We’ve seen quite a bit of devastation in recent years so I want to show you how to prepare for storms.

First, the flooding brought on by Hurricane Harvey in Texas.

Then the destruction we found in Florida resulting from Hurricane Irma. My family was directly in the path of Hurricane Irma.

Classes were canceled for the entire week because schools were closed and opened as shelters for the massive statewide evacuations.

And I found myself looking for not only ways to help others, but how to ride out the storm right here at our home and to prepare for storms with some great hurricane preparedness tips too.

While we didn’t get any damage from the storm, I wanted to show you how you can prepare for storms, but also how to do it wisely and for less.

And while you prepare for storms, you can feel confident that you’ll have what you need to get through it now and the next time.

Because who wants to be scrambling the last minute before the storms come? Not me. I’d rather be binging on the latest TV series before the power goes out!

So I’ve got some ways to save you money while you prepare for storms and some nifty tips and DIY hurricane hacks too!

Here is the quick, short list of essential storm prep items, followed by more details on each:

  1. Prepare For Storms And Save $100 By Not Buying Water
  2. Fill Your Freezer to Max Capacity
  3. Get Paper Products Out & Ready To Use (Disposable Utensils, Paper Plates, Cups & Paper Towels)
  4. Get Extra Trash Bags
  5. Fill Up Your Vehicles With Gas (And Any Extra Gas Cans)
  6. Get Bleach & Dish Soap
  7. Get Cash
  8. Charge Back Up Chargers
  9. Do Your Laundry
  10. Put Out Old Towels By Windows And Doors
  11. Take Photos Of Important Documents
  12. Put Heirlooms & Photo Albums In A High Place
  13. Don’t Forget The Pets
  14. Make Sure Your Power Tools & Generators Work
  15. My Hurricane Preparedness List/Kit (Flashlights, Radio, Batteries, Propane, Non-Perishable Foods, Formula/Diapers, Games)
  16. Eat The Ice Cream!
prepare for storms

1. Prepare For Storms And Save $100 By Not Buying Water

I apologize in advance if this tip rubs you the wrong way, but as I scroll down my Facebook newsfeed I am seeing loads of people posting messages of which stores near them have water in stock.

The news is showing panicked people standing in front of empty shelves that used to hold bottled water while they prepare for storms.

Do you have running water right now? Then you have FREE water!!

This is my first DIY hurricane hack!

Do you have pitchers you normally use for ice tea or juice? How about pots you use for soup? Or maybe a cooler in the garage you’ve used for sports? FILL THEM UP! Get out all the Rubbermaid containers and sport water bottles and fill them with water and freeze them while you prepare for storms.

NOTE: Don’t forget to leave some air/space for the water to expand as it freezes so you don’t crack the container.

What do you drink every day? Tomorrow is no different, fill up your containers with the water you drink every day.

You can even grab Ziploc bags (make sure they are the freezer variety), put them inside a hard-sided container and filled them with water, and then freeze them as well.

As you use Milk, instead of throwing away the carton, rinse it and fill them with water and freeze them too. You might not want to drink the water out of it, but that will keep your perishable food cold while the power is out.

I estimate needing 3-5 gallons of drinking water per person per day. We are also estimating that we could be out of power for 5 days, so that is 15-25 gallons per person total. I have 7 people in my house right now (we drove over and picked up James’ Grandmother who lives in a mobile home in Melbourne so she could stay with us through the storm) so that means I need to store 175 gallons of drinking water total (7 people x 5 gallons per day x 5 days = 175 gallons total)

If you play this out with the price of bottled water ($1 per gallon), then you would spend $175 to buy that amount of water versus the $20 you will spend getting Ziplocs and using your own tap.


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FYI: In Florida, a 24-pack of water has been frozen at the price of $2.97. If you see it being sold at a higher price you should call the State Price Gouging Hotline at 1-866-966-7226 (866-9-NO-SCAM)

Here’s a list to get you started of what to fill up:

  • Bathtub
  • Washing Machine
  • Trash Cans: household & garbage
  • Coolers
  • Water Bottles
  • Freezer Bags
  • Tupperware
  • Beverage Containers/Pitchers
  • Check your recycling bin for milk jugs, cartons, glass jars with lids, clothes detergent jugs (wash, sanitize & fill). Make sure to label the container if it is not safe to drink like the clothes detergent jugs.

2. Fill Your Freezer To Max Capacity

Fill as much space in your freezer as possible. Check on your ice maker and fill Ziploc bags with the ice so it continues to make it until you lose power as you prepare for storms.

A full freezer will keep food safely frozen for 48 hours. If you have solid bricks of ice (such as the milk carton) you have a chance that it will stay frozen even longer.

Plan now while you have the time as you prepare for storms.

This should be on everyone’s hurricane preparedness tip list!

prepare for storms

3. Get Paper Products Out And Ready To Use

As you prepare for storms, dig around your house for those leftover party supplies of disposable utensils, paper plates, and cups. And extra paper towels. You don’t want to wash dishes with water you saved for drinking!

Along that same line is to make sure all your dishes are clean before you lose power.

We are basically pretending we are camping… although this might be more like primitive camping instead of the pampered camping that I’ve grown so accustomed to.

4. Get Extra Trash Bags

Make sure you have plenty of trash bags on hand as you prepare for storms. You might need to use these to protect things, as well as having them for cleaning up. This is something that is easy to have extra because you will definitely use them later.

Don’t have time to clean your garbage pails? My next diy hurricane hack is to use those garden and lawn bags to line to your garbage can, then you can fill it full of water. You may not want to drink out of it, but you can use the water to bath from or use it to flush your toilets.

prepare for storms

5. Fill Up Your Vehicles With Gas (And Any Extra Gas Cans)

Make sure to top off your tank and fill any gas cans you have as you prepare for storms. This is in case you do need to evacuate at the last minute you can get to a further destination by having extra gas with you.

While you are at the gas station, don’t forget to check the air in your tires as well as your oil in case either of those need to be topped off.

6. Get Bleach & Dish Soap

Dish soap is a lifesaver for me when we are camping. I can fill a bucket of water, add a couple of drops of dish soap and I can wash anything you bring my way!

Bleach can be used to disinfect things in case you need to cook raw meat.

Did you know that 16 drops of bleach added to a gallon of water can treat it so you can drink it? Yep! And you can add it to spray bottles to clean other things as well.

Always get the non-scented kind of bleach and not the “color safe” variety.

As you prepare for storms, these items can be crucial to not only keep your dishes and food safe for consumption, doing regular things like washing dishes can keep things seeming normal in an otherwise stressful time.

prepare for storms

7. Get Cash

As you prepare for storms, I would suggest you get enough cash out to get through any potential tolls and in case you need to get more gas to get out of town.

We withdrew $100 total just to give you a specific number. But make sure you have enough small bills too. It may be hard to find a cash register that has power or a register that isn’t full of big bills because everyone withdrew $20’s.


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8. Charge Back Up Chargers

If you have any backup chargers for your cell phone, try to charge them right now.

I just remembered that and found two dead ones in the bottom of my purse and computer bag. So look in extra places to find them and have them charged and ready should your power go out as you prepare for storms.

As you prepare for storms, also charge up any laptops, emergency radios, and emergency power stations.

prepare for storms

9. Do Your Laundry

As you prepare for storms, try to have all your laundry clean in case you lose power and can’t wash clothes for a few days.

As you are folding the clean clothes, you might consider going through your closet or drawers to identify the clothes out that you could donate and keep them out in case you lose power, then you can use them first and throw them away if necessary.

While this isn’t a DIY hurricane hack, it sure does make sense. Because if we can’t shower, we at least want clean clothes to put on every day. Especially if there is no air conditioning in the middle of a September heat wave.

10. Put Out Old Towels By Windows And Doors

Even with the best windows, you can still get water seepage on the inside of your windowsills and under doorways. Be prepared for storms by putting towels near the windows and doors so that when the rain starts you can quickly push them up against the windowsill or door jam to potentially absorb anything that might seep in.

A wet towel is way better than ruined drywall or floors!

prepare for storms

11. Take Photos Of Important Documents

Do you have a smartphone? Take a quick photo of your marriage certificate, birth certificates and any car titles or other important documents that would be devastating to lose as you prepare for storms.

Make sure you email the documents to yourself and an out of town family member so that a copy is safe with someone.

If you have any large 2 gallon Ziploc bags, you could put them inside to protect them from light water damage as you prepare for storms. Plus they will be easy to grab if you need to leave in a hurry.

12. Put Heirlooms And Photo Albums In A High Place

As you prepare for storms, you could also consider putting heirlooms and photos in plastic bins and up in a high place (definitely on the second floor if you have a two-story home).

We have plant shelves so we are putting ours up there while we wait out the storm.

prepare for storms

13. Don’t Forget The Pets 

Probably one of the most important things on your hurricane preparedness list is your pets!

You probably already know I have lots of cats, that means I made sure to stock up on a few extra bags of cat food and jugs of cat litter in case we are stuck for five days as we prepare for storms. My sister had to make sure to choose an Airbnb that allowed pets.

As you prepare for storms, you also need to think ahead. If you should have to evacuate, what would you do with your pets? Will you take them with you, or would they go to a pet shelter? These are the kinds of things that need to be discussed before the storm hits as you prepare for storms.


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14. Make Sure Your Power Tools & Generators Work

Well before the storm is coming is the time to make sure your power tools and generators work and all the batteries are charged as you prepare for storms. You may need to cut up limbs or screw in plywood to cover a broken window.

Don’t forget to start your generator and make sure everything is running correctly. In the spring you may want to have it serviced to make sure everything runs as it should. Then when the storm comes, you won’t be guessing if it’s gonna work when you need it to work.

prepare for storms

My Typical Hurricane Preparedness List/Kit:

I’ve lived in Florida my entire life. Here are some other items I always include in my Hurricane Prep Kit:

  1. At least two working flashlights
  2. A portable battery powered radio
  3. An ample supply of batteries to power these and other items
  4. A full tank of propane and charcoal
  5. Non-perishable food items (especially tortillas… they are smaller than bread and they freeze well), can opener
  6. Formula and diapers, if you have young children in the home
  7. Although not essential but necessary: board games, books, and playing cards
  8. First Aid Kit
  9. Baby wipes – these aren’t just for babies. They are great for washing hands and bodies just in case your water doesn’t run. This way you can take a wipe bath and save your precious bottled water for drinking and cooking only.

My favorite website for following the updates on the storm is from the National Hurricane Center. It has no frills but shows the expected track of the storm and the wind speeds as well as the potential rain levels.

My next hurricane preparedness tip is one you’ll love!

prepare for storms

Eat The Ice Cream!

James drove over to the East Coast of Florida to pick up his Grandma so she could stay with us through Tuesday to ride out the storm here instead of in her mobile home.

You wanna know the only thing she was worried about?

Who was he going to bring with him when they picked her up so that they could EAT THE ICE CREAM out of her freezer so it wouldn’t be wasted when the power was out at her house… ha!

She is about to turn 94 and she started telling us of all the times God has protected her.

Example after example of God proving Himself to carry her through seemingly impossible situations.

Why would we not be able to trust that He would do that now? He can. And He will.

Even if we lose our home. Even if we lose everything. We will recover, and we will move on stronger than before.

The truth is, the best way to shift our worry from what is happening right in front of us is to make a case in our own head proving that God has come through for us over and over.

What story can you remember that God helped you through? What example can you think of when the only example was God’s divine intervention (Isaiah 63:7-9).

Write it down right now. And if you are feeling courageous, I’d love for you to share it with me, either by email or in the comments below.

Take cover and be safe friends.

Your Turn: What other things have you done to prepare for storms? How have you saved money when you prepare for storms? Let me know in the comments below!

prepare for storms
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