This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Home Depot. But frankly, I would have done it for free (well, don’t tell them that).
I’ve lived in South Florida on and off for over 20yrs. In that time I’ve had quite a few scares. I went through Andrew my sophomore year of college. Though I didn’t take it very seriously, I recall emptying perfectly good food and drinks out of my fridge to make room for beer and chilled vodka. Brilliant, huh? Well I was taught quite a lesson when a window basically imploded and shot across my room at gut level, missing me by a matter of inches. I would never disregard the danger of a hurricane again.
Yes, that was a wake up call. So were the lines for gas, the curfews, the lack of electricity and water … and we had it easy. Our apartment was still standing and livable. Our things, though a bit waterlogged, were still usable … recognizable.
With Katrina crushing the Gulf and Sandy hitting so far North last year, it’s fair to say, those on the East and Gulf Coast certainly won’t feel any safer than those of us in “Cane Country”.
Amazing Things The Home Depot is Doing to Help Others Stay Safe
In an effort to make sure our families are as safe as possible and the contents of our homes stay recognizable during hurricane season, The Home Depot is hosting events in multiple communities that were affected by these scary storms. My mom and I went to one of these free Hurricane Preparedness Workshops at The Home Depot in Pinecrest. It was amazingly comprehensive.
We heard from not just the staff about what you need, but insurance agencies on coverage, and the local police department on their procedures. Seriously, we learned everything from how to prepare for an impending hurricane to how to deal with the aftermath of the storm.
Where were these classes when I was a sophomore? Oh, who am I kidding, I probably would’ve skipped them anyway.
The Important Things You Probably Don’t Know
What I realized is that most people know the basics you need to ride out a storm — batteries, a radio, flashlights, a land line, H2O, pet food … but here are some things I learned at the hurricane preparedness class that I bet you weren’t aware of. Which is why I’m passing on some of the most surprising things that you need to know or have to literally weather the storm (I wouldn’t have thought of these):
1. No one will save you during a hurricane! I think this was the most shocking thing I learned because frankly, it’s just so obvious and yet I never even considered it. The police and fire departments do not send people out to respond to calls and emergencies during a hurricane because they don’t want to endanger the lives of their men/women. This means YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN! It’s the very reason you need to take as many precautions as possible so that you can literally, “Weather the storm.”
2. Have a contact out of state that the entire family uses. If a hurricane hits and you are separated or unable to get in touch with each other because lines are down and cell towers are overwhelmed with calls you can have a relative that everyone contacts elsewhere to check in with and give numbers to so that you can reach each other.
3. Invest in some Ziplocs — Start by storing your insurance information in a ziploc because frankly, it won’t don you anygood if it’s clumped together in a wet pulpy ball. Next, put your meds in ziplocs and keep them close by. Actually, put anything in ziplocs that you want to keep together or keep dry. Feel free to throw in a sandwich or two, you never know.
4. If your electricity goes out, cook your food. Cooked food lasts longer than raw food. So, even if you have a cooler or generator running your fridge, cook the raw stuff, so it’ll keep or just have a neighborhood party and eat it, but don’t let it go to waste.
5. Have 5 days worth of water stocked up and know how to make contaminated water useable. That’s one gallon per person per day. But did you know that if you add 2 drops of bleach per gallon of tap water it’s ok to drink? Did you know you can also do this with standing water if you’re totally desperate. (I know it sounds so Bear Grylls, right?) To do this you take standing water from the street and let it sit overnight then scoop the top (no debris) add the drops of Clorox and voila, probably really crappy tasting but drinkable agua. Another great tip: fill your bathtubs with water before the storm.
6. You Can Macgyver things with Duct tape – Stock up on the stuff. You can use it to wrap up your hoses, to wrap cords to keep things together and to tape up windows in a pinch. Yes, shutters and boarding is better, but many non-Floridians don’t have shutters at the ready. If you must, make an asterisk on your windows. It will give them a bit of extra strength and keep them from shattering so that they break in bigger pieces if they don’t make it through the storm.
7. If you have a pool — use it for storage. You probably already know that you should store anything, that isn’t nailed down, in your garage or house right? But, some things, like lawn furniture, outdoor kiddy houses and plastic play sets … well, they can go for a swim. Better to find them in your pool than your neighbor’s roof, don’t you think?
8. You need 2 possible exits from your house. People tend to board and shutter everything closed, leaving only the front door as an egress, but there can be fires or areas of your home that end up blocked off which is why you need 2 ways out of your house. I know, I would have never thought of that one either.
The Home Depot prides itself on providing their customers with the knowledge and supplies that they need to keep their families safe during the hurricane season.
Through free educational seminars and ensuring that stores are well stocked with hurricane essentials when the need arises, The Home Depot is there for you and for your family during the hurricane season.
To get connected with your local The Home Depot store, visit their Facebook fanpage.
PASS THIS TO ANY FRIENDS OR FAMILY WHO LIVE ON THE EAST OR GULF COAST —
THEY TOO MAY NOT KNOW