Have you ever been caught with no supplies with a hurricane on the way? If you’re a Bahamian there’s a good chance you have. I know i have and i decided i never want to go through that madness again!
I consider myself a hurricane pro. I was a young teenager living in Eleuthera when hurricane Andrew hit in 1992. The Island was devastated. We were without electricity and running water for two month afterward.
Nassau has never experienced that kind of devastation and i pray to God it never does. Because people will be completely unprepared. Nassau people generally don’t decide to prepare for a hurricane until its a sure thing. Then the madness begins.
The worst place to be during this time is the food stores. You will see people dashing about the aisles in a frenzy trying to secure items that they should’ve had days ago. If you manage to find what you need, you can then look forward to standing in line for up to 2hrs trying to pay. Trust me its not pretty.
Like i said earlier, i decided i never want to go through that again. So i decided to always be prepared. Here’s a guide to follow.
One thing you need to have on your hurricane preparedness list is water. Water is essential to our survival and we cannot survive very long without it. The National Hurricane Center advises that you store one gallon of water per person in your home per day for three to seven days. So to stay prepared have at least three 5 gallon jugs in your home and keep 2 filled at all times.
Food is as essential to our survival as water. You should keep between three and seven days supply of food for each person. Some foods you should have on hand in case of a hurricane include non-perishable foods in cans, snack foods, baby foods (if you have an infant), and juices. I have things like spaghetti & meatballs, Soups, Tuna, sardines, Vienna sausage, Cornbeef. peanut butter and pack/cup noodles in my cupboard even though i don’t eat most of them on a regular basis.
Getting new pieces of identification is time-consuming and can be difficult, so make sure you gather all of your important documents to store in waterproof containers or salable plastic bags. You don’t want to have to deal with our government agencies if it can be avoided. Documents you might want to protect include Passports, voter’s cards, birth certificates, deeds to your property, medical insurance cards, and high school and/or college diplomas or GED certificates. You might also want to seal photos of special family occasions or loved ones in plastic bags that are especially meaningful to you.
Medication is another thing you should have on your checklist for hurricane preparedness. Ensure you have enough prescription medication to last each person in your household who takes them for at least a week. Additionally, make sure you pack all of the over-the-counter medication you use regularly such as Tylenol, Advil, Pebto Bismal, Zyrtec, Benadryl, IcyHot, and vitamins. Also ensure you have a first aid kit on hand. You should always keep your medicine cabinet stock during hurricane season.
Tip: check the expiry date on all medicine you buy over the counter!
Having extra batteries as well as battery operated items are another good thing to have on a hurricane preparedness list. A battery operated radio can help keep you entertained and informed in times of disaster. Additionally, flashlights and battery operated lanterns are very useful when the electricity goes out. For safety purposes i suggest you use battery operated lanterns instead of candles or kerosene lamps, especially if there are children or elderly in the home. Buy a box of candles and keep them in a cupboard somewhere for when you need them.
Safety & Security
With the crime situation the way it is, you have to be prepared to defend yourself and your family. If a major disaster occurs in Nassau, I am almost 100% sure that there will be looting and assaults taking place. Here are some tips to consider
- Get to Know your neighbors, these are the people who will help protect you or you will have to watch out for, its good to know ahead of time.
- Single mothers should invite a male friend over or stay with family
- Men have an emergency drill so that your kids and wife know what to do if something happens;, fire, hurricane, break in, etc…
- Single mothers should always have Mace and a Taser in the home if they live alone
- Don’t open your door to police until absolutely sure they’re actually police officers. Ask questions; name, badge number, where they’re station, what do they want? Tell them you’re calling station to confirm.
Tip: You don’t have to open your door to police, let them ask their questions from the window!
Category 4 Hurricane Earl is currently heading toward the US east coast and two more tropical storms have already formed, now is the time to get prepared. Don’t get caught up in the last minute madness!