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Are You Ready for Hurricane Irene – or Any Other Natural Disaster?

emergency readiness checklist

Batten down the hatches! For those of us in Virginia it has been one drama filled week dealing with the wrath of Mother Nature. After two violent storms, one earthquake and its countless aftershocks we now get to look forward to a weekend with Hurricane Irene. Oh, goody!

In September 2003 when Hurricane Isabel came rocking through I was actually here by myself with 3 kids – ages 7, 5 and 2 (hubs was overseas) and was really not sure what we were in for. We live inland so I thought, how bad could it really be? Bad. Scary and bad. The hurricane came through over night and when we finally saw sunshine the next morning the yard was littered with debris and we had no power. Since we are on a well, that meant no water either. We ended up being without power for 7 days and while we had a generator I could run, we still ended up losing most of what was in the fridge and freezer. Not a fun week.

Faced with a similar scenario coming in this weekend, I have already done the cursory bread, milk and toilet paper stock up run. We have plenty of batteries. I will charge every laptop, iPod and cell phone while we do have power. I will make a batch of muffins and be sure I have a few no-cook meals planned. The cars have full tanks of gas, I got cash and all loose objects in the yard have been put in the garage. The one thing I wish I would have done in 2003 was fill up every bathtub and sink with water ahead of time.¬† Without power and water, having one sink already full and designated as the hand washing station is important. Also, you can’t flush your toilets without the well to refill them – a bucket and a bathtub of water at least gives you a few extra flushes for emergencies!

If you are not already prepared or you are afraid you have missed something, you might want to take a look at some of these resources:

Stay safe this weekend and here’s hoping that Hurricane Irene is not as bad as they are predicting she will be.

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