How To Get Ready for Hurricane Season

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June is here and that means the Atlantic hurricane season has started.  For those of you that live in an area prone to hurricanes and tropical storms, this means it’s time to dig out and review your hurricane readiness plan.

Not only is it time to bring your hurricane and storm-related gear out of storage, but it is also time to ensure that everything is in working order.  This includes flashlights, lanterns, generators, fuel, and emergency cooking provisions.

How to Get Ready for Hurricane Season - Backdoor Survival

To help you along, I have prepared for you an Annual Hurricane Readiness Checklist.

This brief checklist includes includes steps to take both before and during a hurricane.  Although it is by no means all-inclusive, it  should serve as enough to get you started on your road to hurricane preparedness. Note that even though this article is focused on hurricanes, much of it is applicable to other storms and power outages as well.

In addition to the Hurricane Ready Checklist, I have another fantastic giveaway for you.  Up for grabs are two all new AquaPod kits.  Good timing, right?  More about that in a moment.

First, the Hurricane Ready Checklist with a summary of what you need to do to get ready for hurricane season.

The Hurricane Ready Checklist

Before Hurricane Season Starts

  • Plan an evacuation route.
  • Contact the local emergency management office to learn about the community hurricane preparedness plan. This plan should include information on the safest evacuation routes and nearby shelters.
  • Learn safe routes inland.
  • Be ready to drive 20 to 50 miles inland to locate a safe place

Have disaster supplies on hand

  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Portable, battery-operated radio or hand crank and extra batteries
  • First aid kit and manual
  • Emergency food and water
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Essential medicines
  • Cash and credit cards
  • Sturdy shoes

Protect your windows

  • Permanent shutters are the best protection. A lower-cost approach is to put up plywood panels. Use 1/2 inch plywood–marine plywood is best–cut to fit each window. Remember to mark which board fits which window.
  • Pre-drill holes every 18 inches for screws. Do this long before the storm.
  • Trim back dead or weak branches from trees.
  • Check into flood insurance since homeowners polices do not cover damage from the flooding that accompanies a hurricane.

Develop an emergency communication plan

  • In case family members are separated from one another during a disaster (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), have a plan for getting back together.
  • Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the “family contact.” After a disaster, it’s often easier to call long distance. Make sure everyone in the family knows the name, address, and phone number of the contact person.

During Hurricane Watches and Warnings

  • Education is one of the best forms of emergency preparedness. Knowing what a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning means is important.
  • A hurricane watch is issued when there is a threat of hurricane conditions within 24-36 hours.
  • A hurricane warning is issued when hurricane conditions (winds of 74 miles per hour or greater, or dangerously high water and rough seas) are expected in 24 hours or less.

During A Hurricane Watch

  • Listen to a battery-operated radio or television for hurricane progress reports.
  • Check emergency supplies.
  • Fuel the car.
  • Bring in outdoor objects such as lawn furniture, toys, and garden tools and anchor objects that cannot be brought inside.
  • Secure buildings by closing and boarding up windows. Remove outside antennas.
  • Turn refrigerator and freezer to coldest settings. Open only when absolutely necessary and close quickly.
  • Store drinking water in clean bathtubs, jugs, bottles, and cooking utensils.
  • Review evacuation plan.

During A Hurricane Warning

  • Listen constantly to a battery-operated radio or television for official instructions.
  • If in a mobile home, check tie downs and evacuate immediately.
  • Stay inside, away from windows, skylights, and glass doors.
  • Keep a supply of flashlights and extra batteries handy. Avoid open flames, such as candles and kerosene lamps, as a source of light.
  • If power is lost, turn off major appliances to reduce power “surge” when electricity is restored.
    If officials indicate evacuation is necessary: Leave as soon as possible. Avoid flooded roads and watch for washed-out bridges.
  • Secure your home by unplugging appliances and turning off electricity and the main water valve.
  • If you leave your home, tell someone outside of the storm area where you are going.
  • If time permits, and you live in an identified surge zone, elevate furniture to protect it from flooding or better yet, move it to a higher floor.
  • If you decide to evacuate (or are told to do so by local authorities), take pre-assembled emergency supplies, warm protective clothing, blankets and sleeping bags with you.
  • Lock up home and leave.

What the Heck is an AquaPod?

So what that heck is an AquaPod?  I did a thorough review of the AquaPod a while back so today I will deliver just the Cliff Notes version.

The AquaPod is a heavy duty bathtub liner that can be filled with water in advance of a storm or weather system.  Think of it as insurance when you anticipate that access to clean, usable water will be unavailable for a few days.

The AquaPod holds up to 65 gallons of water.  Think about that.  At a water requirement of 3 gallons a day per person, that works out to 22 man-days or 11 days of water for two people and more if you conserve.  Also, you can expect the water to stay fresh for up to 8 weeks although water never really goes bad, just stale and or contaminated.

In addition to being a cinch to set up, something I like about the AquaPod is that the storage requirement is zilch.  Storing the boxed kit takes up no room at all.  Plus, if you have two bathtubs, you can have up to 130 gallons of fresh water ready to go before that hurricane of storm hits.

And there is one more thing.  The AquaPodKit is made in the USA which is rare these days.

A couple of months ago the AquaPod kits were revamped a bit.  The basic kit was made more compact and a new AquaPodKit PlusOne replaced the deluxe kits.  Both kits are basically the same with the exception that the PlusOne includes two liners.  The liners still hold 65 gallons and refills are available.

The Giveaway

This is giveaway is for 2 kits: the standard AquaPod Kit with one liner, and also the AquaPod Kit PlusOne with 2 liners.  There will be two winners. a Rafflecopter giveaway

To enter the giveaway, you need to utilize the Rafflecopter form below.  Select one or more of the options after signing in using your email account or Facebook, the choice is yours.  The best way to start is by clicking on “Free Entry for Everyone”.  After that, each option you select represents an additional entry.  There are a number of different options so pick and choose or select them all.

The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific next Tuesday with the winner notified by email and announced on the Rafflecopter in the article.  Please note that the winner must claim their prize within 48 hours or an alternate will be selected.

Note:  Some of you have had difficulties entering your email address in the Rafflecopter.  I contacted support and they suggest that you clear your browser cache to see if that helps.  Instructions are here:  http://www.wikihow.com/Clear-Your-Browsers-Cache.  If that does not work, they suggested that you contact them directly at support@rafflecopter.com.  They really seem sincere in wanting to help.

The Final Word

Living like I do in Washington State, you don’t think about hurricane readiness too much. Instead, we concern ourselves with earthquakes, mudslide and windstorms.

Many of our windstorms exceed 75 miles per hour and cause a lot of downed trees, damage and power outages so while they are not a hurricane per se, they still are a force to contend with.  For you historians out there, a couple of major bridges have collapsed during windstorms, most notably Galloping Gertie and the I-90 Floating Bridge in Seattle.

There are just so many reason to prepare; not the least of which is Mother Nature.  With so many preps to deal with, why not enter to win a free AquaPod Kit?  With a little advanced storm warning, that will give you up to 65 gallons of extra water.  And extra water is always a good thing!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
Gaye

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Spotlight Item: Have you considered storing water in your bathtub?  The AquaPod Kit is a bladder that you can use in your bathtub to store water if you know that a storm, flood, or hurricane is brewing. I call these “disruptive events”.   I have used the AquaPod myself (remember 16 Tips for Coping Without Running Water?) and can personally recommend it.

How to Get Ready for Hurricane Season - Backdoor Survival

AquaPodKit- Emergency Drinking Water Storage (65 Gallons)
AquaPodKit- PlusOne -Includes 2 liners for 130 Gallons total

Bargain Bin: Getting the goods you need to have in place to be comfortable during a hurricane can be daunting when you are just getting started. Here is a list of some gear to help you along the way.

Kaito Voyager V1 Dynamo and Solar Radio: I prefer this smaller, more basic Kaito because it is simple to use.

Coghlans Waterproof Matches 10-pack: There are 10 boxes of 40 matches each for about $5.  That is a good deal for 400 waterproof matches.

Coleman Mini Lantern:  You already know that I have a thing about flashlights but this is a slightly different take on portable lighting.  It is 7.5 inches tall lantern and weighs just seven ounces, including batteries.  And boy does it give off light.  Inexpensive (less than $10) plus, it is a genuine Coleman.

Chemical Lighting aka Light Sticks: These are inexpensive, portable and easy to use. These come in a number of colors so take your pick.

Coleman Rugged Battery Powered Lantern: This sturdy Coleman has a runtime of up to 28 hours on the low setting and 18 hours on the high setting but does require D cell batteries. Personally, I have both a battery operated and propane lantern. Of course by now you know that I like redundancy with my preps.

Dorcy LED Wireless Motion Sensor Flood Lite: Don’t let the $20 price lead you to think this wireless flood light is wimpy. I have two of these (so far) and feel that these lights are worth double the price.

Coleman PefectFlow 1-Burner Stove:  This Coleman One-burner Propane Stove is an easy-to-use portable stove that should meet almost any camp cooking need. The PerfectFlow regulator provides consistent cooking performance by producing a steady fuel stream, even in cold weather, high altitudes, or when fuel is low. Equipped with one 10,000 BTU burner, this fully adjustable stove will last for 2.2 hours on high or up to nine hours on low.

EcoZoom Versa Rocket Stove: Burning twigs and pinecones, this stove will cook a big pot of rice in under 20 minutes. The stove is solidly built and will burn charcoal as well. There is also a version that only burns biomass for slightly less money.

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Comments

How To Get Ready for Hurricane Season — 85 Comments

  1. Thanks again for the great knowledge and opportunity to prepare. Love that the product is made in the USA! Would love to have this in my preps. I think that water will be one of the greatest needs post SHTF so I’m preparing for this every way I can think of. Thanks and have a blessed week!!!

  2. If we are expecting heavy storms and high winds, I always fill the bathtubs and buckets, and stock pots and tea kettles. The aqua pod would be wonderful since the water would be clean and drinkable and stay fresh for quite awhile. I would love to have one!

  3. If we have a big storm or warning, tubs get filled. We also have stored water. Local creeks and lakes will also be utilized.

  4. I have some 5 gal water containers and lots of 1.5 liter bottles. I would love to have one of these kits for added storage. Thanks so much for the opportunity to win one. Good luck everyone.

  5. When thinking in reality about water sources in the event of a massive storm or shut down of our daily supply it reminds me that we don’t really have a primary source for water and are pretty much reliant on the utilities for our fresh drinking water.. .I can see where an aqua pod would be handy in the event of a storm or shut down to our municipal water source..

  6. Would love an Squalid. I have filled tubs before a storm, only to have the water slowly leak out. This would eliminate that problem

  7. I have a few 6 gallon jugs I refill every 6 mos, also 2 50 gal rain water containers that I refill every 6 mos (no rain in Cali:( , so Id have to boil that water to drink, but still doable. Last resort is a natural spring dwn the street from me, who knows if muraders would be guarding that though. My plan wd be to immediately start filling up there if stores were wiped out.

  8. We have several 5 gallon camping water bladders, we subscribe to a water service and we cycle through cases of bottled water (we keep 4-6 cases). I also keep food grade plastic containers that I fill with water when we are notified of potential threats.

  9. We have a well and have bought a hand pump for it. Still need to install it though. We also have about 10 5-7 gallon water jugs filled and stored, plus a few flats of store bought bottled water. An aqua pod would be a great help too!

  10. We have a cases of bottled water we add to regularly but if worse comes to worst we have a sump in the basement we could pull water from and the means to strain and boil it. It runs constantlyfrom September to August as the water table is fairly close to the surface around us and doesn’t “dry” up till August for about a month. But the Aquapod would be a huge help if we have to batten down the hatches. I know you say the winners will get an email but do you put anything in the subject line to that effect?. I’ve accidently deleted a few of the notifcation emails I get when there is a new subject on the site.

  11. I already have several sources of water in case the power goes out and we can’t run the pump, including about 150 gallons of water in barrels in the basement, but the AquaPod would make an awesome gift for my friends/family who are less prepared. My primary source of water in an emergency is to start up the generator and run water as usual, easy-peasy! But, depending on the emergency that may not be possible, so I’ve made sure I have a backup for my backup! Water is something we usually take for granted here in the USA, but there are still people in this world who have to walk for several hours a day to get the water they need to survive. charity:water (http://www.charitywater.org/) is striving to help these people by drilling wells, etc. I think that charity:water is a worthwhile cause, please consider donating!

  12. At home, I have 4 50gal water storage in basement. Bugout location snow pack yearround fed creek and filtration system available.

  13. My wife ants to know when I’m going to dump out all that old water, but I’ll hold on to it to flush toilets and bath.

  14. We have several 55 gallon barrels (food grade) as well as a 275 gallon IBC and several rain barrels. Also have bottled water and a good water filtration system.

  15. Stored water and a year round stream 100 yards away will be our primary water sources. Having the Aqua pod would certainly make it easier to reduce need to leave the house (bug-in).

  16. Right now my primary source of water is the collection of milk jugs we’re slowly attaining and cleaning out. We only have enough at the moment for the two of us for three days (the recommended 72 hour kit.) It’s a slow process and space is at a premium in our tiny apartment.

    • Milk jugs are a very poor choice for two reasons. They are pretty flimsy and may not hold up but even more impotant, are impossible to completely clean, even with bleach. This could lead to the unwanted growth of bacteria. Could you use clean soda bottles or jars instead?

  17. We have a 285 deep well and also a lake close by. I also plan on filling my two liter bottles with water.

  18. We have to haul our water from about 8 miles away. I would fill my water hauling tank. Water in our area is ‘2000 ft down.

  19. I have one of these, but I have 2 tubs, so another would be great. I have a lot of random containers (mostly old kitty litter jugs) that I fill when flooding is an issue (the most common catastrophe in my area) but that is just for flushing, plants, pats, etc. Would be nice to have another potable source.

  20. This is such a great idea, and I especially like that it is easy to store. Our storage is very limited and to find something this useful that takes up little room is always a plus.

  21. I have some soda bottles of water, mainly for flushing toilets and cleaning needs–also have some bottled water and some bottles of soda on hand. I need to improve my pitiful amounts though–I live in an area where we occasionally lose our power for a week or two due to power outages from the storms.

  22. I’d love to win the water bob, looking at the comments, I need to store a lot more water! Thanks for the opportunity to win this great item.

  23. I have a 5 gallon water dispenser with 4 bottles. This is my primary water supply. I usually refill when I get to 2 bottles, giving me a minimum of 10 gallons of potable water. I also have a 275 gallon rain catchment as well as a 30 gallon rain catchment. This water would need to be filtered/boiled/treated before drinking, but could be used directly for flushing or washing.

  24. We have a few 5 gallon water bottles and some other bottled water. I remember during Katrina when a helicopter landed in the ball field next to my parents house to drop off clean water and the men were armed. Made hurricanes feel totally different

  25. My source will be bottles of water and any other way I can save it. I live in an rv, so I’m sure I will have to purify what I get my hands on otherwise.

  26. This is a great product for condo dwellers who can’t stash a lot of water under normal circumstances. Does anyone know if this is reusable? Or is it a one-shot usage?

  27. The company says one shot usage but after I used mine, I cleaned it with bleach and set it aside to use again in the event I had nothing else. My take is that I could also filter the water before drinking it or use it for flushing and cleaning.

  28. I’m not as happy with my water preps as I could be. That said, I have a 55-gallon drum full, several boxes of water bottles, and a Berkey water filter and swimming pool. I would love to have another couple of sources…this would be great.

  29. Right now we keep a minimum of 5 cases of bottled water that we rotate through. Not the best solution but we are limited on storage space. When we know a storm is approaching we fill both bathtubs with water and we have a number of different filters to use. Working to try and make some storage space for at least one if not a couple of 55-gallon water drums.

  30. We use plastic sheeting to line the bathtubs, but a closed system would be nice. Are these reusable?

  31. I have 6 each of 285 gallon totes hooked up as rain water collectors. I have a small pond with catfish. I have a big Berkey. I have 55 gallon barrels of water stored in the basement.

  32. We live in Florida so we do prepare for hurricanes. I fill my bathtubs….have large jugs….and we fill some trashcans with water

  33. We have been so lucky in VA Beach compared to many, makes me wonder how long we will be. Since we have a well it would be great to win one.

  34. My primary source of water in a disaster will be two, stored water in the house in several forms and spring Bottled water, and drain the hot water heater will be first. Second for longer duration disasters there’s a spring 100 to 200 yards from my home that we’ll utilize.

  35. I look forward to winning the Aquapod. I’ve been looking into buying one as part of my earthquake preparedness, but as the prices go down on this, I should probably buy 2!

  36. My primary source of water would be the bathtub because my apartment is so small there isn’t room to store a lot of water; except in the bathtub.

  37. We have a 55 gal water storage container, store bought bottled water, many self filled 2 liter bottles, and many self filled 1 gallon containers. We have some water bricks, also, and several different varieties of water filters/water treatment items. We have 3 bathtubs and we have one AquaPod (so could use another one or two!).

  38. Purchased bottled water & saved water in all the containers (including cups, mugs,& pots & pans) pails & we can round up & the bathtub.

    Thank you very much for the giveaway!

  39. I use 5 gallon jugs and soda bottles, limited space in an apartment. Currently decluttering the apartment so I can make room for more water and food.

  40. just wanted to drop a line and let you know I received my aquapod, hope I never have to use it, but thankful to you for the great write-up and opportunity to win it.

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