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    Hurricane Preparedness

    By Valerie Steimle     

    After experiencing Hurricane Ivan last year, we have had the chance to think about how our preparing for the next storm could be improved. With Dennis bearing down on us, likely to hit, here is what we learned.

    First, write down what your family would normally eat for two weeks. If you are more of a gourmet cook then you'll probably have to adjust what you can eat and store during that time because fresh food doesn't last that long. A good rule of thumb is you will eat what you store.

    Then write up a shopping list of meals that will last in your pantry for a month. Canned and boxed food are easiest. Consider that you probably won't have electricity for two weeks so include fuel for cooking if necessary. We have a camp stove and a barbecue so buying extra fuel and charcoal is a must on our shopping list. You can do this over several weeks if what you need to buy is too much for one week's shopping.

    Remember to store water. You can either buy water bottles or use water jugs to fill and store or both. We have used soda bottles or juice jugs to store water. They do not deteriorate as fast as milk cartons and can be carried by most children. It also helps to fill up all the bathtubs in your house just before the storm hits so you can bucket water in the toilet tank to flush if necessary.

    Keep in mind that chidlren might be upset by the storm so buying snacks that they like will help the morale. I divided up several different snacks in gallon ziplock bags and labeled them for my children during Ivan. They could eat them when they wanted and it helped them feel calm and in control of their own snacks.

    Of course boarding up windows and clearing the yard of debris and loose toys are a must before any hurricane comes. Having board games and playing cards available also helps the time being passed with no electricity and your children will remember the time spent playing.

    Now that you have done all of that, be prepared to pack up a weeks worth of food, water, clothes, a battery run radio and entertainment just incase the storm turns and you have to deal with a required evacuation.

    Being prepared before the storm comes gives you a sense of calmness and it helps the rest of the family to be calm too. My children actually look forward to those times of storm because they had pleasant memories of them. I hope it will be a pleasant memory for you too.

    Written by Valerie SteimleRate this article:

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