Florida before hurricane Irma

To Florida with Love: 30 Survival Tips…

This is too little, too late, I know, but if it can help someone in Florida to survive, it will be worth every moment it takes to post.

Or to read.

I found this on facebook, with an encouragement to “please share”, so here goes:

  • Start running your ice makers TODAY. Bag the ice. Fill the space between your freezer items as much as you can. A full freezer stays colder longer than one with empty spaces. And besides, you may need that frozen water in the form of water in the near future.
  • Freeze regular tap water for pets, cleaning, or drinking. Use Tupperware-type containers. REMEMBER to leave a small bit of space between the top of the water and the lids so the ice expands but doesn’t crack the container.
  • Start using your perishables TODAY to make more room for ice in the freezer.
  • Another tip of freezing water in gallon baggies—they can fit upright in the freezer well and you can thaw as needed.
  • Sanitize at least one bathtub and fill with water 24 hours before the storm hits. BUT TODAY MEANWHILE make sure your tub will hold water through a storm. YOU MIGHT THINK YOUR TUB HOLDS WATER but a 20-minute bath is not the same as keeping filled for several days. Fill it with about 2 inches of water and check on it after a couple of hours. If the water is lower, replace your stopper and try again, OR fill several plastic totes/bins with water & keep them in the tub or a secure low-traffic area of your house. (Or seal the drain with plastic wrap, a plastic baggie, and duct tape for good measure.)
  • SECURE ALL FIREARMS and AMMUNITION PROPERLY.
  • Gas up all vehicles and check tires and oil TODAY. Gas up all gas cans.
  • Get cash TODAY from ATM. Enough to get you through tolls and out of town to get supplies and more gas later. Call your bank if you plan on leaving the state so they don’t freeze your card for out-of-area “suspicious” transactions.
  • Screenshot or scan and send to your own email all of your important documents. Put originals in sealed bags or plastic bins. Think about sending second copy to friend or family who do not live in your area.
  • Stock up on pet and livestock food and supplies. Have your animals’ records handy in case you need to shelter them at a storm-safe facility.
  • Share evacuation plans with family and friends so they know where you will be. Have second location ready and known to all, in case first plan fails.
  • Store family heirlooms and photos in plastic bins in a high place, second floor, attic, or safe room if you can’t take them with you.
  • Keep old rags and beach towels on your stormside windowsills. Even with the best windows and shutters, water seeping from the horizontal wind pressure happens. A few soaked towels are better than soaked floors or drywall.
  • I also advise duct-taping windows and door frames to prevent water seepage. Windows are NOT made to withstand horizontal rain. While you are at it, buy some sturdy tarps—you may need them.
  • Shutter windows and doors and bring everything outside into your garage or house TODAY. Do not wait until the day before. Better to get done early and relax than wait until its too late, ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE MANDATORY PERSONNEL (health care worker, emergency worker, or first responder). Remember that EVERYTHING is a potential projectile in hurricane-force winds. As long as you are out there, check for any weak or low hanging branches that are too near your house, windows, etc., and take them down now.
  • If you own greenhouses, remove plastic sheeting now. Better to destroy sheeting that to loose the entire structure (built like a box kite) in these winds.
  • If you don’t already have your hurricane supplies (non-perishable food, non-electric can opener, paper plates, lamp oil, etc.), get them TODAY. Shelves are already empty in some places.
  • Back up important computer files on a thumb drive! Place drive in a safe or other water-tight arrangement.
  • Get an advance or a refill on your prescriptions TODAY!
  • Unplug electronics as power fluctuations in high winds can cause damage.
  • If you do evacuate, put everything in your freezer and refrigerator into ice chests. Unplug and prop open your freezer and refrigerator. If you do not, when the power goes out—and it will—you will come home to rotting food and an uncleanable freezer or refrigerator.
  • Before you leave, turn off the MAIN power switch to your house or else you may come home to a fried AC unit because of power surges.
  • Take a shower (while you can) and wash your bedding and all laundry. You don’t know the next time you might be able to.
  • Declutter your living space—in cases of extended power outages, you may be living without a good light source for some time and tripping hazards can be avoided if you take the time to declutter TODAY.
  • Make sure your emergency weather radio is charged up and set to receive the news and information you need. Sign up with local emergency management to receive important warnings via your cell phone. When chemical plants are blowing up because they have lost power for refrigeration, this is the only way you might know to seal your home! More Duct tape!
  • Easily forgotten but as important as all of that—photos or videos of every inch of your house and a list of all belongings of value for your insurance company. Again, email to self and to family/friends.
  • Plastic bins can open during extreme vacuum. Duck tape completely around each bin, in both directions. (Like fancy ribbon around a present forms a “plus” on top and bottom)
  • Scan and email all photos to yourself and to friend or family in safe places.
  • For this hurricane, I’d also try to tie down my car. Cars have been blowing away in the Caribbean. Try chaining axle to a tree?
  • Gather some excellent firewood and store it in a plastic bin, too, along with very securely wrapped matches or lighter. It will help if you are cold and wet, afterwards. Once you get a good fire going in, say, the carport or some other sheltered place, you can add wet wood to it, but you cannot start a fire with wet wood. Also, then you can cook. If you have a fireplace, even better. Raise a pot off the flame with the next pieces of wet wood, or a few rocks or bricks, which are best if dry. Wet ones sometimes crumble or pop…
  • If it’s hot weather, stay cooler with wet clothing, wet towels around neck.
  • Hurricanes also bring tornadoes with them. Usually these are weak funnels that seldom touch, or only touch very briefly. Still, have a tornado plan, too…
  • Pray. Don’t forget to pray.

God Bless You!
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