Life hacks like using your washer as a cooler and building an indoor dog potty can help people weather the hurricane season.
Usually, potential evacuees are told to take a few important things to a shelter.
Food. Batteries. Flashlights. A change of clothes. Medication. Maybe a book or two and comfort items for children.
But you need more. Here are some ideas for a better shelter experience:
- Bedding, pillows and, if possible, an air mattress or cot. Most Red Cross shelters do NOT have cots. If you need to get creative, make a bed out of sofa cushions or plastic lounge chairs.
- Earplugs and eye masks. Babies scream, people may talk while you’re sleeping. Lights may turn on at daybreak.
- Pack food that does not need to be heated. The food is limited at shelters, so bring non-perishable food including peanut butter, jelly, bread, fruit and snacks and don’t forget a can opener.
- Drinking water. Shelter officials recommend a gallon a day per person. Err on the generous side, you never know how long a storm will linger.
- Surge protector and chargers. While the power is on, you’ll want to make sure your phones and devices remain charged. There are not many outlets so bringing a surge protector will help and make you popular among your fellow evacuees.
Keep yourself busy:
- Games, books, cards and magazines. Once the power goes out, so do the televisions.
- Bring along board games for kids. If you like crafts, pack supplies, such as knitting needles.
- If you bring a laptop or tablet, be prepared to not be able to access wireless network.
- Air freshener. Remember: There could be about a dozen bathrooms for hundreds of people. Also on this note, bring toilet paper and deodorant, just in case.
- Handheld, battery-powered fans, or paper fans. Storms could cut out power and generators likely would be used for lights and kitchen use only.
- Batteries, chargers and portable battery packs. For cell phones, portable televisions, portable video games, etc.
How to find a Red Cross shelter
Go to www.redcross.org to find open emergency shelters.
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