Living in Houston, we get our fair share of flooding. Going through a natural disaster is pretty scary, but it’s even more alarming when you are pregnant or have a child. The worst flood that I’ve witnessed while living in Houston was Hurricane Harvey and of course, I was pregnant and completely unprepared. We had no idea that the storm would grow to a Category 4 hurricane.
The lesson that I learned from Hurricane Harvey that it is always better to be safe than sorry and to prepare ahead of time. Hopefully none of us will have to go through another natural disaster, but just in case, here’s what you need to do to prepare for it.
Fill Up on Gas
If there’s even a chance that you’ll need to evacuate or leave your area, you need to fill your gas tank! You don’t want to wait til the last minute when the lines at the gas stations wrap around the block.
I went out of town a couple days before Hurricane Ike hit Houston. A couple days after Ike, my university sent an email letting the students know that the campus was open and classes would resume. When I drove back into Houston, I was shocked to see dozens of cars lined up at the gas stations.
Due to the severity of the hurricane, a lot of gas stations weren’t operating so Houston was limited to the gas stations that were open. Don’t let this happen to you, get your gas before whatever natural disaster may arrive.
Stock Up on Food & Water
Hubby and I try our best to only purchase food that we’ll need for the week to avoid produce going bad. While this works well on normal occasions, this was terrible for us when Hurricane Harvey hit.
We didn’t anticipate the flooding that Houston was hit with and we were totally unprepared to be locked in our home for 3 days. And when it was finally safe to leave our home and the grocery store opened, we waited in line (in the rain) for an hour.
The grocer was only letting a certain number of people in the store at once, for a 10 minute window, and only allowing a certain number of items to be purchased. Talk about guidelines!
So to avoid being at the mercy of circumstances, get all the food and water you can before the disaster happens.
When thinking about food, consider what food you’ll actually be able to prepare. If you have an electric stove and the power goes out, you will be limited to the food you can make. Since we have an electric stove, next time we’ll stock up on:
- Meal supplement bars
- Nuts or trail mix
- Bread, peanut butter and jelly
- Chips and salsa
- Smoked or dried meats like beef jerky
First Aid Kit
In case of an emergency, make sure to have a fully stocked first aid kit near by.
Medication on deck
Fill your prescriptions and have some Tylenol or Motrin handy.
Charge all cell phones and portable chargers. Portable chargers will be a life saver if you lose electricity.
Flashlight & Batteries
Don’t waste your phone’s battery life by turning it on flashlight mode, instead use an actual flash light if you lose electricity.
Even if you don’t think whatever natural disaster is coming will be that bad, pack a a go bag in the event of an unexpected evacuation. If you have a baby at home, I highly suggest making sure their diaper bag is packed and ready to go, here’s my diaper bag essentials checklist.
- a few pairs of underwear
- comfy clothes
- water bottles
- comfort item for your little one such as a blanket or teddy bear
- toiletries (don’t forget tampons or pads if it’s around that time)
- important Documents in a ziplock bag
- driver’s license, debit or credit cards/cash, birth certificates, health insurance cards
Take a Back Up
In case your phone or other wireless devices get lost, stolen, or damaged, back everything up to any cloud storage system (drive, dropbox, apple cloud, etc).
Take a video of all of your belongings
In case your belongings get damaged or ruined in a natural disaster, you’ll need to show proof of what you lost (if you no longer have the receipt) to your insurance provider. Items such as computers, TVs, cameras, any and all valuable items.
Turn your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings
This will help your groceries to last longer in the refrigerator or freezer in case the power goes out.
Locate and store numbers you may need in case of an emergency such as rescue lines and emergency shelters.
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