I absolutely love living on this island! I wake up every day feeling so blessed, knowing this is where I am supposed to be. I’m sure you feel the same way. One fact of life that I’m not so fond of though is only a couple of weeks away – hurricane season. I even hate to speak the word in hopes of keeping them at bay. However, they are a part of life here, with the season running from June 1 through November 30. That is the time hurricanes are most common in the Atlantic, but Mother Nature does not live by a calendar – they can happen anytime.
As we move closer to the season, I thought it might be helpful to go over the standard things to be sure you are prepared. When it is declared that we are most likely in the path of a developing storm, the preparations are very methodical. You’ll see city trucks going down streets removing the globes at the top of light poles, people lining up for gas (with an armed officer to be sure things remain orderly), businesses and homeowners are boarding up windows and doors. But what else should we do? Here is a checklist of things to have on hand and some suggestions.
- 1 gallon of water/person/day for at least 3 days
- At least 3 days of non-perishable food (doesn’t require cooking/refrigeration)
- Battery-powered or hand/crank radio, a weather radio, & extra batteries
- First aid kit (various bandages, Hydrogen Peroxide, alcohol, burn cream, Neosporin, laxatives, Alka Seltzer, some antibiotics, Advil, Ace bandages, sewing needle & thread, super glue, & a roll of tape)
- Feminine supplies & hygiene items
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags, plastic ties
- Manual can opener for food
- Cell phone with charger
- Copies of insurance policies, identification, & bank account records
- Prescription meds & glasses
- Infant formula & diapers
- Pet food & extra water
- Veterinary records
- Non-potable water for flushing toilets
- Changes of clothing
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Paper cups, plates, paper towels, plastic utensils
- Whistle to signal for help
- Paper & pen/pencil
- Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
- Booze (for you or to barter for repair work LOL)
- Ice if you can make it & store it (or get to know a restaurant owner!)
- Charged battery-operated tools
You may also want to consider raising your furniture – it might help in the case of flooding. Electricity will be turned off before the storm hits and could stay for anywhere from 24 hours to 2 weeks. And PLEASE do not go outside during the storm – not even when we are in the eye! There has never been a recorded death during a hurricane on the island. Let’s not change that number!
There are 5 different national meteorological services and scientific agencies that publish predictions ahead of each season. If you look at the predictions for 2018, they are all over the place. It ranges from 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 major hurricanes, to 14-18 named storms, 7-11 hurricanes, and 3-5 major hurricanes. I really like those lower numbers, but taking the average might be more realistic. So I’m going to say 14 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes. May they all veer north! I will put that checklist on the webpage for easy access.