Hurricane Preparedness: How Much Is Too Much?

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I live in a part of the country that is subject to hurricanes. Every spring, the local media spends a lot of time discussing hurricane preparedness. Even as this post is being written, we are just seven days into the 2022 season, and hurricane prep is still a hot topic locally. Yet every year I find myself asking, how much is too much?


Being prepared is wise. But being over prepared, year after year, can make one feel like the proverbial shepherd boy crying wolf. You can only cry wolf so many times before people stop paying attention. I sometimes feel that way about hurricane preparedness.

Be Prepared for a Week

Where I live, we are told to prepare to be without electricity and water for up to a week. That sounds reasonable. Thanks to better building codes and hardened infrastructure, it is rare to see the kind of long-term damage inflicted by the likes of hurricanes Hugo, Andrew, and Irma.

Speaking of Irma, that particular storm went right over my neighborhood. Though it was definitely an intense storm responsible for billions of dollars in damage, very few neighborhoods were still without water and electric a week later. There were no long-term fuel shortages, and the grocery store still had food on the shelves. Frozen foods and meat were hard to find, but canned goods and boxed foods were plentiful.

Storing Extra Water

Whenever we locals hear that a hurricane is coming, we start stocking up on extra water. We buy a case or two of bottled water. We also fill up extra jugs and pitchers we keep in the house. If we are especially concerned, we are always prepared to scrub the bathtub and fill it as well.

That seems reasonable to me. However, I know people who keep food grade tanks in the garage. If it looks like a storm is on the way, they will fill those tanks with water. I am guessing each one holds about 350 gallons or so. Is that too much? I don’t know. But I do know I have never personally had to store that much water for a hurricane.

Incidentally, CedarStoneIndustry is a Houston company that sells food grade tanks to industrial and commercial buyers. If you are interested, you can buy tanks from them. You can also buy used tanks online. For hurricane preparedness, a used tank seems reasonable.

Storing Extra Food

Where I live, there is a run on canned and boxed foods in the days leading up to a hurricane. Again, this makes perfect sense. You want plenty of food that doesn’t need cooking in case the power goes out. But how much should you store? I am comfortable with a week’s worth. Yet I know people who keep a year’s worth tucked away in a special locker. Too much? That’s their call. I don’t see the need to store that much food. But I’m just one person with my own opinion.

Investing In a Generator

There is one hurricane preparation I would like to invest in if I ever have the money for it: a generator capable of powering my entire house. I admit that I don’t like being without electricity. Perhaps I’m spoiled. Regardless, a full-sized generator sure would make dealing with the aftermath of a hurricane more comfortable.

The 2022 hurricane season is now officially underway. I expect to keep hearing prep advice until the first major storm hits. After that, we will all know whether our preparations are adequate. We will all know if one week is a good measuring stick.


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