One year ago today, the eye of Hurricane Irma passed right over my house, knocking out power and cutting us off from the world for days.
What have I learned since then?
- Prepping means preparing long before you’ll need the things you’re storing up. Seems simple and obvious, but it was amazing to watch bottled water disappear from the store shelves when things got dicey.
- The sound of garbage trucks is the sound of civilization returning your community.
- Lumens are life. Multiple sources of light, enough for at least one light for each member of your household, are absolutely essential: they’re right up there with water and food.
- Lumens also let people know that you care. We had a couple of cars poke their nose into our street after curfew, but a quick 500 lumen blast told them they might want to go somewhere else.
- A solar recharger is DARN handy. It’s the absolute minimum for any grid-down situation, especially when your flashlights use rechargeable batteries.
- Generators are better.
- Gas cans are cheap. Fill them up at the first indication that the storm is headed your way.
- The shortages after the hurricane passes will be worse than you think. It was days until we could fill up the cars with gas, and weeks until food supplies were back to normal.
- A good supply of cash on-hand gives you the same comfortable feeling of security that a good ammo supply does.
- Expect not to be able to communicate for at least a couple of days.
- Most importantly, GET TO KNOW YOUR NEIGHBORS. I relied on the people of my street to help put up shutters and keep us safe, and I helped out a friend of mine after the storm had passed. To quote the 20th century’s greatest philosopher, a man alone is easy prey. Do something about that.