I hope if you're in Florida, you're okay and your losses from this storm were minimal. If you are elsewhere, please take the opportunity to really think through what people in places like Fort Myers are going through and will be going through for weeks to come. Then act in your own defense.
|Photo from ready.gov
Electricity may be out for a month. Water may not be drinkable for a month. Getting bottled water is going to be a challenge. People are going to get tired of eating cold canned food on crackers. And when they run out of crackers in a day or two, and no stores have electricity yet, they'll wish they had them again.
It's imperative, no matter where you live, to have food and drinking water enough for everyone in your household, including pets, for at least a week. Two weeks would be better. You need cash money tucked somewhere, because when electricity goes, you can't pay with a card or get cash. You need life-saving meds. It'd be smart to have a crank weather radio and a crank phone charger. You need your insurance, IDs, and other paperwork photographed and online, so that if you are caught out of your home and have only a phone, you can still prove who you are and get insurance and FEMA claims going quickly.
In the US, ready.gov has a lot of good information on prepping for disasters. If you aren't in hurricane or earthquake country, you can still lose electricity for two weeks at a time, due to storm or grid failures or cyberattack on the grid, so this means you, no matter who/where you are.
And FFS, people, "mandatory evacuation" means just that. As I write this, the death toll isn't really known, but Coast Guard divers have found bodies in submerged homes that they haven't started to count. Those homes were in mandatory evacuation areas. Just to be clear, "mandatory" means "must," and "evacuation" means get your butt out of there. Half of the deaths from this storm will be of people who were told to evacuate but thought they knew better than the experts. You don't know better than teams of PhD meteorologists, and quit thinking that you do. Get out when they tell you to. Don't foolishly choose death.
On your birthday every year, review your plan and change out any stored food like crackers, tinned meat, peanut butter, nuts, etc. Rotate them through your regular pantry and buy fresh for the emergency supply. Practice fire evacuation with your family and make sure you all have an off-site contact and meeting place in case of a terrible disaster.
If you feel moved to donate somewhere, may I suggest my writer friend AM Scott's group? She teaches chainsaw safety (when she's not out chainsawing herself post-disaster) for Team Rubicon, military veterans who do disaster relief, providing a healthy outlet for some troubled vets, too. They are active in Florida as I type this: https://teamrubiconusa.org/support-squad/ or just type them in through google and donate from your google account. Or use amazon smile for your purchases in October, choose them as your charity, and let a donation go to them through that. Thank you.