It’s no secret, Southeasterners are procrastinators. I have no doubt there are people that live in my area of the country who are Johnny-on-the-spot prepared for hurricane season in March, but for the vast majority of us, that is just not so. I’ve weathered 7 hurricanes, three of them Category Four or Five, and STILL don’t get my stuff together until a storm is bearing down on me. I was without power for almost two months after the season of 2004, which saw four landfalling hurricanes in Florida (I was in all four), and yet…I still wait. Most of those of us who have been through it, grown up with them, know how to improvise when we haven’t braved the long lines at the stores when warnings go up.
For those of you that DO like to be prepared, here is a handy list of things you should have available in your house if you are in a storm path. This works for all manner of storms, even northern storms (you just have to add alternate heating sources and blankets to yours), and some of the things are handy to have around in the middle of the year as well.
- Flashlights (fun for scary stories as well)
- Spare batteries for all battery operated items in your home
- A car power converter/inverter – they make your car lighter or power outlet into a regular household outlet
- Non-perishable food for three to four days (canned meats, fruit, dry cereal, non-perishable milk, etc)
- Bottles and bottles of water (for drinking only. Fill up tubs and sinks for cleaning purposes). A rule of thumb is a gallon per person per day. Figure three to four days.
- A first aid kit, with prescription medications for illnesses.
- Extra gas for your car
- A generator. I really can’t stress this enough. Yes, they can be fairly expensive, and you may not even use it in a season, but I learned to appreciate mine when I was standing in a line at Grainger for 12 hours in 100 degree weather, waiting to purchase one after Hurricane Charlie.
- A portable fan. No, people in the south don’t always have portable fans. We always have ceiling fans.
Well, maybe not for our northern friends, but down here in Florida its perfect camping weather! Camping supplies are being unearthed from the garage, tents set up in back yards to be aired out, and grills are being scraped clean, ready for campsite burgers and steaks. Bring on the s’mores, it’s time to camp!
When I was younger, I camped a lot. As long as I had my trusty first-aid kit, I was comfortable. I loved waking up in the morning to the sounds of the woods around me, snuggled into the warmth of my air mattress. Yes, I said air mattress. I love to camp, but I need the comforts of home! That meant air mattresses, fluffy pillows from home, and my comforter as opposed to a sleeping bag.
We also had a camp kitchen, a portable countertop that had three levels and lantern hooks. It held my grill, my drip coffee maker (can’t go camping without that), and had hooks so I could hang my skillet and utensils, along with a paper towel hook. One level of the counter top held my paper plates and cups, and the other level held my plastic tote with our dry goods.
We also brought with us a heavy duty ice chest (read: massive) that would hold all of our cold stuffs and keep the ice for about two days before we had to refill it. Our tent was huge, and slept up to 12 people, although we were only two. I need room to move around and not feel cramped. And have clearly designated dressing areas and sleeping areas. We don’t camp as much anymore, and I miss it. Maybe that’s something to bring up as an alternative for summer vacation! What do you do for camping fun?
I have a confession to make: I am prone to accidents. Not like car accidents, or other indelicate accidents nor am I clumsy. I just have…accidents, because I rush all the time. This means I have a lot of bruises and cuts and scrapes, and keep a ready supply of band aids at hand.
I rush when I’m walking so I tend to brush up against things (or slam into them full force) and end up with a bruise or a scrape. Like this morning, rushing to turn off my bedside light before I left for work. I brushed right past the blinds and scrape! Took off a bit of skin and drew a little blood. Because of things like this, I have two first aid kits in my house.
I also have boxes of band aids, and Neosporin, and peroxide all over the house as well, but there really isn’t anything like a well-stocked first aid kit. I usually put together my own, because I know what I’m prone to, and with pre-made kits I always have the odd items left over. I do keep a standard kit in my car, however, and when we go camping, I have a full kit that travels with us.
Some basic things to have in a good kit would be Band-Aids, disinfectant (Bactine is my favorite), an antibiotic ointment, burn cream, aloe, gauze, and medical tape. You can also incorporate things like splinter tweezers, pain killers like Tylenol, medical gloves, needle and thread, etc to make the kit personalized for you. Now that I’ve talked your ear off about first- aid kits, I have to go clean up my arm! Have a great day!
Supposedly, the world is ending today, but other than the fact that it’s actually chilly here in South Florida today, I’m not seeing any evidence to a major catastrophe that will destroy the earth. Which makes me happy, but I’m sure there are still those of you who feel that maybe something is going to happen, and that’s okay!
What should you have on hand at the end of the world? Food, water, flashlights, batteries, etc? Well, it depends. If a mythical rogue planet is going to hit us, then it doesn’t matter what you have at your disposal. It’s pretty much sayonara, but the flip side is, you won’t know what happened. If it’s one of the natural disasters that people are talking about, then a basic hurricane/storm kit should do you fine. I’ve blogged about them before.
If we’re going to be inundated with solar flares and rays and other very hot things that have to do with the sun, SPF 50 won’t cut it. Actually, I really don’t know much that will, but you can always use a welding blanket! They’re made to withstand very high temperatures, and are fairly reasonable in price. One blanket should be able to cover you.
To be honest there are so many theories about what is supposed to happen today that I can’t keep them straight! Just remember that it’s always a smart thing to have a disaster kit handy, a safe water supply, and about three days’ worth of canned, non-perishable food on hand. Stay safe, and enjoy the day, no matter what it brings!