Preparing for a Storm
Living in South Florida is amazing. I am able to take advantage of various natural places for kid-friendly activities like at the various beaches we have and am also able to take advantage of the great weather we usually have. If it's too hot or the weather isn't great, there are various indoor activities we can do since we're a major metropolis. Unfortunately, though, while living in South Florida can be magical, there are also other things to consider like hurricanes. Hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 30th, so we need to take the possibility of preparing for a storm into consideration when planning ahead.
Currently, South Florida is watching Hurricane Matthew. Even though it doesn't look like we're going to be a direct hit, we will be faced with a hurricane and/or tropical storm force winds. Miami-Dade is currently under a Tropical Storm warning whereas Broward county and north-eastern counties are under a hurricane watch. This means that we need to look at our supplies and make sure we are prepared for a storm should it hit and not run the course the weather forecasters are predicting.
My preparations these days are different now that I have two kids. Thankfully, Madison is young enough that I don't have to worry about food for her. I do have a nice freezer stash of breastmilk that can be thawed and used should I not be available to feed her, but it's important that I have food and snacks for Sebastian.
We went on a recent trip to Publix to stock up on a few essentials before the crowds hit and in case this hurricane does come our way and we are without power. One of the things I look for, besides making sure we have plenty of water and batteries is that we have a cache of non-perishable foods for us and for Sebastian. Having a nice little supply of snacks for him as well helps. For this, I picked up a few containers of Gerbers® Lil Beanies™.
These snacks are made with real ingredients and I don't have to wonder what's in it. Beyond that, Sebastian loves them! He loves to have crunchy snacks on hand for when hunger hits and we're in between meals. A few Lil Beanies™ on hand and I can hold him off until I can put lunch or dinner on the table.
These snacks are also really good for on the go. You can put a few in a sandwich bag and pack it into your diaper bag or purse in case you need a little snack while going to various activities, which is how I normally use snacks like these. I'll throw them into my reusable snack bag and go. That's what makes these perfect to stock up on when there's an impending storm that may knock out power for a few hours or even a few days.
Preparation Tips and Hacks
I do have a few preparation tips and hacks that I use for storms like this that I thought I would share.
- Instead of buying all the bottled water in sight, I will fill up any jugs I have and place them in the refrigerator. We have 5-gallon water coolers that we keep in storage for this very purpose because it is much easier to fill up water coolers than fight crowds for the last of the water bottles.
- We always make sure to have batteries on hand for lanterns, portable radios, etc. We also keep inverters in the car, because worse comes to worse, if you need a charging source after the storm, your car is a great alternative.
- My husband and I are amateur radio operators. I got my license to be able to participate in volunteer events helping with communications, and it helps for storms like this. During Hurricane Andrew in 1992, phone lines were down and one of the main methods of communications between people, and I found out later between police and fire departments, was through radio bands. Cellphone tower may be down, landlines may be down, but amateur radio will always be available. So part of our preparedness is to make sure our portable radios are charged, but we also have radios in our car that work off the car battery.
- Even though I use cloth diapers, having a package of disposable diapers is important to make sure if the power is out for longer than you expected that I still have a way of diapering the baby.
- I made sure to wash all our clothes the past couple of days so we can make sure we all have clean clothes for the same reason as #4. You never know how long the power will be out.
- Get gas as soon as they think a storm may hit. Currently, in Broward County, there are several gas stations that ran out of gas already. We fill up a few gas jugs for the generator as well as all our vehicles.
- Fill up Zip-Locks and coolers with ice. This will help keep perishables in your fridge from going bad as well. Not only can you use the ice for the water, but you can keep bags of it in the fridge to try to keep your food for as long as possible. That is, of course, if you don't have a way of plugging the fridge into the generator.
- Make sure your craft supplies are stocked up and you have plenty of items to keep your kids entertained while the power is out so you don't have to depend on any electronics.
- Make sure you have plenty of propane and/or charcoal for your barbecue because unless your stove is on the generator, you will need a way to cook food. Even if your stove is on a generator, you should still have something for your barbecue in case you have issues with the generator.
I try to always be prepared for the worst case scenario because you don't want to be caught off guard during a moment like that.
Do you have any tips in the event of a bad storm you would like to share? What are your go-to snacks when on the go or to keep in the pantry in case of emergencies?