If you look at your sale ads, you're going to see a lot of places are running specials on hurricane supplies. We are in the last day of a sales tax holiday, meaning we can buy things like duct tape, batteries, and flashlights without paying sales tax. However, be smart don't purchase items that you in no way will ever need, If finances are tight, be especially smart about how you purchase and stock up on your supplies. I admit, I typically begin restocking my hurricane supplies in February.
When you make your weekly or bi-weekly grocery trip, grab an extra jar of peanut butter, jug of water, or a pack of batteries. Purchasing 1 or 2 items a week throughout the year, will help you to be prepared without having to endure the panic that comes the week before a storm hits. This panic is why no stores have water, canned soup, bread or ice available right before a storm comes. I am actually quite proud to say that I did not need to go shopping for hurricane supplies last season. I did go purchase moving boxes and packing tape, and was dumbfounded by the empty aisles and people scrambling, even fighting over canned meats that they otherwise would never purchase. They were in a panic and not ideally prepared. Haven't started, START TODAY!
You can read the other tips we issued last year here. They were very helpful during my own evacuation. After weathering Hurricane Irma, I want to remind you of a few other important to do's.
I'm glad to say that throughout the evacuation and the aftermath, my mental health was in great shape. I was tired but had been certain to refill my medications prior to evacuating, so I was not faced with suddenly going cold turkey. I continued to check in with my support team and care providers. I really cannot stress this enough: if there is any prescription or over the counter medication someone in your home takes on a daily basis as well as rescue meds, such as inhalers or anxiety medication, please be sure to get your advance refills during your storm prep. If you haven't seen your provider in a while and you need to have an office visit to get more refills, now is the time to make that appointment. Tell your provider you want to be prepared in the event of an emergency situation and ask them to put a refill on file. If a named storm is projected to hit, please go fill that prescription don't try to tough it out. Make sure you do this for everyone in your household. Medication for inhalers and nebulizers are crucial. I'm sure anyone with asthma or other respiratory issues will agree when you have no power and the humidity is thick, breathing can become difficult. If you have children that require inhalers please keep them with you. Do not evacuate without, and if you shelter in place be sure you have a supply or means of providing the medication should you lose power. This is not so much about during the storm itself, but in the time to follow the storm when, you may be residing in a shelter or with family or in home without electric or water for days or even weeks.
This includes your pets! Again, get ready now. Make an appointment, go to your vet, keep your pets are up-to-date on which ever vaccines and registrations are required for your county. Put these records with all the other important papers in that waterproof container. Be sure you have enough pet medications as well. Heart worms can be very serious and with the mosquitoes they are a threat.
Whether you're evacuating, or sheltering in place add a good size supply of Chux pads also known as pittle mats, puppy pads or potty papers. You're likely not going to be able to walk Fido in the middle of a storm. If your dog is like mine they don't want to go out when it's raining. You don't want that mess in your house, have some backup potty mats. Chux pads are right up there with duct tape as one of my absolute must have survival items. Because of their multiple uses if you have pets definitely have extra. Like your children, if your pets have favorite toys, blankets, or comfort items make sure that you have those with your pets. Animals are aware when things are different, they feel changes in weather, and they do become stressed. These items for your pets can be very helpful because if the kids are already stir crazy, and you've been cooped up inside with no power, you don't want to add an anxious pet to that mess.
Here are important to know websites:
Tampa Bay Hurricane Guide for 2018
NOAA 2018 Predictions
NOAA Tracking Charts (it's fun to play meteorologist!)
Additionally Hillsborough County Proclaimed May 13 through May 19, 2018 as Hillsborough County Hurricane Preparedness Week in Hillsborough County. Even though it is now Hurricane Season, we should be making sure we are prepared! (also, Perinatal Health Week Proclamation was read shortly after the Hurricane Preparedness Week!)
Here's hoping that everybody has a safe and enjoyable summer. Storm season is long and it is my hope that we have a mild one without any major hurricanes this year. However, if we do, I hope that we are able to help you feel prepared. If you have any tips or tricks that have helped you please feel free to share them in the comments. Learning together and leaning on each other is how we weather the storm.
Want to learn more about how my storm adventure was weathered? Follow along, that story is coming soon.
Each walk is different, but we walk together, and that makes all the