October 7, 2014
Storing for Disaster Preparation in Houston
You’ve heard the old saying “hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.” Some people limit this to buying insurance or having a rainy day fund. But other take it a step further, preparing for a day when real trouble strikes. You hope that day never comes, but having a contingency plan for a true disaster lets you know that you’ll be ready if it does.
Hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods are just a few disasters that can turn the Houston area upside down for days or weeks. Preparation is the fine line between becoming a survivor or becoming zombie food. Using a storage unit as a backup emergency supply station will give you an extra go-to in case your house is destroyed or you can’t get to it. Keep in mind that putting together your disaster kit is an ongoing project, because you must rotate out food and water every six to 12 months to keep it fresh.
Water, Water, Everywhere?
Hurricane force winds and torrential rainfall doesn’t equal clean drinking water. You need 1 gallon of water per day for every person in your family. Don’t forget Fido! Pets also need a gallon of day. Start with a minimum of a three-day supply but build up to a two week supply – although storms blow through quickly, it can takes days or weeks for utilities to get back online. A few keys to proper water storage:
- Unopened, commercially bottled water stores best.
- If you use your own containers, make sure they are food grade and disinfect them before filling with clean water.
- Label all containers as drinking water.
You Got to Eat Something!
Although a healthy human can survive for days, or even weeks, without food, a full belly ensures you aren’t tempted to reenact the Donner Party. Although dehydrated food may seem like the easy choice, rehydrating it will use up your water and fuel supply. Instead, stock a selection of ready to eat canned foods and non-perishable dry goods. Pack everything in food-safe, animal- and pest-proof storage buckets.
The best storage location for food is somewhere cool and dry, where temperatures remain between 40 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. A temperature controlled, easy to access Houston storage unit can provide you with extra storage space and provide optimum storage conditions for your emergency supply.
It’s All In the Details
Plenty and food and water is a good start, but it won’t help you if you can use it. Don’t forget to include these necessary items in your disaster prep kit:
- A manual can opener. That fancy electric model is no use when the power is out.
- A camp stove and fuel. That canned chili tastes much better warmed up.
- Plates, utensils, pots and pans. You aren’t an animal, dine in style!
- A couple of good knives. These are necessary for everything from food preparation to fending off the zombie horde.
- Lighter and matches. Cooked food and warmth depend on these.
Preparing for safety is more than just a stocked first aid kit (although you want one of these on hand). Add these items to your disaster kit to keep everyone healthy and happy.
- First aid kit – get a full kit and include a first aid guide. Hopefully you won’t be setting broken bones, but it’s best to be prepared.
- Emergency radio so you can stay informed.
- Batteries to power your radio.
- A simple tool kit. You may need your DIY skills.
- Fire extinguishers – the fire department is going to be distracted during an emergency.
- Dry clothing and bedding. Pack these in sealed plastic containers so they stay dry even if everything floods.
- Personal safety items – everything from baby supplies to extras of necessary medicines. If you wear glasses, make sure to have an extra pair!
- All your important paperwork, from the deed to your home to your ID and credit card numbers.
- Work or hiking boots. It never fails, disaster strikes when you’re in your flip-flops. Make sure you have good shoes at the ready.
- A tent, just in case you need to flee the city (or sleep in the backyard until the power, and the air conditioner, returns).
- Creature comforts – cards and board games, edible treats, some knitting – whatever keeps you busy and can help keep spirits up.
Make Your Escape
If the days look like they will drag into weeks, you may need to make your escape. A wide-spread disaster means air travel options will be few and hotels will be packed. Keep some cash on hand and keep the car fueled up (or at least store some extra gasoline), so you can leave the city behind for friendlier climes if need be.
Have a plan with family in case you are separated. It can be as simple as checking in via Facebook or meeting at Aunt Janice’s 200 miles away. It’s best to have an emergency contact that doesn’t live in the same area as you. Sometimes it’s easier to get a call out of an emergency zone rather than calling someone else in the emergency zone. Also, text messages and internet messages often go through when phone calls don’t, so have an online check-in plan in place.
With a bit of planning, a disaster will quickly become a fond family memory instead of the end of the world.
Need More Tips?
Below are some useful links that give practical advice for disaster preparation. If you’re ready to go, call A-AAA Houston Storage at to book your storage unit! Contact us today!