Hurricane preparedness ranks among those things that can be pretty easy to overlook. After all, Atlantic hurricane season stretches all the way from June 1 to November 30. Is it really necessary to have a plan and supplies in place that whole time? (The quick and simple answer? Yep!) The truth is, putting off hurricane preparedness efforts until a storm enters the gulf means you’ll likely find yourself up against massive crowds at grocery and supply stores — and low stock when it comes to certain essentials. Pair that with the panic factor that often causes folks to overlook important items they truly need? Well, you see where this is going.
Your friends at Food Town aren’t just big on taking hurricane preparedness seriously. We’re big on making it easy, too. Read on for helpful hurricane preparedness tips from native Houstonians who’ve experienced our share of storm seasons. (Let’s just hope we don’t need to put this information to use this year!)
Stock Up on Nonperishable Foods and Plenty of Water
A person’s got to eat, even when adverse weather hits. Bottled water, sports drinks, juice and tea are all great to have around, as well as canned items such as fruits, veggies, tuna and ravioli. Peanut butter and jelly make for easy meals whether you have power or not, and individual snacks such as nuts, cookies, chips, applesauce and trail mix can make for happier tummies, too. Pasta, rice and beans also have a long (long) shelf life! Store these items someplace safe — perhaps all together in a watertight bin that’s easy to grab if the weather takes a turn. (We regularly offer bottled water as a free digital deal for folks who use the Food Town + app! Be sure to download yours so you don’t miss out!)
Have a Plan in Place in Case You Lose Power
Being cooped up while bad weather rages on — or in its immediate aftermath — is never ideal, but it’s a different ballgame when the power goes out. You’ll want to make sure you’re stocked up on what you need to operate as close to normal as is humanly possible. Do you have batteries for flashlights? What about candles — and lighters or matches to light them? Aluminum foil for campfire-style cooking? Propane, another often-overlooked storm season staple, (that’s available at your Food Town!) makes it easy to fire up the grill and get cookin’. Of course, food safety should always remain front and center. Certain items, such as meat, dairy and foods containing egg, can cause folks to become sick if they fall below certain temperatures. Foodsafety.gov and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention both offer charts aimed at making it easy to determine which foods are OK to eat — and which aren’t — if the power’s been out for a bit.
Consider Cleanup and Other Basic Needs
Mother Nature can be awfully fickle, so it’s hard to determine exactly what situation a storm will leave you with. We recommend stocking up on rubber gloves, bleach, paper towels and cleaning supplies so you can get to work right away, once a storm makes its exit. Toilet paper, a first aid kit, sunscreen and disposable cups, plates and utensils can all go a long way toward making life easier, too. Of course, you’ll need to consider the individual needs for your family members. Babies, pets, the elderly — and anyone on prescription medications — will require a special packing list of their own.
It’s impossible to know with 100% certainty what you’ll need when a storm enters the gulf, but we hope this overview helps! If you want even more great insight, our hurricane checklist offers a pretty handy overview. Download your copy today and keep it with you. Play it safe out there, neighbor!
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