This week we’ve been consumed with watching Hurricane Irma and the National Weather Service’s predictions of if the storm will hit Charleston. Irma has already left a path of destruction in the eastern Caribbean and the state of Florida is bracing for the worst.
Hurricane Irma has been difficult to predict, but as of this morning the storm continues to shift west and away from Charleston. Of course, the storm’s path could change again. There has been no official evacuation orders, although those may come tomorrow morning. As for now (Friday morning), we don’t know if we will be staying or leaving and we are preparing for both scenarios.
House Preparations (if time allows):
- Document and take pictures of every room
- Secure loose items like lawn chairs, planters, and trash cans
- Replace missing shingles on roof
- Place gravel bags/sandbags/dirtbags at entry ways
- Shut off water, electric, gas
- Trim trees and remove dead limbs
- Board up large windows (we have a picture window)
The South Carolina Hurricane Guide published by SCEMD contains information on prepping for storms, evacuation routes, and shelters. For quick updates on storm tracking, I follow Charleston Weather and NWS Charleston on Twitter.
Our list of items to take during an evacuation:
- Non-perishable food
- First aid kit
- Cleaning and sanitation supplies (like disinfecting hand wipes)
- Toilet paper (rest areas do run out)
- Overnight bag with clothing, toiletries
- Pet supplies including dog food
- Safe with important information (deed to house, insurance information, passports, etc.)
- Cell phone chargers
- Flash light and batteries
*It’s also recommended to keep your gas tank always half full during hurricane season.
If the storm continues to head west and we are no longer in the storm’s path, we’ll still need to be prepared for high winds, heavy rain, and losing power.
Our list of supplies for home:
- Lots of water
- Matches and candles
- Flashlights and batteries
- Bleach and anti-bacterial wipes (especially for clean up)
- Paper towels and toilet paper
- Non-perishable foods (enough to last us for a week)
- Dog food
- First aid kit and medication
- Lawn bags for clean up
- One cell phone always charged
- Reserve water (filling up bath tubs)
- Garbage bags
- Face wipes
- Mouth wash
(and in an ideal world we would have a generator, propane grill, and chainsaw)
These are my lists based on my personal experiences. I highly recommend checking out all of SCEMD’s resources and the National Weather Service for the latest information. If there’s a mandatory evacuation, we will leave.