We’ve battened down the hatches in preparation for Hurricane Florence. We’re 300 miles from the NC coast, but remember the damage from Hurricane Hugo in 1989 when it came ashore in Charleston and traveled inland to Charlotte, taking down over 80,000 trees and leaving us without power for a week.
According to the National Weather Service: Hurricane Florence is expected to bring life-threatening storm surge to portions of the East Coast, and life-threatening, catastrophic inland flooding due to exceptionally heavy rainfall, damaging hurricane-force winds and deadly surf and rip currents this week.
The Category 1 hurricane made landfall at 7:15 a.m. ET near Wrightsville Beach, just east of Wilmington. With its crawling pace, it looks like we should feel the impact of Florence here on Saturday with heavy rain, winds and possible tornadoes.
I’ve made at least a dozen trips to the grocery store this week in preparation for Florence, buying essentials like water, batteries, nonperishable food. Trips number 6 – 12, I blame on watching too much Weather Channel / Florence coverage. My hurricane essentials on my last trip. . .wine, flowers and heirloom pumpkins that had just arrived at Publix. ;)
We have our water, devices charged, extra batteries for flashlights and battery operated candles. Duke Energy sent out crews this summer to cut trees and limbs threatening power lines. We’re one of three houses on a power line on the edge of the county, so when we lose power with a wide-spread outage, getting it restored is a low priority for the power company.
To keep myself occupied with the power out, I have my Kindle Paperwhite charged with books downloaded, which doubles as a nightlight/flashlight in the dark.
I’m keeping my Kindle (along with my cell phone) on airplane mode to save power. The Wi-Fi/3G remains active even when your device is asleep with the screen saver on. Just like a cell phone, your Kindle uses more power trying to access a weak signal.
An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed.
You can find safety tips from the American Red Cross on Power Outage Safety, HERE.
I froze some water bottles that will double as ice for coolers and perishable food. You need plastic water bottle that aren’t filled to the very top so the water has room for expansion as it freezes. When it thaws, you have water to drink. Store at least one gallon of water per person per day for three days in cases of emergency. We have more than that on hand as we are on a well, no power = no water.
Here’s a *tasty* and fun nugget of information, have you heard of the “Waffle House Index“?
The Georgia based Waffle House chain operates 1500 locations mainly across the South and along the Gulf Coast, in areas vulnerable to hurricanes, tropical storms and flooding. They’re known for their reliable service, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. FEMA coined the term “Waffle House Index” as a reliable gauge of a storm’s path of destruction. Often after big storms, Waffle House is the only place open, as they have a lot of generators. In other words, if Waffle House is closed, you probably don’t want to be in the area.