Hurricane Irene and Me

Hello!  I’m Jen, mama-partner in “A Living Family”.  I’ve been contemplating writing posts for weeks, so I’m sorry to meet you all under such dire circumstances.  I’ve been compiling and analyzing hurricane (and related) emergency procedures for the past few days, so I’m hoping that it might help some other East Coast families out there.

First of all, know what’s coming and what is happening!  While you have power and Internet, check out the NOAA and Weather Channel.  Check out the map projections and your hyper-local weather.  It helps me feel better to know what to expect and when to expect it, to the best of our knowledge.  Get a battery-powered/crank radio. Maybe sign up for alerts on your phone.

Next is to hope for the best, prepare for the worst.  Here are some links that helped me:

Weather Channel:  Hurricanes, Flooding, Supply Kit, Home Prep.

I like the NOAA website.  It has quizzes at the end to make sure you remember the info. 😉 Hurricane Preparedness.  You can download this handy PDF to read at your leisure on your battery-powered computer, eBook or smartphone.

FEMA state pages:  NJ, PA, NY  You can find all states here.  Look for your county evacuation and storm surge maps, and print/download it, just in case.  I really like New Jersey’s pages, they have a lot of great info, including sheltering-in-place and evacuation.

I really like the author of this article (I read her sustainability blog frequently.)  In the future, I’d like to discuss lifestyles that would make most emergency/disaster preparations easier, including having a pantry, storing water and growing/storing your own food, with an eye to how society lived pre-electricity.  (Because besides having a safe location, aren’t most of our planning arrangements centering on dealing with that?)

Breastfeeding/pumping moms might want to check out these articles:  Lanisoh, US Breastfeeding, ILCA.

We have three cats and a house bunny (our Jack Russell lives with my parents).  In case of mandatory evacuation, know that emergency shelters do not accept pets. Here is more info from NJ FEMA and here are PDFs for pets and livestock.

Yes, I really read all of these (last night).  It’s not too much of a stretch to say I was FREAKING OUT.  I felt so unprepared, I wanted to cry!  Information (even dire information) helped me realize all that I needed to do.  So here is some of my list:

Bring in gnome, plants, welcome mat.  Take out outside light bulb.  Bring in Beanie’s tricycle and little swing set and put in living room for playtime.

Ask landlord about how to shut off gas and electric.  We use an automatic garage door opener but there is a side door.  Get key.

We need to store water, but have no bathtub and few jars.  Unpack all our Rubbermaids full of clothes in storage, wash, disinfect and fill with water.  Use Brita filter as needed.  (Yes, its crappy. I wish we had the lovely Berkey filter that can filter even contaminated water.)

Get all our “emergency” stuff in a laundry basket.  Find LED candles.

Get all cat stuff ready: travel crates/blankets, dishes, food.  Put them in dog crate and transfer if necessary.  Clip nails so they don’t scratch too bad when they get freaked out.

Unplug everything and put safety plugs in holes.  Put electronics in closets so they don’t get wet in case windows break.  Also mirrors.  Also light bulbs.  Ditto kitchen breakables.

Back up computers and put drive in lock box.

Get tapes and CDs together for Beanie.  Look through “Unplugged Play” book for fun ideas.

Our shopping list included food that we usually don’t buy in Target:  PB, honey, summer sausage, bread, canned rice and beans, Pop Tarts.  We were looking for Tang, but they didn’t sell it. 😦  Also, new windshield wipers and disposable diapers (we use cloth, hopefully we can get them all washed before tomorrow.)  And LOTS of pet food.

I hope this post will be useful to those in the path of Irene.  Blessings of safety and health for all.  See you on the other side!

One response to this post.

  1. This makes me think that we are not nearly as prepared as we should be. Thanks for compiling all this useful information. I hope you all stay safe.


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