Hurricane Prep 101

A huge thank you to our Brookland neighbor, Tiffany Baxendell Bridge, for her insights and advice on hurricane readiness. Levels of preparedness will vary depending on location but Tiffany’s advice for our area is one to share widely with friends and neighbors:

Are you aware that there’s a hurricane headed toward the East Coast this coming week? So far it’s looking like it’s heading for the Carolinas, but it could come this way, and even if it doesn’t, we’re likely to see some pretty nasty weather. We’re far enough inland that we generally do not get the full force of a hurricane, but we can and do have problems with power outages, downed trees, flooding, and occasionally problems with municipal water supplies. And hurricanes can disrupt things like supply chains for grocery stores and such. So! Now is a good time to do things like:

  • Make sure your gutters, basement drains, rain barrels, and sump pumps are clear and in good working order.
  • Ensure you have things like batteries for flashlights, mobile chargers for phones (and that they are CHARGED), a full tank of gas in your car, candles/oil lamps, surge protectors for your electronics, battery backups for critical medical devices (looking at you, fellow CPAP users) etc.
  • Make a trip to the store. Do you have things like pet food, and peanut butter, necessary OTC and prescription medications, baby supplies, first aid supplies, and such things? Maybe grab a case of bottled water and stash it somewhere in your house, just in case. 
  • Trim any trees that seem like they might damage your home if they came down in the storm, and secure outdoor loose items.
  • Fill plastic jugs with water and stick them in your fridge and freezer in case the power goes out- they’ll help your fridge and freezer stay colder longer, and they’re also good for fresh drinking water in case there’s a problem at a pumping station. Make sure you’ve got a spare cooler, too. 
  • Make sure you have fuel for your grill that won’t get ruined in the rain (and secure the grill against wind, too). If there’s a multi-day power outage, you’ll be able to cook outside (and you’ll probably want to cook things from your freezer before they go bad anyway.)
  • Check on your neighbors and make sure they have what they need- if they don’t have the ability (financial, physical, or otherwise) to get ready for the storm, see what you can do to help. We’re stronger in community than hunkered down in our individual houses.

It’s not about stockpiling a bunker, it’s about some basic steps to stay healthy, safe, and reasonably comfortable if PEPCO can’t get everybody’s power back on right away, if grocery stores have to close, if every ice-selling store in the area is sold out of ice, etc.

Looking for supplies for storm preparation or clean-up? Keep an eye out for our conversation with Alex at Annie’s Ace Hardware, located at 3405 8th Street NE in Brookland, coming soon.