Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My last EP post

Since it is the end of Emergency Preparedness month (September), this will be my last EP post.  I hope no one ever needs to use any of these tips, but if you do, I hope they were helpful.

In the case of a hurricane, there is a defined season and we also have several days of advanced warning to be able to plan ahead.  At the beginning of the season, I always make sure I have some extra supplies on hand.  These items become hard to find just before hurricane landfall and are sometimes impossible to find after.
  1. Bottled water (I use 5 gallon bottles with a hand pump and individual bottles.)
  2. Disposable plates, cups and utensils - if clean water is a problem, you will not be able to wash dishes, if you are busy making repairs, you won't have time.
  3. Bleach, paper towels and other cleaning supplies - you do not need a closet full, just make sure you have a full spare bottle -- these items fly off the shelves after the storm has passed
  4. Garbage bags - if you can find contractor's bags keep small box handy, these are great for heavy items, like throwing out the entire contents of your refrigerator and freezer, construction trash, wet clothes, wet books, etc. 
  5. Rubber boots - you really don't want to walk in that water!
  6. Large wash tubs or plastic boxes - makes a great outdoor washing station for salvaged items - use one for a bleach mixture and the other for clean water rinsing (if your items are especially dirty, you may want to incorporate a third tub (clean /disinfect /rinse)
Be careful - More injuries are caused during the clean-up than during a hurricane.  (You would be shocked at the number of chain saw injuries following Katrina).  All those commercials about power line safety - they mean it.  Downed power lines can become live once the power company starts restoring service, that goes for power lines that make contact with the trees in your yard.

And finally - Watch out for "widow makers" - large branches that have been weakened or are dangling after the storm.  A dead branch can hold an amazing amount of water and when it finally gives way - - lets just say I have a pot hole in my driveway.  BTW, your insurance company will NOT pay to have these removed, however they will be happy to pay to remove it from your guest bedroom (in addition to the related repairs) after it falls on your house.

We have been very blessed this hurricane season, I hope Nicole is the final storm of the season.

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