SEASONS OF TEMPEST AND HEAT
July marks not only the arrival of full-throttle Central Texas heat, but also the second month of hurricane season. The season’s busiest time for storms—September—is still two months away, but now’s the time to verify that you’re prepared for any inclement weather to come.
READY AT A MOMENT’S NOTICE
One of the most important aspects of hurricane preparedness is being ready, on short notice, to evacuate your home and escape with your family to higher ground. Getting out of a storm’s path in time could well save your life or the life of a loved one. If the call goes out to evacuate, there might not be time to pack everything you need to spend several days away. And what if the power’s already out? Never fear; there’s a relatively simple way to avoid this potential crisis before it develops: a storm pack.
WHAT’S A STORM PACK? WHAT’S IN IT?
A storm pack is a portable bag of essential supplies assembled in advance of a storm. A proper storm pack should contain all the things you’ll need to survive away from home for three-to-five days: basic, portable electronics and batteries, simple toiletries, a couple sets of spare clothes, snacks and water. Make sure the clothing includes a set of sturdy, waterproof shoes or boots.
You’ll also want to put essential paperwork in your storm pack, including duplicates of your birth certificate, and Social Security and Medicare cards. You might include copies of any relevant powers of attorney, too, along with marriage licenses, insurance cards and critical medical records. We suggest tucking all these into something waterproof—a zip-tie bag, etc.
Don’t forget to put cash and coins in your storm pack, as you might be making frequent use of vending machines while you’re away. Finally, you’ll also need to pack any essential medications into your storm pack. It is recommended to have at least three days’ worth.
AND A BAG TO PACK IT IN
You’ll want to use something roomy, yet light and portable to pack all your stuff in. Specialists recommend a weatherproof or weather-resistant backpack. A suitcase on wheels might serve, too, but keep in mind that you might be moving quickly, maybe even running with your storm pack.
A FAMILY AFFAIR
With some thought and careful planning, you can save yourself and your family a great deal of anxiety and stress when the next storm strikes. Speaking of which, be sure to assemble a pack for each family member; a single pack won’t be enough for an entire family or even for two people.