Hurricane Prep 101

Jul 11, 2006 by

Like many of us I find myself gearing up for possible evacuation. Alternating between optimism and dread about the season I still try to be ready for the lack of action should anything ugly go down. I tell myself its only logical to be prepared.

With that in mind I thought I might share some of the things I am doing to get ready for another possible Era of Exile. These are mostly things involving using internet technology and services, but since you are reading this I’m willing to bet you can cope.

  • We have too many photos to take with us when evacuating. There are album upon album filling the shelves of a small bookcase. In order to make sure that the images themselves survive. I have been madly scanning them and uploading them to my new Flickr account. $20 a year gets you up to 2 Gigs of upload a month along with all the other niceties it offers (sharing, organization, etc). This means I do not even have to worry about grabbing discs when we leave.
  • In order to make sure that no matter what I have contact info for everyone I am using a service called Plaxo. It is an address book that automatically updates. One change to my own info (if displaced) is automatically updated in my friend’s and family’s adress books. A really good way of keeping current, especially if we end up scattered again.
  • All our CDs are now relocated to easily carried binders (love CaseLogic!)
  • If you do not already have one advise setting up a blog or online journal. You do not have to use it, but does give you a single web address to give everyone before leaving. Computer access is common these days so you should be able to update it periodically, even from the road. This is a good way of keeping friends and family updated if you are on the move. Livejournal is especially useful for this as it is very comunity oriented and was a center of networking during Katrina.
  • Whereas we only had one cat carrier befoer the storm (only used it for vet trips) we now have a full complement of five. If you hunt around you can find really nice soft sided ones that are collapsible for about $20 each.
  • A new and interesting product we discovered on the run last year are disposable cat boxes. They are thin plastic cat boxes with a small amount of litter in them. You peel off the paper seal, let the wee beasties have some privacy, and throw it out when you’re finished. These were a godsend in a number of vehicles, hotels, etc.
  • If there are keepsakes or items of sentimental value that you know you will not be able to take when you leave, photgraph them. Throw the photos up on Flickr (see above) and no matter what at least you will have the image.
  • A stand alone, web based email account with a service like yahoo, hotmail, or gmail makes sure you can always communicate if you can get online. I personally prefer gmail, but your milage may vary.

If you have useful or creative ideas for prepping for the season please leave them in the comments. In the meantime I’m off to light some candles and hope it is not needed.

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