"10 Hurricane Hacks" From a Houstonian Who's Been There
When the lights go out and the water stops coming out the faucet, there's no one around to remind you that you can't open the fridge, or flush the toilet, or take a bath. You and everyone else is gonna end up smelling like funky kangaroo, but that'll be the least of your worries because the water's already up inside the house, fam!
"Storm Clouds" by Craig Kohtz, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
There's a HUNDRED ways to lose all-yo-shit in a hurricane.
When the water's filling the house, you run around grabbing the stuff you think's important. You remember the PlayStation and some DVDs, but you forget about the photo album under the bed and the box of mix tapes on the floor of your closet.
Nobody taught us this shit in school...how to bust out the fold-up tables and start piling your stuff on top. Or how you gotta pick up the gas cans and oil pans from off the garage floor so all that fuel won't end up inside your house. I don't remember any lessons on what to take when you have to evacuate your house. Or how you need a sheet to signal for help if you have to climb onto your roof.
Take some advice from a born-and-bred product of H-town...Flood Capital, U.S.A., where down here, we know a lil sum' sum' bout some hurricanes and high water.
Here's how we get H-Town prepared.
1) Buy a generator
Link to generator => DuroStar Gas Powered Generator on Amazon (Heavy-Duty Steel, Quiet operation, 8-hour run time, power-outlets)
If the power goes out, you're gonna want to keep the lights on and the fridge cold. During Hurricane Ike, much of the city was stuck for two straight weeks without power. In our house, there was a baby who needed his milk to stay cold. We kept the fridge closed, but after a few days, it started warming up. So our neighbors ran an extension cord to our kitchen, and plugged-up our fridge to their generator. I still don't know how we would have done it without those guys🙏.
2) make a survival kit
Keep a good supply of vegetables, soups, and anything else you can eat out of a can. Don't forget to have your manual can opener ready, too. Then throw a bunch of Bear Grylls stuff in a backpack like a utility knife, flashlights, batteries, pliers, zip ties, matches, hammer, candles, rope, a white pillow case(to signal for rescue).
3) Fill water jugs at fountain drink station
Grocery stores are the first to run out of water, but the water at the gas station fountain drink station is filtered and a fck-ton cheaper...sometimes even free.
4) Take care of dishes/laundry/trash
There's nothing worse than a hot, smelly, post-hurricane house. Clean the dirty dishes ahead of time. Wash some clothes too, so you'll have something dry to wear when you get back. Take out the trash from all the trashcans in the house.
>>Pro Tip: Remove anything in the fridge that's already close to expiration and throw it out.<<
5) Secure important documents
Locate the following items:
-social security card
-shot records(kids & pets)
-family photo albums
-external hard drives
-memory cards for camera & computer
Zip everything up in a plastic bag. Secure it in the top rack of the dishwasher or high up in a cabinet. Or if you're evacuating, take only the most important papers with you and leave the rest somewhere dry and hidden.
6) Take pictures of EVERYTHING
This really must be done if you expect to get any money from the insurance company. So I'd suggest doing that ahead of time. They're gonna demand proof of every single item you owned, even if it completely washed away in the flood, got picked up by the trash truck or was ganked from your home while you were busy trying to GTFO. They're gonna tell you they need the receipt for those Jordans your Auntie gave you for your birthday back in '93. And if you don't have it, they'll ask for a recent picture of the shoes to prove the condition they were in at the time of the loss. No picture = No payout. And if they DO offer something for it, don't expect the value to be anywhere NEAR what it's worth, ESPECIALLY if you can't prove they were in great shape/vintage/still boxed, etc. So snap that pic of your expensive couch now, while it still looks new.
7) Locate utility cutoffs
Sometimes for safety reasons the city will ask folks to cut off their natural gas or electricity. Make sure you know where all the shut-offs are so that if the water starts rising, you will know exactly where to go in order to keep your family safe from something deadly like electrocution.
8) Write down phone numbers
Phone service is JACKED UP during major storms, so you'd better have have all the important telephone numbers written down and in a Ziplock bag somewhere ready to take with you if you have to evac.
9) Charge ALL your devices
The minute you hear the word "hurricane," get in your car, drive to CVS, and pick up a brand new cell phone charger. It NEVER fails, as soon as the shit hits the fan, your phone dies and the charger stops working. So, just get a BRAND NEW charger and make sure EVERYTHING in the house(phones, tablets, Kindle, Fitbit, etc.) is charged before the storm hits.
10) Fill bathtub with water
Line your tub with a plastic tarp(optional) and then fill it with water, so none of it leaks down the drain. Use this water to fill buckets to flush the toilets and fill water jugs for washing your hands.
*Bonus* 11) Fill washer with ice
The washing machine will hold ice for up to 3 days, and ice-cold water for a little longer, keeping drinks/meat/bottled water cold until the power turns back on. It's also a good time to remember to fill all of the ice cube trays to make backup ice to put into coolers for other refrigerator items.
>>Pro Tip: Ziplock bags full of water also work well when frozen into giant ice blocks.<<
*BONUS* 12) Invest in the AquaDam
If you really want to get serious about flood protection, for around $10,000 you can build a wall around your house that'll keep out flood waters up to 30 inches! One man did that in Rosharon, Texas, and he kept his home flood-free during Hurricane Harvey. His house was the only house on the block to be completely untouched by the flood, and he said it saved him about $150,000 in hurricane repairs overall.
For more information on Aquadams, visit => Aquadam.net
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About the Author:
Ezequiel "Ziggy" Green is the little cousin of a pretty famous Houston rapper🎤(no, it's not that one), and he's been ghostwriting👻 guys' tracks since he was 15. Zig won't go anywhere without a longboard in his hand and a rillo in his ear👂🏼. You can always count on him for a light🔥, or even just some genuinely decent perspective👌. He's a good listener & is seriously blunt AF (pun intended). He's also the Chief Editor at StoneDart Magazine, a "highly" entertaining collection of random dopeness. Coolio factoid: Ziggy's somewhat hood-famous for his crawfish tamales and his homemade sweet potato pie🥧.
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