As I write this, Hurricane Irma is making landfall at the tip of Southern Florida.  Here in Georgia, current projections say my home, and family, are lucky enough to not get hit by the storm at its most powerful, but it’s now tracking to be a Category 3, hopefully a 2, upon its arrival in my quiet little town.

That means I’ve got precious little time to get my house, and wife (who is joyously in her third trimester of pregnancy) ready for just about anything.  Being in this line of work means I’ve already got a fair amount of the emergency preparation work done, but as I’m sure many of our readers can attest, dangerous situations rarely play out the way we anticipate, and even those of us with a good deal of training in how to handle a high stakes situation can benefit from reminders now and again.

So as I prepare my house, gather supplies, and plan for our evacuation in the event we need it, I’m acutely aware that there are probably a number of you currently doing the same.  After the devastation we witnessed in Texas, it’s probably safe to say that no one in Irma’s path is taking the storm warnings lightly, but just in case you need a few reminders, let me share my own efforts and strategy with you.

I’ll spare you the basic emergency supplies list; we’ve written about it before, and government sites like FEMA offer excellent and easy to use ones that you can find here. Instead, I’ll focus on what often doesn’t get covered in these lists, and some of the weird things I’ve picked up over the years.


Get all kinds of water ready

When I was a kid, my family’s home got walloped by Hurricane Bob.  While lots of folks found their homes in shambles, or missing altogether, however, we were fortunate enough to still have an intact house to come home to. Unfortunately, power would be out for some time.

In his aged wisdom (terrifyingly, I think my dad was my age at the time) my father had filled both bath tubs in the house before we left, aside from the water rations he’d already set aside.  That tub water could have served as emergency drinking water in a pinch, but its real value was for cooking, and for forcing our toilets to flush when it became clear that we had access to a new source of clean drinking water.