Last November, we packed our bags and drove 1500 miles to Houston, Texas. It is where we started our new life.
This weekend, we’re experiencing Hurricane Harvey as it devastates the Texas coast. I wasn’t sure what to write about today, because the only thing going through my mind right now is riding out this storm. So, I figured I would write about making it through the storm.
*All photos taken by my boyfriend and edited by me.
Planning Ahead, Despite Your Doubts
It is always better to be safe than sorry. Even before you know that a storm is coming, your essentials should be prepared – non-perishable food, water, emergency kit, cash, clothing, and whatever else you need.
For Hurricane Harvey, we had a couple of days to prepare, and even then, we were too late. All of the grocery stores were sold out of water. We thought about evacuating to Dallas, but I had to be at work the next morning. I guess it was a good thing, because everyone was heading towards the Dallas – Fort Worth area. The roads were insane.
The grocery stores were out of water, so we had to get creative. We have a Brita water filter, so we started filling all of our bottles with water and stored them in the refrigerator. Also, we boiled pots of water and covered them for when we run out of our refrigerated water stash.
Since the stores were out of regular drinking water, we opted for coconut water and sparkling water. Coconut water is good for you. I’m from a Pacific Island, and I know the benefits of the coconut. It will help keep you hydrated and energized. Sparkling water was there – it’s water in some form, so why not?
We were told to fill our tubs with water for rinsing, flushing the toilet, etc. If you don’t have a tub, fill coolers with water and keep them covered in your bathroom. Also, if you have a top-loading washing machine, let it run to fill with water and stop the cycle. Close the lid, and use that for flushing your toilet. I’m not sure how clean washing machine water is, so it’ll just be for toilet flushing.
Stay Away from Doors and Windows
We don’t have much in our home, but we did decide to move our bed into the living room, just in case our patio floods or a tornado touches down. There isn’t anything near the windows and doors, so hopefully, we can stay as dry and safe as possible. If you have bed risers, raise your furniture up higher, just in case water gets into your home.
If you can cover your windows and seal your doors, do so to keep the water out. We didn’t have that option, so we’re just staying clear of them, just in case trees and/or branches break off.
In the event that an evacuation is necessary, pack all of your important documents in a waterproof case or plastic zip bags. Do the same with clothing. I don’t recommend packing too much, because you’ll have to carry these items, but only you know what you need. Think warm – socks, blankets, t-shirts, sweats, and sneakers (rubber boots if you have them).
Keep Up With the News
For as long as you have electricity, charge up your electronics. Also, keep up with the news, as they will provide updates for your area.
In our area, it’s difficult to see the situation without actually going outside. When we ventured out on foot, we saw that the roads were flooded, and we were essentially stranded in our apartment complex. From the complex’s rooftop parking, we could see gray skies with touches of blue, but water covering whatever roads and grass we could see. There was no way to get anywhere without risking our safety and our cars.
One of my boyfriend’s friends sent a drone out to record some footage of the surrounding area. The roads, islands, and fire hydrants were underwater. It really is a disaster flood zone. Even then, I feel like we are in the less-affected part of Houston. The emergency officials declared that 1 inch to 1 foot of water is not considered an emergency. If you have more then 2 feet of water, then maybe consider calling for help. This is how bad things really are.
Prepare to Move
Nature is a marvelously, unpredictable and dangerous force. We must always be prepared for the worst and ready to move when necessary. Sometimes you’ll only have enough time to move with what you already have on you. Remember that things are replaceable. People are not. Grab your loved ones and get to where it’s safe.
Right now, they say that if your home is flooding, don’t stay in your attic. Get on the roof so that rescuers can see you. If possible, get on the phone and tell them you’re on your roof. Lie low, because tornadoes are in full force in some areas. You’ll have to use your judgment.
Help If You Are Able
One of the most amazing things I’m seeing is people coming out to help others. If they have boats or really big trucks – they’re bringing them out to help those stranded on the roads and in their homes. It really is a community effort.
If you can’t help physically, maybe you can help financially. The Red Cross has opened a fund for Hurricane Harvey donations. I’ve donated, and I’m encouraging you to donate as well, if you are able.
Maybe you can’t donate or help out physically. That’s okay too. Spread the word so that those who can help know that their help is needed. We really do appreciate every little bit of kindness that flows through.
<<< Please share on social media, so we can help spread the word about making it through the storm together. Thank you so much for all of your support.