As the heart of the home, the kitchen is the most critical space to prepare in the face of a storm. With the anticipated Category 3 storm Hurricane Florence heading toward the East Coast, it’s essential to be ready for this and other such weather emergencies, whether or not you live in the affected areas.
According to the National Hurricane Center, the Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. While we can't predict the course Mother Nature will take, we can ready our kitchens for the worst. Don’t wait until it’s too late – make plans today to ensure that your home and loved ones will be safe.
Whether you’re forced to react quickly to a power outage or total evacuation, here are three essential rules for preparing your kitchen now.
1. First and foremost, keep your space neat and organized. Before heavy rain starts to fall, wash the dishes and throw away any food set to expire. As tempting as it may be to fill your dining area to the brim with food and water, pack with easy transportation in mind. Store your essential items in plastic bins, bags and coolers that will make it easy to get up and go. Have a flashlight or candles at the ready, too.
2. Next, ensure that water and food is secured in a safe interior space, away from doors or windows. According to FEMA, it’s best to store one gallon of water per person, per day. Ideally, consider stocking up on at least a two-week supply for every member of the household. If a hurricane hits, tap water often becomes undrinkable if the power fails at water treatment plants.
Additionally, there should be enough food to keep everyone fed for two weeks’ time. Canned meats, fruits and veggies, rice, pasta, and peanut butter, as well as cereals, granola bars and other no-preparation foods are the way to go.
Plan to accommodate for any special dietary needs of family members, like diabetes or allergies. Also, make sure there’s food and water for pets, too.
3. Third and finally, make sure you have proper supplies to ensure safe consumption. Stock up on no-water antibacterial wipes, matches, disposable cutlery, plastic wrap and dry ice so that everyone can eat and drink, free from harm.