You guys haven’t heard much from me in the last week. We made it through Hurricane Irma and I can now share it’s been a long – long week. Yes, we have damage to repair, it’s pretty much what you’d expect from a hurricane. We are incredibly fortunate though; it could have been much worse. One of the reasons we weathered the storm and the aftermath as well as we have is because we were prepared. Well prepared in fact. I’m sharing our downloadable hurricane preparation checklist with you guys today and some of our favorite resources we found for emergency supplies. Feel free to share these lists with your friends and family or anyone else you think could use it.
Even if you have an emergency or hurricane preparation checklist, it may be time to update it. Many of us live in areas that are prone to disasters, hurricanes, floods, wildfires, tornadoes or other crazy weather. Had my sweet and well organized husband not put a lot of time and energy into making and gathering everything for our hurricane checklist and building a hurricane kit well in advance we would have been a hot mess.
We live on the Boca Ciega Bay on a barrier island 25 feet from the waters edge. We didn’t just prepare for a hurricane as Irma headed towards Florida, we did a full evacuation.
By the morning of the expected arrival of Irma, Madeira Beach was a targeted potential first landfall and still a category 3 or 4. We expected our home to be underwater; we expected to loose everything that was left behind. Yes, we moved our kayaks and everything from out back into the house!
At the last minute Rob and I made the decision to go home one more time to take the rest of what we could carry out. All bridges to the island had been closed of at 6am. We arrived at 6:08 and talked the bridge guards into letting us cross and get back home for one more trip. We stacked the furniture as high as we could, loaded our trailer with one last load of anything we thought we could use to start over, and said goodbye to our home.
We were so exhausted from all the preparation over the past several days that we couldn’t stay awake for the storm. We slept through the worst of it!
Once the storm passed, our next challenge was simple things like having enough water, food and a way to communicate with friends and nearby family that everyone was safe. Most of the cell service was down in our area. We’d walk or drive until we could find a spot that had a signal and we could make calls. Trees were down and debris was everywhere.
Residents sat and waited for hours to get back on the island after the storm passed. As soon as the down light poles and any other hazards were cleared we got the go ahead. Look closely and you’ll see every large metal light pole on the bridge lining the right side of the street. Every single one had snapped and fallen over onto the bridge in the storm!
Driving back home was messy and sometimes surreal.
Some people fared better than others.
We were lucky. We had a lot of wind damage, but not much else.
Looks like I’ll be designing a new outdoor shower this spring. The old one disintegrated. Darn, I was just about to paint a mural on the light blue wall too My Life Is Better On The Beach Bench project survived OK.
I spent half a day washing blue threads off our house and windows. The cover shredded in the wind. We had light damage to both the sailboat and the powerboat.
Oh well, we knew it was time for a new fence anyway.
Our neighbors have been collecting soffit pieces from all our homes and returning them to each house that fits the colors. We all have growing piles on our front porches.
We ended up being one of the lucky ones in our neighborhood and had power when we returned home. It’s been five days and many around us still do not have power. Should I mention how hot Fl is this time of year? Most of the banks, groceries and small business are still closed as well.
We’ve gotten used to the constant background sound of chainsaws cutting up the trees that fell and we hear emergency generators humming day and night.
This brings me back to why we have an extensive emergency hurricane preparation checklist and have built a hurricane kit for our family and pets. It’s why I thought I’d share my downloadable hurricane checklist with you guys now. It’s not always the storm, but getting through the aftermath of the storm that’s the hard part.
Get your hurricane checklist below!
Modify it to fit your needs as necessary. Even if you don’t live in an area that gets hurricanes, chances are you face other disasters. Are you and your family prepared? You may be surprised at some of the items on our emergency and disaster kit list and yet all are necessary. You might also be interested in my Generator Uses for Safety and Fun.
Pin and share this hurricane preparation checklist on Facebook so others have it too!
Below I’ve listed some of our resources for our hurricane preparation kit and emergency supplies.
I use affiliate links to help you find the supplies I used. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
Where to find the supplies from our hurricane check list we used
- collapsible 5 gallon water jugs
- water proof solar charger
- Cell charger – We have this one, it will charge my cell or ipad seven times on a single charge
- wind up camping lantern
Don’t forget your pets comfort and safety in a hurricane too!
My favorite tips for living without power. Yes, this girl still needs her coffee, hurricane or not!
- A coffee press works great for morning coffee, just heat the water on the grill
- Evaporated milk in cans is a terrific substitute for half and half
- keep pots and pans on hand that can be used on a grill. We use our Magma set from the sailboat boat. Cast iron works well too.
Our hurricane preparation checklist is extensive and covers preparing the the family, our pets and home for a major disaster and evacuation. Building a hurricane kit and updating it annually takes some time but now that we’ve used ours, I can’t begin to tell you how grateful I am that we have one!
Do you guys have any favorite emergency preparation tips? How about camping tips that would be helpful when living without power for long periods of time? Share them below in the comment section!
I’m so glad your home was still there and that your family was ok. Thank you for sharing your tips and giving ideas to help others at Merry Monday.
Hi Jenny! Yes, we were very fortunate with this storm. So many others were not. Hopefully, your readers will find the hurricane checklist helpful too. It’s an extensive one!
I am so, so glad your family is safe and okay, Wendy. The destruction caused by the hurricane is unfathomable to me. Thanks for sharing your extensive printable to help other families be safe and prepared for these emergencies with us at Merry Monday this week!
Hi Marie and thank you! It’s been a crazy hurricane year and I loved being able to share something that can make a big difference to someone or a family facing the same situation 🙂
Christina in FL says
I just got electricity back at m Sarasota. I have the best friends and neighbors ever! Help with charging my cell phone, cleaning up debris, preparing before the storm, letting me stay at their house overnight during the storm…. with my cat… and so much more. Coworkers loaned me a battery powered fan, one gave me candles (I thought I had enough) and another friend helped me hook up the generator which turned out to have a gat line leak.so it was useless.
There is so much to using a generator and maintaining it… I say make sure you realize this and FOLLOW ALL MAINTENANCE AND USAGE INSTRUCTIONS TO THE LETTER if you expect to have and use a generator.
Be prepared to spend a LOT on gasoline (RV type gas or regular). My neighbors spent a LOT on RV (no ethanol in it) tas. Then there are the extension cords. Lots of them.
I spent days and evenings writing gratitude lists. Because, after all, I am alive, helped and grateful. 🙂 SOOOO much to be grateful for. 🙂
Your list is saved to my computer.
Thank you!~!! I am SO glad we are safe, healthy and our families are as well!!
Lastly, the crew who had reinstated power was in front of my house when I returned from work today. I thanked and shook the hand of each one of the 8+ men there. Crews have been here from Boston, New Hampshire and Ohio. One man gave me a hug. 🙂 These fine crews have sacrificed their personal lives to come down here and help.
Hi Christina! Yay! I’m happy for you. It’s been brutal in the heat without power. A lot f our neighbors have just started to get power back too. The kindness of others during diversity is heartwarming. I’m glad you have people like that in your life as friend and neighbors! Having a generator is a good thing, we start ours every month. My husband ended up loaning it to a family who only had battery back-up for a life support machine. I hope we never need the hurricane prep list again but… I hope it’s helpful if we do. Take care and glad you made it through the storm OK!
I am so glad you are okay as well. Thank you so much for the list. It is crazy at how prepared we can be and yet we find ourselves not prepared! We done well with our prep too but there are some things I will do different and take care of. Thanks again. Hugs and blessings, Cindy
Hi Cindy and thank you! We found the same thing, as prepared as we were there were a few things we didn’t have and would have done things differently. Glad you made it through the storm OK. Thanks so much for your visit and I hope you find my list helpful and can add a few items onto your own hurricane prep list!
Tracy G says
So glad you weathered the storm. We also evacuated to OKC from Naples and will start for home tomorrow, watching status of power, gas, etc. as we go. Once we are home and can assess our situation, I look forward to using your checklist. We had only been in our home 2 months so we were caught very short in preparations. Prayers to all those affected by the storm and for the rest of “season” to be quiet and calm.
Hi Tracy and thank you so much! My heart goes out to you having only been in your home for 2 months! I hope your area has gas available as well as power. It’s been tough watching the comments on our neighborhood app from people who are without power, especially in the FL heat! I know how hard it’s affecting our local businesses too. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you that your return is easy and your home in good condition! Be safe on the roads, I hear traffic has been brutal!
Kate Horrell says
Hey Wendy, Being from South Florida myself, now living in Savannah GA, I know how stressful these hurricanes can be. Glad y’all came thru it ok, the longest part is the clean up. We had rain n wind from Irma too, just had tree limbs scattered about the yard. I lost my house in So FL to hurricanes Francis n Jeanne in 2004, it’s the reason I’m now in GA. Look forward to ur projects again.
Hi Kate and thank you! Ugh, yes the clean-up! It’s a mess everywhere with piles and piles of debris. I’m glad you skirted any Irma issue, and sad to hear you’ve experienced loosing your home to a hurricane in the past. What we went through is nothing compared to what you must have endured. DIY projects and work will resume next week as I have a deadline in the VT place to meet. I’m looking forward to getting back to normal and dealing with normal stresses:) Thanks so much for your sweet note!
Darlene Joy Gwilliam says
So very happy you are all safe! I will keep you in my prayers.
Hi Darlene and thank you so very much! We are SO happy the ordeal is over!
Hi Darlene and thank you so very much! We were blessed the storm didn’t do more damage and we are all safe. Thanks so much for your thoughtful note!
When I click on the link for the list I get a saying/picture Today is a day for a good day! Wondering if link is messed up?
Glad you are safe and not too much damage considering what could have happened! 🙂
Hi Linda… Yes, there was an issue with the link in my post. While it’s always a good day for a good day, that wasn’t what everyone was looking for! LOL It’s been fixed now and here’s the link to the correct file https://app.box.com/s/g8g09narzdzc3zblj3q1k20f9nvnh8ns. Thanks for your kind thoughts, we are very grateful to have had minimal damage. I hope we don’t have another storm for many- many years..actually like never again! Again, thanks for your note & good thoughts!
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience. Also, we will be using your checklist as we do have tornado’s here in Indiana. We just installed a battery back up for our sump pump as our basement has flooded with water up to our porch. Life can certainly bring challenges but we do have to deal with them. Thankfully, you are all o.k. We pray everyday for all the people involved in the disasters across the states. Blessings.
Hi Sharon! I’m glad you plan on using the checklist. There was an issue with the link to the checklist earlier but it’s been resolved. Here’s the link if you need to try accessing it again, https://app.box.com/s/g8g09narzdzc3zblj3q1k20f9nvnh8ns That was such a smart move installing a battery back-up to your sump pump! I’ve had issues with one in the past and wish we’d had a back up for it. Thanks so much for your sweet note and keeping all of us in your prayers!
Denise Hardy says
Hi Wendy – I note you have not had any comments on this project, which I am ‘gob smacked’ at. My heart goes out to you and your family to have to be put into this situation. People like me and there are sooooo many that do not have to go through a ‘Hurricane Check List’ thank goodness. I cannot begin to imagine having to go through this and I am soooo surprised that you have not had any response to this part of your blog.
I am sooo glad that the Hurricane was not as bad as you thought, but…. the fact remains you still had a lot of cleaning up and preparation to contend with – my heart and soul goes out to you and your family and to all your neighbours that have had to go through such a daunting and awful time and hope that you all get sorted out as swiftly as possible and to be able to ‘pick up the pieces’ of your life again. Lots of Love to you all
Hi Denise and thank you so much for your beautiful note! Hurricanes are no fun to deal with that is for sure! I can look on the bright side and say my home had a thorough cleaning before I put everything back! I might as well have a sense of humor in it which is much easier now that the storm and scary danger are past. Again, thank you kindly for your sweet words and visit!
Barb B. says
Glad you made it through! I couldn’t even imagine how stressful this has been for you, your family and others. One of the beauties of living in western Pennsylvania is at some point you may have to face a force of nature but it is never to the extent others will face. Look forward to receiving your emails in the future when all has settled back down.
Hi Barb! Thank you, we are glad we made it thorough the storm too! You are very right about beautiful western PA. After several days of clean-up I headed back to VT today to stay on the deadline I have for the work in our Ludlow place. The drive through the trees and mountains was relaxing. I think that may be the first relaxing time I’ve had in over a week! I’m looking forward to getting back to normal and sharing projects soon! Thanks so much for your sweet note and kind thoughts.
I see no downloadable emergency list.
Hi Penny, There is a link in the post to the checklist. Here it is again https://app.box.com/s/g8g09narzdzc3zblj3q1k20f9nvnh8ns You’ll be able to download a pdf of it. I hope you find it useful!
Martha Burnham says
When I clicked on the hurricane list, I got the Today is a Good Day printable–??
Hi Martha! Thanks so much for letting me know the wrong link was connected to the post! While it’s always a good day for a good day, I know that wasn’t the info you were looking for! I’ve fixed it in the post and here s the link to our checklist https://app.box.com/s/g8g09narzdzc3zblj3q1k20f9nvnh8ns where you can save a pdf copy of it. Thanks so much for your visit and I hope you find our checklist helpful!