Today I am sharing how we have prepared for the arrival of hurricane Florence. We live 50 miles inland from the coast of North Carolina. As of this posting she has been downgraded to a category 3 and her model has her moving southward. HOWEVER, there is a possibility that she will gain strength from the unusually warm waters currently in the atlantic and stall over our part of the world, creating a deluge of 15 to 30 inches of rain or more. This is how we have prepared for riding out the storm. We hope it is helpful to those who have never prepared.
First things first. Clean up the yard! Get everything off the ground, out of the way and put away. Everything can be a projectile and if it ends up breaking your neighbor's window, won't you feel awful?!
Next, Clean out your gutters! If your gutters are full of debris and leaves and maybe even a sapling or two, now is the time to clean those suckers out. Water spilling over them and onto your home will cause more damage and could cause flooding around your foundation.
Time to clean out the fridge and freezer! I know some people who live by the rule that you should empty your fridge and freezers before a large storm. I am not that person. However, I do believe that you should move all your meat to your deep freeze and stuff that baby full! The fuller the better. Do this at least a few days in advance of the storm arrival so everything is good and frozen solid. If the power goes out, this should stay frozen for quite a while. After all, your freezer is nothing more than a giant cooler!
I moved all my meat to the deep freeze and took the time to clean out all my freezers. We have a side by side in our kitchen, a side by side in the shed and a regular upright in our carport. I tossed old things, reorganized everything else and gave everything a good wipe down. I emptied three freezers and stuffed the deep freeze.
Now clean out your fridge. Go through everything. Toss the old bologna and cheese. Toss that mystery meat that grew yellow mold and even get rid of the container. Don't worry about it. Its just a plastic box! Now give everything a good wipe down and when the time comes you can simply put those things in the cooler.
Now make sure all your laundry is done and run the dishwasher and clean all the dishes as much as you can so there are no hold overs when the lights go out!
Prepare alternative power sources. Generators, power inverters, solar chargers and external phone batteries all should be charged and ready to go.
Get gas! Don't wait till the last minute. Fill up all your vehicles if possible and extra gas cans. We have filled both our cars as well as three jerry cans that are 5 gallons each.
Now make sure you get non perishable foods, snacks and goodies. Get water. Enough for longer than you think you need. It won't go to waste! We have two flats of water. One is frozen. Ready to use for the coolers as well as drinking. We also have our emergency water filter set up and ready to go with two gallons of fresh drinking water. We can replenish as long as our water comes out of the tap safely.
The really important stuff? Cold brew coffee is ready to go. A comfort and indulgence yes. But something that will make us happy.
Be sure you have a way to cook your food. We have two butane gas stove burners and two charcoal grills with plenty of charcoal and lighter fluid.
Lastly, don't panic. Use your head and keep your logical sense about you. If you live in an area that has a mandatory evacuation order like we do, make an educated decision on whether to leave. We are choosing to stay. We live in a sturdy brick house on high ground with zero tall pines. We had them all removed. The only thing left is old growth oak. If you live in a mobile home or a newly constructed home I would definitely take heed and leave town for a few days.
I hope this is helpful information. Thank you for all your prayers and well wishes during this scary time.
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