It’s gray, gloomy and stormy in Houston right now. Hurricane Harvey is expected to be Category 3 and I’m watching people scramble around for last minute errands. Two days ago when I went to the grocery store, it was chaotic. People stealing parking spots (I see you Lexus lady!), shoving things into their carts, grabbing every water case they can find, etc. In all seriousness, please stay safe this weekend!
In 2008 with Hurricane Ike, I went through my first hurricane experience. Our entire neighborhood flooded in knee-high water, electricity and AC went out and tree debris went everywhere! No AC in Houston? Eff….it’s gonna be so hot. The surrounding restaurants and grocery stores’ lights were also down and it was pitch black at night. Luckily my parents were prepared and we survived it.
Growing up now, I’m gathering the advice from friends and family and will like to share with you what I know. I’m lucky to have a significant partner who loves the outdoors and can survive in the woods. I’m not necessarily eager to ride out this hurricane, but know I can depend on him to do so as safely as possible.
Hurricane Harvey Tips
- Gas Tanks and Cars – Fill up your gas tank early! We’re planning on riding in a taller car that’s higher up when it floods. Although it’s not a number 1 priority to fill up my VW Golf, I’d suggest doing so anyway when you want to run errands before it starts to rain heavily. Gas stations are currently either out of gas or starting to get really expensive so start early.
- Pets – Yup, mine are going to be terrified. All too often pets are left out of emergency preparedness plans. I’m keeping my pets with me with a packed bag in case we need to evacuate. This includes their dog food, collapsible bowls for water, treats and a brush.
- Water, ice packs, coolers, filters – freezing ice packs and water helps keep your perishable foods cold. Don’t have an ice pack? Fill zip lock bags with water and freeze. If you have a water pitcher, clean a filter ahead of time. If you have a cooler, you can use that to keep food cool too. Fill up bathtubs with water so when you #2… =D
- Neighbors – Get to know them. These people are your first responders!
- Clothes and Cash – Pack a bag of clothes in a duffle bag. Instead of scrambling around last minute for items, it’s easier to grab and go when evacuations are needed. I’m always thinking of the just-in-case scenarios so I have something like this already. Since ATM and credit card machines will be down, it’s a good idea to carry cash and change on hand too.
Hurricane Harvey Food
- Bread and Snacks – If your local grocery story is out of bread, bake some fresh rolls! Here’s my favorite go to recipe, honey butter rolls. You can check out Sally’s bread category recipe collection here for more ideas.
- Raw Food / Perishable Items – Precook your meat and freeze those too. It’s easier to reheat frozen food than to recover from food poisoning when your refrigerator stops running because electricity went out. We have a gas stove so hoping this will help.
Hurricane Tools and Supplies Checklist
- Paper cups, plates and plastic utensils – Got a spork? Even better!
- Extra Batteries and battery-operated radio – In case your phone runs out of juice, the radio comes in handy for updates.
- Flash lights
- Cell Phone
- Non-electric can opener, knives, etc.
- Pen,pencil, markers, paper for writing notes
- First Aid Kit – bandages, Neosporin, gauze pads, hand wipes, gloves, ointment, scissors, tweezers, nail clippers
- Passports, social security cards, credit card numbers, family records – all kept in waterproof or container
In my opinion, you can’t prepare enough for a hurricane when it comes to mother nature. However, you can take necessary steps to help ride Hurricane Harvey out as long as possible. Food and water is a necessity. Be smart and survive. Turn around, don’t drown. Hope you all stay safe!