Floridian’s and most southern state inhabitants were given a break from major storms or incidents for the 2008 Hurricane season. Florida, which has always been the epicenter for these types of storms saw major activity during the 2005 season after being affected by more than a dozen major storms including Hurricanes Wilma and Katrina which knocked out power to most of South Florida and Central Florida, wreaked havoc throughout the other Gulf of Mexico bordering states and destroyed New Orleans.
Although several storms have reached the U.S and have caused major damage, displacement and discomfort for Americans; we still look at these as freak occurrences and tend to remain unprepared for future storm activity.
Throughout the beginning of March and April we are forewarned and notified of basic essentials by local news, newspapers and emails; yet we continue buying last minute supplies and complain when these become scarce and are inadequate for survival during this dangerous and deadly season.
Batteries, flashlights, candles, generators and propane are recommended for purchase and there’s even a tax break for these and other common supplies, which are constantly promoted and endorsed. Yet we still go through the same outbreak of unpreparedness yearly, rushing to the nearest lumber yard or hardware store for the most common of things and are still surprised when it has all run out.
I learned the facts the hard way; if I wanted the same comforts or at least a semi regular existence during these periods of desperation, I would need an electricity-producing generator. It’s smart, it’s reliable and let’s face it; it’s a modern age requirement.
Best of all with Automatic Generators, they’re idiot proof.
Whether you’ve decided to provide yourself with a multi room generator or just a basic “hey at least the a/c works” type, the decision is something you will never regret. An automatic standby generator can and will save you money in the long run by making all perishables edible at a time of need. Think of how if the cable is out but the Internet works you can and will get updates just by charging your pc or cell phone. How the kids won’t drive you completely crazy when you plug in their portable games and they bash away for an hour or two while you figure out if you really need to call the insurance company or find a contractor. Always remember it’s easy and necessary.
The most important thing you can do for a storm of any magnitude and yes this means tropical storms as well, plan ahead and be as safe as possible. With an Automatic standby generator you will always provide your family with the best safety feature available. Whether your needs include medical equipment or you just want comfort and peace of mind, it is the best of any pre-storm investment you will find. Keep your fridge on or run a small a/c or needed electronics, it is a great added feature which may save your life and definitely will save you money.
Always remember there is no such thing as just another storm, look no further than Hurricane Andrew. This bad boy was a nothing one minute and headed in another direction, to a Category 5 & hitting Florida the next. The essential need to have items are easy and can be found anywhere, there is no need to get them all at once & if you’re a little strapped for cash it’s usually best to hit the bargain stores and stock up a little at a time.
Didn’t need them last year?
So what, they still need replacing and for sure will come in handy once you do need them. Things like Batteries shouldn’t be pulled from a remote to place in a flashlight, you will need fresh ones to see outside in the dark. No matter what you are always going to need.
Your Medications for whatever ails you should always be checked and procured, make sure you have enough to last 2 weeks or more so in a worse case scenario you are prepared.
A crank or battery operated Storm Radio will run you about $20 to start for a decent one. & No not the ‘boom-box’ in the closet, an actual storm ready radio which is easy to use with good reception for the news and emergency updates.
Lots of Water; If you fill some gallon jugs prior to the storm and freeze them up and then keep a few others cool you should last a few days. Lots of folks think this should be first and foremost on the list since we need it the most, but fire and police departments will have emergency relief out there providing ice and water as needed for those without. If you forget to store enough, your radio will tell you where to go and the flashlight will help you even in the dark to find the place. I realize it may sound ultra dumb or ultra simple but plenty of people have gone without because they forgot.
Food/Dry Goods: No, not beer. Again you can place it at the top but who doesn’t have some food at home they can pop on a grill and cook in the worst case scenario? Pop-tarts, Spam, Tuna, beans and franks and yes even toast are doable. But in a bind you can wait for services to return in or around a Police and Fire Station, where anyone on their electrical grid will be able to sell you food for cash.
Which brings me to CASH$$: Because cash is king! Got a credit card with a special color that gives you a million dollar limit? Try going to a grocery store with no electricity and using it. Or better yet convince someone to take a check as opposed to cash for gas or charcoal. Unless you make the prior purchases well ahead of the storm you will find yourself broke and without food. Even with everything else, cash will get you a ride to someplace safe if need be. As for ATM’s; No juice, No Cash. Get as much as possible as early as possible and use the credit cards on the batteries, food and other essentials.
By the way feminine products and common toiletries are often forgotten, so make sure you have those in mind as well. Clean clothes, picking up debris prior to storms, pet food and a good first aid kit along with some cans of Sterno or propane tanks are also handy.
There are lots of lists to go by, best bet is look up your local T.V station website or get a list at the local hardware store to start from. You can always wait for the tax-exempt day when you can buy all kinds of goods for your storm list or just do it with the everyday shopping. If you really want to feel secure though, best fallback is an automatic standby generator, hands down.
Yes, there are plenty of places selling cheap versions which take gasoline and emit carbon monoxide which can and will kill you so do the homework.
Natural gas or propane is typically the best bet and a professional installation is always good regardless what type of major electronic you are installing in your home. Look at it as though you finally bought that 50 inch flat screen you always wanted; you’re not going to try and nail it to the wall yourself.
It is recommendable to have an automatic standby generator if you run lots of electronics or have medical needs, plus it is preferable to have something kick in as soon as the power is gone for more than 30 seconds as well as a dependable company such as Assurance Power providing maintenance. Instead of yanking on a rope to get it started and possibly poisoning you and your loved ones in the process or finding it broken down and unusable.
Underground models are a smart investment since they are concealed from prying eyes, don’t take up property space and can’t be stolen by wandering thieves. Once the contractor comes out he can further educate you on the type you can have installed and run in your area. Usually they are no bigger than a central a/c unit. Also you may want to inquire about a tankless water heater.
Here are a few places you can find typical hurricane packs along with some ideas for preparedness:
Automatic standby generators
ARC FR360-RED American Red Cross Solarlink Self-Powered AM/FM NOAA Weather Radio – Red
Person Deluxe Survival Kits
A 4 person, 3 day survival kit packaged in a 5 gallon container and designed for the home. This comprehensive survival kit contains the most effective emergency supplies for emergency preparedness including the emergency food, water, lighting, radio, first-aid, sanitation, and shelter supplies to prepare for all disasters. This deluxe kit also contains a Solar / Hand-Crank Powered Flashlight, Radio, Flashing LED Siren & Mobile Phone Charger with a universal adapter – just plug in your cell phone car charger to charge your phone using the hand-crank / Dynamo Power Generator.
Acme Weatherproof 413-Piece First-Aid Kit (Several websites)
Most frequently used emergency first-aid products are neatly organized in an impact-resistant molded weatherproof case. Includes: Bandages, Burn cream, Alcohol, Antiseptic wipes, Eye wash, Eye pads, Instant cold pack, Tweezers, Scissors, First-aid guide And more
There are too many models out there to mention and it is recommendable to keep researching for what you feel would be the best option for you, but a flashlight that holds a three year charge like HYBRID SOLAR POWERED FLASHLIGHT WITH EMERGENCY BATTERY BACKUP BLACK is pretty dependable. There are also the crank-lights like Maximo Concepts 33722-sil Emergency Crank Flashlight or the LED type like The Gerber Infinity Ultra LED flashlight. Of course there’re also the good old fashioned looking lanterns which are battery powered or other more intense lighting options.
Use your best judgment and definitely go with the long lasting lithium or rechargeable type. If you have a generator you can recharge and if not you always have good ones to rely on. Always remember to switch them out and check if you still have any before a storm.
Which you typically take must always be checked prior to a storm. Keep in mind stores could be shut down as long as a week or longer in some cases and you always need your medications.