How to Handle a Hurricane in an apartment:
I've been through a few, including 3 weeks without power after Katrina.
#1 most important item: refill your monthly prescriptions TONIGHT if you have less than a week left on them, especially if you will have side effects from not taking them (loss of sleep, headaches, possible stabby stabby psychotic breaks)
3 gallons of water per person (cheapo water in milk gallons are best for space)
Six pack of bottled water
2 cheap handheld flashlights. 1 handled flashlight.
6 D batteries for handhelds, 2 replacement batteries for larger handled flashlight.
1-2 loaves of bread, depending on the amount of people.
1 jar of peanut butter
bananas and apples
2 of the smallest cans of jelly
1 box breakfast bars/granola bars
bag of beef jerky
can of spam (at least for the stories you can tell your friends)
baby wipes (REALLY important)
2-3 small candles (yes, just 2 or 3)
a lighter or matches
If you want to be super prepared, also get:
an emergency radio with a hand crank and cell phone charger
a frying pan with no plastic on the handle, just metal.
a tiny tiny little grill, charcoal and lighter fluid
roll of masking tape
1. You should already have garbage bags, towels, and a blanket or two. Put these in a central location with the masking tape and your candles and a couple paper plates.
2. If there are any trees, signs or small loose objects around your apartment, use the masking tape to cover the windows. It's easiest to make an X with an extra horizontal line through it. Just make sure that each pane has tape going from one end to another. This will help keep down the number of large shards of glass flying at you should something smash into the window.
3. Take the caps off 4 of the water bottles and place them upright in the freezer. Tomorrow they will be homemade ice-packs
4. Put the nonperishable food and water all in one spot. Put your prescription medicine next to it.
5. On the floor next to the food and medicine place a backpack or duffel bag. Put a change of clothes and 3 pairs of underwear there. Put a pair of tennis shoes there. Put the other 2 bottles of water in there. Put your cash in there. This is your bug out bag.
If you have time, grab another bag and put family photos or whatever the hell you find precious in there. That's your optional bag. You'll want to put your toiletries in that optional bag.
1. Candles are for hippies. Generally. This is probably your first big hurricane, right? It's scary but a little exciting. When the power goes out (it will) go ahead. Light those few candles. You'll feel like a pioneer for a moment, living life without electricity. It's kind of romantic and fun. Oh the danger of it, all. Then you'll feel how warm your apartment gets with no power, no air-conditioner, the windows and doors closed and a few candles in the room.
2. Use the handled flashlight as a lamp. Turn it on and put it down on the coffee table pointed at the ceiling. Yep. That's better. The two smaller handheld flashlights are for travelling around your apartment.
3. Don't go outside. I know, but I had to say it.
4. If it gets really loud, there is nothing wrong with sitting underneath a dining room table for a bit or writing a "sorry I was such a bitch to you in High School" letter to your sister.
1. Survey the damage
2. Nothing was broken and you feel like a dork with the masking tape on the windows. Quickly take it down. OR Sweep up the small shards of glass and tape a garbage bag up over the window if it is still raining.
3. Go outside, meet your neighbors.
4. If the power has not come back on within 24 hours, CLEAN OUT YOUR FRIDGE NOW. I promise you, you do not want to wait a second longer. It takes a really long time to get the image of maggots crawling from a Stouffer's Lasagna out of your head.