Hurricane season is here and Mother Nature doesn’t care if there’s a pandemic! For those living in hurricane and storm-prone areas, extra precautions and preparations may be necessary this year.
Our family has lived through three hurricanes and one tropical storm, each experience with its own challenges. Keep reading to learn how we are preparing for Hurricane Season During the Covid-19 Pandemic and how to make sure your family is ready too!
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When Does Hurricane Season Begin?
Planning for hurricane season can be a pretty stressful time under normal circumstances. However, when you throw a pandemic into the mix, things become especially so!
The 2020 hurricane season officially started on June 1st, and there is no end in sight to the current pandemic. This means that those of us who live in hurricane-prone areas have to take into account that we are planning for TWO disasters at the same time!
In addition stay-at-home orders and restrictions might make it a bit more difficult to prepare, so it’s best to start ASAP.
How to Prepare for Hurricane Season During Covid-19
These are the steps our family is taking during the current pandemic to prepare for hurricane season.
1. Start planning immediately!
It’s never too early to start planning for a hurricane emergency. Trust me!!
When a storm forms in the ocean, you might have a week at most to prepare, so it’s best to have as much as you can already taken care of before there is any cause for concern.
Because of the pandemic, many stores have limits on how many items you can buy with many things, such as toilet paper still being challenging to come by.
That’s why you want to make sure that you give yourself more time than usual to help prepare emergency food, water, and medical supplies, as these items are already in limited stock due to the pandemic.
If you have the option to use a pickup service or home delivery option, this can be helpful to stock up while staying safe. Online shopping has also been a lifesaver for us!
My Secret for Stocking Up: My go-to for finding household essentials such as toilet paper and paper towels, as well as hand soap, sanitizer, and other cleaning supplies is Grove Collaborative. Even when our local stores or Amazon are sold out, I can often find things I need on Grove!
The best part about Grove is they give new members an amazing welcome package with full-sized freebies from Mrs. Meyers! Who doesn’t love a free gift?! Here’s what I got as my free gift:
If you sign up here through my link, you’ll get a FREE trial VIP membership, plus a Mrs. Meyers gift set like I did!
2. Make sure your prescriptions aren’t running low
We are all guilty of letting our prescriptions get down to the last dose before running to the pharmacy, but you don’t want this to happen during a hurricane.
Make sure that you have plenty of your prescriptions as well as cold and flu medicine and first aid supplies handy just in case.
3. Have a plan in place for staying home and evacuation
Don’t leave anything to chance! It’s best to have a separate emergency plan for both sheltering in place and evacuating, so you’re ready in either situation.
During hurricane season, pay special attention to the news and if a storm forms, check regularly for your city or county’s instructions as to whether you’ll need to stay or leave.
Many local government plans have been updated to accommodate social distancing measures, so be sure you’re familiar with what you and your family need to do in the case of a pandemic hurricane evacuation or shelter.
If you need to go to a shelter during COVID-19, make sure that you update yourself on CDC guidelines for hurricane shelters.
4. Prepare a bug out bag for your family
If you’re ever in the situation where you need to evacuate quickly, a bug out bag is essential!
This year, you’ll want to update your bug out bag with items that will help protect you during COVID-19, such as soap and hand sanitizer, as well as cloth masks for each person.
In addition to what’s in your bug-out back, I’d recommend having a crate or storage container already packed with enough food, water, and supplies for every member of your family for at least 72 hours. That way it is ready to grab and go at a moment’s notice as well.
Remember that after a hurricane evacuation, you may not be able to access your home for days, or even weeks, so pack accordingly.
5. Create a stay at home kit
A bug out bag will come in handy if you need to grab everything and leave, but you also want to consider what you’ll do if you need to stay home and shelter in place.
During Hurricane Rita in 2005, the entire city of Houston evacuated, when it wasn’t really necessary. The result was a massive traffic jam that left many motorists stranded on the highways for 24 hours or more.
In some situations, like the above, it may actually be safer to stay home.
A stay at home kit should include at least two weeks or up to a month of emergency supplies. This will include everything your family would need to stay home for two weeks with OR without power.
In our home, we have a spare cabinet that we keep stocked with supplies that are ONLY for emergencies. During hurricane season we also stock up on our usual groceries and paper goods.
Suggested items for a stay at home hurricane kit include:
- Food (shelf-stable if possible)
- Cleaning and disinfectant supplies
- Paper products
- Personal hygiene items
- Emergency lighting
6. Plan for your pets too!
If your family has pets, they should be a part of your hurricane preparations too!
Especially if you end up having to evacuate, it’s crucial to have a place to board your pets, or phone numbers of hotels that are pet-friendly in your planned bug-out location.
More About Our Hurricane Experiences and Preparations:
- Hurricane Harvey: Why I Can’t Mark Myself “Safe”
- How to Avoid Flood Insurance Scams After a Hurricane
- Hurricane Supply List & What I Learned Living Through Two Hurricanes (pre-Harvey)
More Resources: Preparing for Hurricane Season During Covid-19
Hurricane season can be a scary time for families who live in areas impacted by hurricanes, and a pandemic this time any easier. However, there are things you can do to prepare for hurricane season so you can be prepared when disaster strikes.
For more information on hurricane preparedness during COVID-19, please check out these resources:
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