June is here and with it comes the start of another hurricane season. I always like to make note of hurricane season here because it is one of the reasons that this blog exists. I thought I could use this platform to keep friends and relatives apprised of our situation here in Houston if/when a serious storm was headed our way, and power-allowing, after it passed.
Yes, yes, as this spring’s rains have proven, our neighborhood/area can flood, but we are not in a hurricane evacuation zone. As the saying goes, “Run from the water, hide from the wind.” We are in the hide zone. Years ago when Rita was barreling toward Houston, we cleared the under stair closet so that the kids could ride out the night with one dog while the husband and I would take the other pooch into the (downstairs, interior) bathroom with us. When Rita turned that evening and we were confident that the storm was going to miss us, we all headed upstairs to our comfy beds. D#2 declared that she had not done all that work clearing the closet for nothing so she still curled up on a pallet in the closet. I do not believe the dog wanted any part of it.
So we have our hiding place(s). Not exactly a “hurricane plan,” but not a bad start. There are a few other things I like to do in June, just so I have a few things less to worry about if/when there really is a storm brewing.
- Put together a quick-grab ziplock bag of important papers. It’s a great opportunity to revisit where originals and copies are, and maybe where they should be, like in a safe deposit box. I feel better knowing that I can find my home insurance policy number if a tree goes thru my roof.
- Have at least 6 gallons of bottled water for the two of us. Being without electricity for 10 days after Ike wasn’t fun…being with water for 2 was really spooky.
- Thanks to a recent camping trip, I know we have plenty of working flashlights and fresh batteries.
- Set aside some non-perishable foodstuffs. I used to keep a box in the dining room, but the pantry is sufficiently cleared out that I think I can just set aside part of shelf for hurricane supplies. If I use something from this area, it immediately goes on the next shopping list. Honestly, if I didn’t eat for a few days it would probably do me good, but here’s the one item that I must have at the ready: ground coffee. We usually buy whole bean coffee and grind it up fresh every morning, with an electric grinder. Thanks to our camping supplies and gas grill, we have plenty of ways to cook and make coffee without electricity, but not with whole beans. Learned that lesson the hard way after Ike.
That’s about all I do in this, the just-for-the-heck-of-it stage. If there’s actually a threat of a storm (which there hasn’t been since Ike in 2008), we make sure to keep the gas tanks of both cars full, clear the yard of potentially flying objects, put a basic toolkit together inside the house where we can access it, revisit basic supplies and foodstuffs, fill the bathtub and/or a garbage can with water for sanitation, and keep electronics fully charged. We also make sure D#1 in DFW is ready for a post-storm visitor if we don’t want to stay in our house. We are firm believers in riding out the storm, doing whatever damage control we can, and then leaving town if necessary. We are happy to keep the roads clear for people who really need to run from the water.
As I write this, Tropical Storm Colin is on its way to Florida, hopefully dragging our miserable wet weather behind it. Hurricanes are fascinating to me, but after finally experiencing one first-hand, I’m good. Here’s to another quiet season.