Essential Preparations for Hurricane Season

Caribbean Hurricane Season starts in June

June 1st was the official start of the hurricane season for the Caribbean and typically we start to become much more interested in the weather reports at this time. No longer is it enough to know if the forecast is rain or sun – we want to know where the next tropical storm is brewing, what is the barometric pressure for the day and what name the next hurricane is going to have.

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Hurricanes are an inevitable if unfortunate part of living in paradise. There’s not much we can do about them although it is a contentious issue as to whether the amount and the strength of hurricanes is increasing due to climate change. Whatever their causes, many Caribbean islands have been badly hit in recent years and none of us can afford to be complacent during the season.

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Two of the best things to do around hurricane season is to be prepared by stocking up on essential items and making sure your home good condition to withstand a storm. For now let’s focus on the essentials required…Water – (up to 1 gallon per person for 3-7 days) It is a good idea to have both a stock of bottled drinking water and some larger containers of water filled up for washing and flushing toilets.
Food – non-perishable canned and dried items are recommended. Remember that it’s no good stocking up the freezer as the electric supply may go! A full gas cylinder for the stove should be bought as a standby and an alternative source of cooking such as a coal pot is also useful.
Medications – have enough supply of prescription medications to last a few weeks and a well-stocked first-aid kit for minor medical treatments.

It’s also a very good idea to have: the fuel tank filled up; enough toiletries to last a while; a decent tool kit available; cash and credit cards; and its crucial to place your vital documentation such as birth certificates, drivers license, passports etc in a sealable waterproof package.

Many of the guidelines also recommend getting stocked up with lots of sugar baby headlines batteries for electrical items – mainly torch lights and radio sets. This obviously makes a lot of sense as one of the first things to usually go in any natural disaster is the electricity supply and even off the grid systems are subject to damage from high winds or flooding. In an effort to be more eco-friendly and sustainable I’m researching alternatives to battery appliances. I’ll keep you posted on my results. In the meantime, don’t delay, get shopping for the items above!

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