This post was sponsored by Clorox. I received product and compensation, but all opinions are my own.
Alright you guys, this California girl is moving to Texas! Which means I have to get use to hearing “ya’ll”, hiding from mosquitos, and learning all about living in a brand new state.
A huge difference I have been preparing for is weather. Here in California, we are always prepared with an emergency kit for Earthquakes. But now, we can be facing other natural disasters and learning all about how to prepare for hurricanes. And with September being National Preparedness Month, we have partnered up with Clorox on an awesome campaign with the Red Cross getting American’s “Red Cross Ready” by preparing an emergency kit, making a plan, and being informed.
Living in Southern California, we don’t have hurricane weather, so I have never experienced one myself. However, we have been a part of a team to head to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and helped clean up and rebuild, so we learned a lot from that experience. Moving to Texas we’ll be on the lookout for hurricanes to come our way.
With all our knowledge on how to be prepared for a natural disaster, and learning about Emergency Preparedness Kits on the Red Cross website, https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/survival-kit-supplies.html we have put together our Hurricane Emergency Kit that we will now have ready at our new house in Texas!
Here’s are some things we have added to our kit:
Water is probably one of the most important things you should have on reserve in case of a natural disaster such as a hurricane. We’ve heard reports from Florida after the latest hurricane Dorian, that the stores were completely sold out of water. If you happen to be stuck in a hurricane, it can take out all your power, water lines, etc. and you may not be able to get any water for your family.
Your refrigerator won’t work, your kitchen sink, and bath tub will all be out of commission. And one thing you can’t live without is water. Be sure to stock up on your emergency stash of water to be prepared for having to stay in your house for a few days without going out. American Red Cross recommends one gallon per day, per person in your family with a 3 day supply if evacuated, and a 2-week supply for home.
Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach
Did you know you can actually drink some contaminated water if you add a small amount of bleach to it? Obviously this isn’t recommended as a first case scenario, which is why you’ve stocked up on water, but if worse comes to worst, and authorities haven’t confirmed the water is safe, you can add a few drops of Disinfecting Bleach to your water, and you’ll be able to safely drink it in an emergency. Make sure to read the label directions for how much you can use in your water.
Here are some specific usage measurements to make water safe to drink:
All water of uncertain quality should be treated before it is used for drinking, food preparation, or hygiene:
Remove suspended particles by filtering or letting particles settle to the bottom.
Pour off clear water into a clean container.
Add 8 drops (or 1/8 teaspoon) of Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach to one gallon of water or add 1/8 teaspoon of the product to 1.5 gallons of water. Allow the treated water to stand for 30 minutes. Properly treated water will have a slight chlorine odor. If not, repeat dosage and allow the water to stand an additional 15 minutes. The treated water can then be made palatable by pouring it between clean containers several times.
For cloudy water, use 16 drops per 1 gallon of water, or add 1/4 teaspoon of this product per 1.5 gallons of water (3 drops to 1 quart). If no chlorine odor is apparent after 30 minutes, repeat dosage and wait an additional 15 minutes.
Clorox Disinfecting Bleach can be used for a few different situations as well. When we headed to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, a huge issue was the mold and mildew in all the houses. We had to use masks just to go in and breathe ok. Using Disinfecting Bleach can help you clean up some of that mold, so you and your family are not breathing it in day to day, and the bleach can help prevent fungi, mildew and even helps kill bacteria like E.Coli that can develop where the flood water was present.
Another great thing Disinfecting Bleach can help with, is preventing mosquito breeding areas. This is one thing I want to avoid the most! Being prone to mosquito bites (and allergic reactions because of them) I definitely don’t need even more coming after me if we are in an area with standing water. Clorox Bleach can help with that!
You’ll want to stock up on non-perishable foods and add them to your emergency kit as well. Make sure to get foods that are easy to prepare, and foods that will last a long time. Canned food, dry beans and rice are foods that will keep in your kit for a bit. You can even check out some emergency dry food kits as well like military MRE’s. These won’t be your favorite meals, but they’ll stay edible for a good while and are easy to grab and eat when needed.
First Aid Kit
A full first aid kit filled with enough supplies for your family is something you should go out and pick up today. You’ll want to be sure to have all your daily medications that you would need stocked in your first aid kit as well. It’s recommended to have at least a 7 day supply.
Dr’s offices and hospitals may be way overcrowded, or worse, not operational, and you might not even make it out of your house. So you’ll want to be prepared in case.
Flashlight with Extra Batteries
If the hurricane is strong enough, it can knock out all of your power, and candles will only last you so long and can be more dangerous. Make sure to add a few flashlights so each member of your family can get around, and you can do what needs to be done in the dark. Always pack extra batteries so you can change them out and prolong your flashlight use.
Again, if power is out, there is no internet! We’ll have to go back to the good ol’ days and use a radio to get news and weather reports. You can get a battery powered radio, if you keep lots of fresh batteries in your kit, or you can purchase a hand-crank radio where you can give it more power by turning the wheel.
You will want to have all your important documents safe and easy to access when needed. This can include your insurance policies, passports, birth certificates, medical information, ids, proof of address, etc.
Emergency Phone Numbers
If the power goes out, you might not have easy access to emergency phone numbers if your phone dies. Write up the most important phone numbers your family may need to know in a situation like this, and keep it in your kit. Dr.’s numbers, family contacts, and any other emergency numbers you may need.
Pack up a must-purpose tool that you will be able to use for several different situations. Whether you are needing to open a can of food, or cutting a wire, breaking down a door, taking off a window screen, etc. Having a tool that has a few different capabilities can help you out in a lot of different situations.
Clorox Disinfecting Wipes
Another thing we decided to add to our kit was Clorox Disinfecting Wipes. After some discussion, we decided we would want clean up to be quick and easy, and these Clorox Disinfecting Wipes makes it so simple to clean up what we need, and it has the same power as their bleach, so the wipes can help kill bacteria like E. Coli from forming in our house.
Sanitation and Personal Hygiene Items
In cases that there is no running water and no power, it will be nice to be prepared with items such as trash bags and ties, moist towelettes, diapers for the babies, etc
These blankets can actually help you stay warm even though they don’t look like much. B and I actually keep some in our cars as well, in case we ever get stuck and need to stay warm.
The theme of September’s National Preparedness Month is “Be Prepared, Not Scared”, and we think that is brilliant. We shouldn’t be terrified of a natural disaster, but instead, we should be prepared.
It’s easy to think you will have access to whatever you might need, but the reality is, if the hurricane keeps you stuck in your house with no stores or hospitals open, or in your car stranded on the road, you will be so glad you took some time to prepare with your kit and make those next few days a bit more comfortable.
We recommend having a kit ready at your house, as well as in your car, because you never know what type of situation you may end up in.
What to do after a Natural Disaster strikes
Creating a Hurricane Emergency Kit isn’t going to stop the hurricane of course. It’s going to help ease the situation when and if it does hit your home. But what should you do after a hurricane hits?
Stay off the phone
In the midst of a natural disaster, you should only use the phone lines for emergency calls. Phone lines will be very busy and you’ll want to be sure to allow some free space for those emergency calls to get through.
Right after the storm hits, you should call for life threatening emergencies and call your emergency contact with a brief message that you are safe.
Keep Roads Clear
In the same way, you’ll want to help keep roads clear. Unless instructed to do so by authorities, or an immediate emergency, don’t get in your car to drive anywhere. You especially don’t want to drive on roads that are flooded. This helps the roads stay clear for emergency response teams.
If you had to evacuate your home, you should only return to your home once authorities have told you to do so. It can still be dangerous, so you’ll want to wait until the all clear. Be sure to have your id with your address, so authorities can let you back to your home.
Clean Up/Damage Prevention
If your home was flooded and there is water damage, you will want to get ahead of the problem and start treating the areas before any more damage comes to your home, like mold, bacteria, etc.
Using Clorox Disinfecting Bleach to help treat the damaged areas can help you get ahead of any more damage that can be caused due to the wet walls and floors, or standing water. This can help keep your home from becoming a breeding area for mosquitos in standing water.
When we went to help clean up homes in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, we were faced with lots of mold and mildew from homes that weren’t treated. This caused us to have to tear down walls and rip up all flooring so we could treat the problems before they had to rebuild.
A natural disaster doesn’t have to be the worst thing. With proper preparation and care after a storm, you can help prevent a huge headache in the end.
Surrounding National Disaster Preparedness Month in September, Clorox will support Red Cross initiatives with PR and Social Activations (Be Red Cross Ready and App Downloads)
The Clorox Company is helping people affected by disasters like storms and countless other crises by making a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief.