This year may be one of the worst years for hurricanes. The best thing to do is to be prepared if you live in a dangerous area where a hurricane could hit. Don’t think that it won’t happen to you, because it could. Take some time and make a list of supplies you need.
I’ve got a few suggestions to add onto your list of purchase to make surviving a hurricane possible. If you live in a coastal region you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to be prepared for the worst case scenario.
We all remember the devastation that the Mississippi Gulf Coast and Louisiana endured at the hands of Hurricane Katrina. Thousands of families suffered great losses that include lives and homes. Being from south Mississippi, I witnessed the devastation first hand. As hurricane season approaches, we are all apprehensive about what’s to come. Natural disasters are beyond our control so we can’t dwell on it. The only thing we can do is attempt to be prepared. Experience is by far the best teacher. I have a few set of guidelines that I will personally follow for years to come.
Hurricanes are merciless and not a laughing matter. I had two relatives that died in Hurricane Katrina, they weren’t prepared and they thought “it won’t be that bad”. The first and most important thing you can do is grab a piece of pen and paper and make a list of supplies you may need.
Hurricane Survival Tips and Supply Suggestions
The most important of all in a situation like this is water. Damage from a hurricane can make lots of water undrinkable. Store lots of water and make sure you have bottles of water at the tips of your fingers. Buy extra water because you may have to bathe with it. After Katrina, we did not have water either so bottled water became an all-purpose commodity. Get your hands on a couple of Lifestraw water filters as these babies are great for making dirty water drinkable. You never know when you may need them.
You will want more than just water. Get some dried foods. Food is nearly as important as water in a life or death situation like this. Buy things such as Vienna’s, sardines, peanut butter, crackers, cookies, chips, and etc. I know this doesn’t sound too appealing, but it’ll get the job done. If you don’t have enough supplies in your home, you can still make a trip to the grocery store, but make sure you buy the items you need for a crisis.
Related reading: 10 best survival food at your grocery store
The second most important thing by a small margin is to fill all cars with gas. Gas was a luxury after the storm. We needed gas to get from place to place. There were no lines of communication so in order to find out where to receive ice, food, and etc. we had to travel. If you decided that you just couldn’t take living like that, you needed gas in order to escape the misery. All stores were either damaged, destroyed, or just plain closed so there was no way of getting gas. Until gas stations were able to get generators we had to rely on what we had prior to the storm. Another suggestion would be to learn how to make a gas cache.
It is a good idea to get a transistor radio. If you receive warning that a hurricane is going to be in the vicinity of your area then you have to evacuate. You are risking your life by not evacuating. Make sure to take supplies and an emergency kit with you. Have at least two flashlights with you, or in your bug out bag with back up batteries in case one flashlight runs out of batteries. Make sure you have a common first aid kit that has band aids, gauze, medicine, and other important items. You will also need matches, and candles.
Things I Learned from Hurricane Katrina
I learned what true darkness really is. I’m not just talking about lights. Can you imagine being cut off from the world? This leads me to the next items on the list: flashlights with extra batteries, candles, a portable T.V. radio, and a cell phone. My family found that the candles made the room too hot. With that in mind try to use other lighting sources that won’t heat up the place and put you in danger. We purchased battery operated lanterns and push lights. Also, buy extra batteries or learn how to recondition the used ones because the batteries will run down after prolonged use. If you don’t have a portable T.V. , buy one. This was the best thing for us. We were able to keep up with what was going on around us.
All of our neighbors were coming to us for the latest information. Our other lifeline was a cell phone. Along with everything else, our land line phone was out of commission. We could only see the destruction before our eyes. So many questions ran through my mind. Was it this bad in other places or was it worse? It was a terrible feeling knowing that I had loved ones that may be hurt. The cell phone provided a way for me to call my family that was watching the horror on T.V. I was able to say that we were o.k. I was able to see if my extended family was o.k. Thank God we all were. I already believed in the cell phone, but hurricane Katrina certified the cell phone’s status for me.
The next thing on the list is to have a backup cooking method. Because of the loss of electricity, the food in the freezer thawed. As a result we cooked as much of the food as possible to avoid it spoiling. We used barbecue grills. I have since purchased some camping equipment that fits in my survival bag, including a lightweight foldable grill. In the camping department, there are small propane burners. Don’t forget to purchase extra charcoal, lighter fluid, and propane tanks.
A must read: How to live without electricity
Once you have prepared yourself a kit with food, water, flashlights, and a medical kit you know you have the basics down. If you somehow can’t get out of the area when the hurricane hits then you need to stay in a secure location such as a basement. Stay away from windows and rooms with lots of glass materials such as a kitchen. Have your transistor radio on hand. The worst case scenario is to not be able to evacuate during a hurricane. You have to do everything in your power to evacuate safely. It is important not to panic. If you panic you will lose your senses and be in greater danger than you realize. Play it safe and evacuate to a safe location no matter what. It isn’t worth risking your life.
The most valuable life lesson that I learned was to never take anything for granted. Rich, poor, young, old, black, and white were all on the same level after hurricane Katrina. Things that took us a lifetime to accumulate was taken away in hours. Luckily things can be replaced. In the end, it’s just things and things don’t mean anything. Family is what really matters. For that reason I will forever be filled with gratefulness.
With the suggestions listed in this article and these tips you should have an idea of what it can come down to and what you will need to remain safe.
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