Here are our Hurricane Preparedness tips as a family that went 8 days without power after Hurricane Irma.

Hurricane season is upon us. It starts on June 1st and ends November 30th. The good news to those that are unfamiliar with hurricanes in Florida, or just in general, is there is plenty of time to be prepared. Unlike Tornados or Earthquakes, Hurricanes are visible on weather radars and satellites as much as weeks out.

A hurricanes path on the other hand is less predictable, with the NOAA website offering images of the projected "cone" of where the eye of the hurricane may travel. Hurricane and Tropical storm force winds reach far beyond the eye, so its best to pay attention because many time the eye movement will shift or do something that wasn't predicted.

Hurricane preparedness shopping list:

Basic Shopping list for hurricane supplies that stay in the garage on standby:

  • Paper Plates
  • Plastic Cutlery
  • Spare Propane bottles/Charcoal for grilling meals
  • Lanterns for lighting up whole rooms instead of flashlights
  • Solar Charger for electronic devices (or if you have Ryobi Tools like I do one of these Inverters.)
  • 5 gallon water jugs
  • Gas cans and extra oil for the generator
  • Chainsaw
  • Hand cranked can opener
  • Batteries and rechargeable flashlights (I like these Ryobi ones)
  • Wind up weather radio/flashlight/charger
  • Extension cords for the generator

(This list doesn't include things like non perishable food, medication, important documents, etc)

Water from the tap is perfectly safe if bottled before the storm, and you don't have to worry about finding bottled water. You can get a 5 gallon water jug for less than $10 and use it for years to come.

Hurricane Irma was an eye opener for us. We lost power for 8 days. Luckily we had a 6500 watt generator that could run a window A/C unit, the refrigerator, and some lights and fans. But we didn't have time to have an electrician install a transfer switch so we could run the hot water heater and lights throughout the house. After a few days just having lights come on and off when you used a switch would have helped with sanity.

I was going through my phone getting rid of pictures, and came across this screen shot I took 30 days ago while we were waiting on Irma to get past us. We knew were were in for a long day.

We were as ready as we could be, but still learned a few things that I'll share with you here.

If you get a generator, spend the money to have an electrician wire it so you can run your breaker panel. Being able to run ceiling fans instead of box/free standing fans would have been nice, not to mention lights. I happen to have Ryobi one + tools, so the batteries are interchangeable. I recommend them, but if you have a different brand for your home tools, check to see if they have the same portable fans & lights available.

If you didn't have time to have your generator wired in, get extra extension cords and power strips. It's not fun having to constantly move stuff around, and it's nice to be able to offer one to a neighbor thats without. Be sure your power strips have room for the blocky type plugs that laptops and many other electronic devices use. This charge block is nice because it offers plenty of room for charge blocks, as well as USB charging ports for the many gadgets that need charging via USB.

A standard generator may not be able to run your A/C system, but can certainly power a few portable air conditioners to help keep bedrooms/living areas cool.

When everyone is flipping out about water shortages at stores, calmly fill up jugs and containers you already have at home. Sure its not filtered/spring/fiji water, but it's also not something you have to boil to use.

Have extra propane ready for grilling. If you cant run the air conditioner, cook as much as you can outside to keep the heat in the house down.

In the days right before a hurricane many people encounter price gouging, where sellers often double or triple the price of supplies. This is illegal and the state of Florida has a price gouging hotline (1-866-966-7226) that you can call and make a complaint against a price gouging store. Before Irma there were over 7,000 complaints.