A Survival Guide: How to Prepare for Hurricane Season

A Survival Guide - How to Pprepare for Hurricane SeasonThis 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 lost ways of livingThe 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. And for businesses here’s a really useful hurricane preparedness guide.

Recommended preparedness and survival solutions:

The LOST WAYS (The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us)

Drought USA (Secure unlimited fresh, clean water)

Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)

Bullet Proof Home (Learn how to Safeguard your Home)

Backyard Liberty (Cheap system to produce fresh food for your family)



2 thoughts on “A Survival Guide: How to Prepare for Hurricane Season”

  1. Remember that more people die after a hurricane than during a hurricane. The use of candles, down power lines, use indoor power generation are a few reasons. 25 to 30% of the New Orleans police force ran away after Katrina which opened the door for looting which starts 3 to 5 days after destruction. Google Katrina Looting to understand that there were problems in the outer areas of New Orleans than in New Orleans proper. When unattended, looters will form hunter killer teams with a natural leader taking over and women were raped in New Orleans hospital until the government sent in contractors to stop it. This is the big elephant in the room no one wants to talk about. After hurricanes Frances or it was Jean about 100 armed armed national guard on US 1 stopped looters going into Ft. Pierce Fl. from Stuart Fl. This time Fla.Gov. Scott did not wait until after hurricane Matthew and activated 3500 national guardsmen before the hurricane hit. With no law and order the male human species will revert to his lower nature and becomes a predator. After Katrina Florida made it illegal for guns to be taken away from Fla. citizens plus during destruction as after a hurricane a citizen can carry a gun with no permit.

  2. I live in Southeast Louisiana and have been through several hurricanes and a couple of typhoons when I was stationed in Guam, so I guess you can say I’m a bit of a veteran when it comes to hurricanes.
    A couple of things I’d like to point out referencing this article:
    1. Cell Phones – After a hurricane there will be some serious issues with cell phone usage; cell towers will either be down or without power. Some cell providers have emergency backup power to maintain service, but not all. We happened to have cell service through a major provider that DID NOT have backup generators. Something you may want to consider when selecting a service provider. Also, what service there is will be jammed up with traffic so even though you have service, you may discover you can’t get an open line. Text messages are a decent option. A text will sit at the ready and as soon as there is an opening, it will automatically get sent. It may not be quick, but it is better than nothing. Invest in a couple of portable backup power storage batteries that will allow you to recharge your phone more than once and make sure they’re fully charge and accessible for when you need them.

    2. Fuel – The author is correct about the lack of availability of fuel AFTER a major storm. It’s a good idea to fill all your reserve containers shortly after the beginning of Hurricane Season (June 1st). If you wait until the last minute, you will find yourself in line behind everyone else doing the same as you. I can guarantee you would not want to be waiting behind me if I were filling all my containers, LOL!
    Since I primarily use my reserve gas for powering my generator, I always fill my jugs with non-ethanol gas since ethanol wreaks havoc on the fuel systems of small engines, i.e. generators, lawnmowers, gas powered yard tools and utility vehicles. I fill mine before a storm is ever named. Even if a storm never comes into the gulf, the gas will be used in my other equipment. If a storm does happen to head our way, I top off the vehicles and any jugs that I’ve used to fuel my lawnmower or other power equipment. I do add gas stabilizer to extend the shelf life of the gas.
    If you think an extra 5 gallons of gas will get you through a crisis, think again. Especially if you are powering a generator until utilities are restored. I could probably write a book on Do’s and Don’ts of using a generator so I’ll just leave it at that.
    3. Riding out the Storm – We did evacuate for Katrina and glad we did. Evacuation is a very good idea, just don’t wait too long to get out! As Katrina made her final approach toward the Gulf Coastline, State Police began closing routes in order to expedite evacuation of the most critical areas. They shut down all East flow of traffic on I10 from Louisiana into Mississippi. They shut all south bound traffic on I59 and I55 to allow contraflow. ALL lanes were providing northbound flow of traffic. Even with all lanes flowing north bound, average speed was approx. 30 mph.
    If you wait too long, you may be riding out the hurricane in your vehicle. Definitely not a good situation! So make sure if you’re going to evacuate, make the decision to do so early on, have a known destination and multiple travel routes to get there. Also, make sure you’ve done your homework and studied the mapping of the storm’s path so your evac destination is not in the path of the storm.
    Again, evacuating is the preferred option. However, if you choose not to, or maybe it’s just not your best option due to certain circumstances, maybe because of your profession or maybe you are on a small family farm and don’t want to leave your livestock. Whatever the reason, make sure you have a safe place to hunker down. A mobile home is definitely NOT THE PLACE! The author recommended to take shelter in a basement. Not too many homes near the gulf coast have a basement. I personally haven’t seen even one. Not to mention, that is the last place I’d want to be if there’s a chance of flooding in your area. Katrina’s major damage was from the flood surge. The Mississippi Gulf Coast was wiped slick due to the tidal surge.
    If you can afford one, a tornado shelter can be purchased from places like Home Depot that provides superb protection. They can be bolted into the foundation of your garage or carport and will be adequate protection should you fear your home is not going to survive the storm.
    A hurricane is unlike a tornado. A tornado event is over in minutes sometimes seconds, but a hurricane lasts for several hours. No one wants to be cooped up in a storm shelter for the entire event. Just stay alert and seek the additional shelter if needed, whether it’s a tornado shelter or an interior closet, bathroom, or hallway. If possible set up 4 to 6 hour watch rotations so someone is always up to monitor the weather and get everyone to their designated safe spot if the situation warrants.
    Bottom line folks, do your homework now if you’re new to the hurricane beltway. An ounce of preparation is worth a whole lot more than a ton of good intentions. Remember, it wasn’t raining when Noah built the ARK!

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