Hurricane Season and Staying Prepared

I grew up along the Texas Gulf Coast, and have an ingrained habit of being ready for power outages due to hurricanes. I talk about how growing up here affected my semi-prepared lifestyle in this blog. Every year, June through November (Atlantic Ocean Hurricane Season), we always had a little extra charcoal tucked away for the grill. We also had a full tank of gas in the car and oil for the hurricane lamps. We weren’t extreme about it and our readiness just kind of blended into our general lifestyle.

Picture of dark storm clouds blanketing the sky above rolling ocean waves crashing onto a sandy beach as gulls walk among the washed-up seaweed and shells.
Storm clouds over the Texas Gulf Coast during our recent beach visit in April.

But now there is the added danger of continued extreme weather conditions due to climate change that have already lead to hurricane season starting before June 1st for the past six years straight. Unfortunately, the rest of my family has since become complacent. They only survived each storm through luck and privilege, forgot the difficulties the storm caused once it was over, and consider each one to have been “just a fluke”, as if it wont happen again. They’ve forgotten about the life-saving importance of being prepared.

Learn and Plan Ahead

After watching my mom stay and weather both Hurricanes Ike and Harvey while I lived in another town, we are now in the same house. In the 15 or so years she’s lived in this house there have been at least 5 natural disasters that affected her. She admitted to me she only made it through those storms because an old family friend who lives nearby was kind enough to drop off a spare generator. She also had the financial and locational privilege to buy prepared food from the few restaurants still functioning near her. And she was very lucky that during the recent Texas winter storm she never lost power. Despite these occurrences, she is not prepared for another disaster.

Prepared Not “Preppers”

I mentioned last year that we bought a solar oven to ease our carbon footprint. We had other motivations of course: camping use, and to keep the heat out of the house in the summer. The one I kept quiet about was because I believe in being prepared.

Picture of a pot of rice cooking in a solar oven. The oven consists of an insolated container with a visible circular temperature gauge and a cooking rack under a transparent latched-shut top door surrounded by folding out reflector panels that are channeling the sunlight into the oven.
Cooking organic brown rice in the solar oven we purchased from Sun Oven. (Brand not affiliated with HHH.)

You’ll note though that I don’t view us or refer to ourselves as “preppers”. Just like any group of people, those who are prepared come in all flavors. I dislike the general association in most media with the, “I got me and mine. You can suck it,” mentality. We survive with community and mutual support, not hoarding and vicious behaviors. 

How We’re Preparing for Hurricane Season

Because Rimakej and I strive to live a self-sufficient lifestyle, preparing becomes second nature. We had bought a few 7 gallon water blocks to ensure everyone had water to drink during our handfasting on our previous land. Then we started using them on camping trips. Now we keep them full to have a backup of water for whatever interruption might occur. Such interruptions happen more frequently than expected, but I rarely notice since our supply has that cushion. We also make sure to rotate the water we have stored to maintain it’s freshness. This does not mean just dumping it down the drain when it’s too old. Don’t waste water! Instead, we keep track of when each container was filled, and use the oldest water to water plants, for cleaning, or filter it to use as drinking water before refilling the container again for storage.

Picture of a brown paper bag, containing 50 lbs. (22.67 kg) of organic white corn masa with an Azure Market brand label and decorative shadow silhouettes of different grain plants on it, next to a refillable glass bottle containing homemade apple cider vinegar with a handwritten tape label dating when it was made, a tall refillable glass jar containing currently fermenting apple cores in water, a small dish bowl of dehydrated apple slices, and some leaves from assorted edible herbs laid out on brown paper to dry.
One of our bulk organic food bags ordered from Azure Standard (Brand not affiliated with HHH) next to our home-fermented organic apple cider vinegar, dehydrated organic apple slices, and some drying homegrown organic herbs.

We buy in bulk and cook in our solar oven. We also have a small battery bank for recharging our phones. Plus we sprout, ferment, and usually have dehydrated fruits and veggies on hand. But I prefer to live our life in a way that uses these things often. Familiarity and comfort with recipes made from stored items reduces the stress of a disaster. Regularly cooking with stored items means we frequently eat what we store. This gives us the ability to continue enjoying our usual comfort foods during a disaster. Don’t underestimate the importance of maintaining good morale in a stressful situation. Even just having a plan can eliminate anxiety. So monthly pantry checks are also a good practice.

What’s your favorite recipe from your preparedness stash? Feel free to share in the comments below!

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6 Replies to “Hurricane Season and Staying Prepared”

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    1. Thank you for frequenting our site and for your feedback! Always nice to hear we have fellow like-minded people in our home state. We will certainly continue to share the love and share the learning with you and our other readers!

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