusts of up to 70 mph can prompt households to race to grocery stores for food and supplies.
While generators are the top selling items, they are an expensive commodity to budget for.
Here are the best ways to prepare for possible power outages due to the storm:
- Buy long lasting candles that will burn for many hours. Use them only when you are awake. Place each candle into large bowls, not plates or saucers because when they burn for hours, they will flow over leaving a huge mess. Also, if you place sand or rice to the bottom of the bowl and then position the candle on top of it, this will make clean up easier later.
- Keep a lighters and matches along with the candles in one place.
- Make sure each person in the household has their own flashlight to use at all times. Remind all family members not to have candles when they are asleep. The LED flashlights are brighter and more directional plus they are easily found at the local Dollar stores now.
- Keep all batteries and extra flashlights with the candles and lighters so no one will scramble to find more supplies.
- Have a hand portable can opener for canned goods.
- Consider buying foods with easy flip-top tab or tear-off pouches. Tuna, rice, fruits in syrup, ham, and nuts are available with no need to ever use a can opening.
- Buy enough water to last at least 3 days. Plan to have one gallon of water for each person, per day.
- Consider purchasing 2 clean garbage cans with secure lids and fill with clean water outside. In case water is compromised due to the storm, this will be useful to have for flushing the toilet and to use for hygiene.
Preparing well for a major hurricane storm (see video below) will make it easier for the whole household. Take this down time to play board games with your family, attack some junk food snacks and most importantly, stay safe.
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©2012 Sue Robinson/ All rights reserved
National Weather Service, National Hurricane Center (www.nhc.noaa.gov)