We’re right in the middle of a hot and heavy hurricane season here in South Carolina, and part of being spendthrift during them is to plan ahead.
Stuff costs way more when everyone wants it if it’s even available plentifully and at normal cost every other day of the year. So why not stock up when people are scrambling for it?
With the most recent major hurricane experience we just are getting through, Irma, we had seriously about an entire week, including a weekend, to prepare. This far inland in Columbia we were not ever preparing for evacuation, just for potential power and water outages, and possibly not being able to go anywhere for a few days at worst. In fact, Columbia has never been evacuated for a hurricane this far inland, according to our friends at the SC Emergency Management Division.
Check the official government hurricane supplies checklist and go into it thinking like you’re going camping, except you’ll hopefully be camping inside your house, so no sleeping bag or tent required. I went to Lowe’s on my lunch break the week before the storm was supposed to hit and got an under-the-bed plastic storage box, a few flashlights, a headlamp, and batteries. I added to it some candles, lighters, USB power chargers, and some bottled water. If you don’t already have a water and fireproof safe, this is the time to grab one.
A few things I didn’t think about adding this time are baby wipes, matches, instant coffee, a weather radio, and duct tape. Our box is by no means complete, but it contains most of the things we need when the lights go out, which they did for only a few hours, luckily. I also encourage people to not just go ape over bottled water but to think ahead to prepare for a storm that is forecasted well ahead of time, and fill up reusable pitchers and growlers instead of buying tons of bottled water. I even saw a great tip to fill Ziploc bags with water for the purpose of having water, and to keep the freezer filled with cold items, which helps regulate the temperature of your fridge and freezer by keeping it full.
More extreme preparers can get Lifestraws, meals ready to eat or other no-heat required foods, camp stoves, and generators for their hurricane riding out needs. So when the next one comes creeping up, and it will happen soon, be ready and save yourself a few dollars in the process. You might need that money for other unfortunate hurricane-related expenses.