Hurricane Help

Hurricane Help

The rain has stopped, the wind has died down and you finally have the chance to look over what the storm left behind. Natural disasters play havoc on our lives. They have little regard for how hard we worked to buy our home, the blood sweat and tears that went into making it not just a house but a home filled with keepsakes and mementos. They don’t care about the hours you spent building a tree house for your kids or that you just finished renovating your kitchen. Instead, within days, our homes can be destroyed due to rain, wind or fire.

At this point, all we can do is step up and rebuild. Hurricane Harvey left a mess for Texans to pick up after. To rebuild from. As I write this, Hurricane Irma is destroying the Caribbean islands and bearing down on Florida; a state I grew up in and in which my entire family still lives. Plus as the storm grows near we see that the path is set to head up through the south towards us in North Carolina. This post isn’t about bicycle accessories or outdoor gear because it’s difficult right now to talk about those things when waiting for disaster to strike.

But what we do want to talk about is how to prepare for these storms. If you are going to ride out the storm, choosing not to evacuate, here are 10 TIPS from a hurricane survivor to help you be prepared.

  • 1. Buy Supplies Well in Advance
  • Don’t wait until the day before to pick up what you need for a storm because most likely everything will be sold out. Supplies for your home should include water, flashlights and batteries, as well as food that does not have to be refrigerated in case your power goes out. Set your refrigerator and freezer to the highest settings and open the doors sparingly to keep your food cold should you lose power.

    2. Have a Hurricane Kit
    Have a hurricane kit handy in an easily accessible location for you to grab and bring to an evacuation shelter if needed. Your hurricane kit should include first-aid, battery-powered or hand-cranked radio, flashlight and batteries, prescriptions, water, food, blankets and clothing.

    3. Fill Your Bathtub
    If you are staying home, it’s a good idea to fill your bathtubs with water. Should you lose power, you’ll have water to use to flush the toilets.

    4. Generator
    Some areas which are used to hurricanes might want to consider investing in a generator. This is a huge help if you lose power for days on end. However, these should ALWAYS be kept outside, away from windows and doors and protected from moisture. Generators can be fire hazards and if kept inside in enclosed space could cause carbon monoxide poisoning in the home and lead to death.

    5. Take Care of Your Pets
    Pets are often overlooked during natural disasters. If you cannot care for your animal in an emergency, you might want to consider leaving him/her at a local shelter, with family or friends or take your pet along with you. A good tip if you have an animal that needs to use the great outdoors to do their business, put pieces of sod in a kiddie pool in your garage. This way you have a safe place for your dogs to do their business during the storm. NEVER leave your pet behind and NEVER leave them out in during the storm. If it isn't safe for you to be outside, then it isn't safe for them. 

    6. Secure Everything Outside
    If you have furniture or items outside the home, make sure you bring them in and secure them. They can be a hazard to your home as well as others because they can cause damage if thrown around by strong winds. Secure them in your garage or if possible you can sink some of the patio furniture in your pool.

    7. Back Up
    If you have electronic items, make sure they are backed up to a cloud server. That way if they are damaged during the storm, you do not lose all of your data including pictures, notes, music, etc.

    8. Make Copies
    Be sure to make copies of important documents including birth certificates, insurance, proof of ownership documents, identification forms, social security cards, medical coverage papers and any other paperwork essential to your life. Place these copies in a safe waterproof bin or container.

    9. Know Your Coverage
    Many people do not realize that home owner insurance does not cover flooding. Flood insurance is expensive, especially in areas near large bodies of water but it can prove to be invaluable in the aftermath of a disaster like a hurricane or massive rainfall.

    10. Repair and Reinforce
    Knowing a storm is coming can help you finish those chores around the house you’ve been putting off. Make sure you repair leaky roofs, loose shingles and siding and any other structural issues that need to be addressed. Also check out your trees and remove any branches that aren’t fully attached. Storm drains and gutters should be cleaned out so that water can be properly diverted away from the home.

    As for preparation we would love to help our local neighbors and friends by partnering with a company called LightJunction. They are a flashlight store that has offered to step up during these scary times. They are offering 25% off their entire stock of flashlights, which is at cost to them, so that our friends and neighbors can be prepared for the storm. This offer is open to all Houston residents who need the light to help illuminate their path forward as well as to our southern neighbors in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina and right here in our home state of North Carolina. Just use the code HURRICANEHELP at and they will get your order to you as soon as we can.

    However, for those facing their rebuild we do have some advice in regards to flooding in your home that might be playing havoc on your bicycle. Assuming the flood water is “clean” fresh water and not salty ocean water, all non electric parts of your bikes might be salvaged depending on how quickly your bike can be dismantled, dried and lubricated.

    Our hearts go out to those trying to rebuild after Harvey and our prayers are with the people of Florida as they brace for the strongest storm in years.


    by Sheerah Singer

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