Lights Out: Storm Planning

We live in a world up-turned by a global pandemic. Whether you were ready or not, current events are filled with shelter-in-place orders and the generalized fear of viral infection.

If you’re home, and you’re safe, and you’re bored (and you might be since you have time to read this blog post) now might be a good time to start thinking about the regular, more mundane disasters we’re more used to experiencing on a seasonal basis.

Let’s talk about hurricane season.

Hurricane Week is here (5/3-5/9) with June 1st being recognized as the official start.

Already there’s been a few predictions that the east coast of the country may experience another “above average” storm season with up to 4 major Atlantic hurricanes.

Now, to be honest, that could mean anything. 

COAST G26 Utility Fixed Beam Flashlight, 330 Lumens

But in the spirit of preparedness for its own sake, let’s consider a few options for the coming storm.

Lights Out

While the general public are all sitting at home and waiting for the pandemic curve to flatten, essential utilities and other services are all still humming along.

In the face of hurricanes or other serious storms, power is going to go out.

In the short term you’ll need light and batteries, potentially in the long term you might need more.

Dependable shelf-stable food, a reliable source of water and more should all be considered. Tap water might be safe now, but a hurricane can quickly eliminate normal safe sources of drinking water.

Least considered in this modern world of cell phone service is the humble weather radio.

HQ ISSUE Multi-Band Dynamo / Solar Powered Weather Radio

Even during a power outage cell phone towers usually stay in service. 

But in the most severe of storms, cell phone service and internet access going to fall by the wayside. In these situations, the only reliable way to receive NOAA weather alerts, current news and other information will the old, reliable way.

For more info: Center for Disease Control on Power Outages

Keeping Cool

The loss of power immediately puts the perishability of your food supply into question. A rugged cooler, with a high insulation value, becomes incredibly valuable in such a situation.

Guide Gear 90 Quart Cooler

In addition, power outages due to storms combine lack of air conditioning with no open windows and high outdoor temperatures to make things very uncomfortable.

The only cooling options possible will be ice from your cooler, and the evaporative cooling properties of basic water. Wet rags, frozen water bottles and similar items can create a much more comfortable environment and add a big boost to overall morale.

For more info: Our Guide to Picking Out a Cooler

Preparing for Evacuation

Will shelter-in-place directives still be in effect when hurricane season arrives? No matter the changing threat of the pandemic, if a severe storm becomes threatening enough to a coastal area, an order to evacuate will surely be given.

When the decision is made to evacuate, it needs to be followed through with immediate action.

Essential items should be ready to go, or be in a location where they can be accessed and packed immediately.

An emergency kit should already be in your vehicle, ready to handle trouble and when you get to your eventual sheltering location.

And evacuation brings up a consideration especially for those not in coastal or storm hit areas: do you have anyone who is going to need a temporary roof over their head in the coming storms?

Having the available food, water, blankets, bedding, and other sleeping equipment can make all the difference when action needs to be taken, and you being the person with the resources to respond.

Having the Right Resources

None of us can be fully prepared, especially when multiple events happen at once. But one of the main benefits of preparedness thinking well in advance of an event is ability to be cool, clear-headed and analytical regarding your current emergency supplies.

Invest in only what you can afford. Prepare in the ways that you as an individual can see the most benefit for the future of you and society.

Be ready and face the future with confidence.

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