Organizing Preparations for FrankenStorm

Posted on: October 28th, 2012 by Darla | 12 Comments

My family lives just outside of Philadelphia, and we’re feeling the first effects of FrankenStorm this morning. I pray that you are ready, that you’ve gotten through all of your preparations, and you stay safe.

You’ve read all the great hurricane preparedness advice out there. I hope you’ve already:

  • Battened down your hatches
  • Made your last milk and bread run with the other crazies at the store
  • Found your batteries and flashlights

Here are some other things that you can do today to get organized for this storm and the next one.

Head to the basement. You either have a water tight basement or not. Today would be a great day to organize the basement, but more importantly, pull storage shelves away from walls where water might breach. Even if you can’t see it, most unfinished basement walls are moist or very high humidity in weather like this. If you do get water occasionally, then make sure your stuff is in a dry area and check to be sure your sump pump and battery backup, if you are lucky enough to have one, is working properly.

Raise stored items up off the floor. If you don’t have shelving units already, use old paint cans, bricks, or plastic tubs to get at-risk items up off the floor.

Raise electrical cords up off the floor six inches or more. If you do get water, you will have to worry less about the water being electrically charged.

Run your dishwasher and do your laundry today. If the power goes out, it may be days before you can get to it again. Plus, won’t it feel good to get ahead for a change?

Clean out your pantry. Look for items you could prepare without electricity, if needed. Many things in the pantry can be added to a cooked pot of plain pasta or tortilla wraps for a nice meal.

Organize your batteries. Create a drawer or basket where all of your household batteries can live. Even better, order one of my favorite battery organizers. You won’t have it in time for this storm, but it will make your life easier next time.

Plug in your rechargeable batteries, your cell phone, iPads, and other gadgets now, and leave them plugged in during the storm, or until we see lightning. If you’ve always wanted a recharging station, repurpose a vertical organizer or horizontal inbox trays to hold all your gear short-term, and then search online for a long-term solution that fits your decor.

This may seem counterintuitive against the point above, but I also recommend unplugging your PC during the storm. When power lines recharge after an outage, there can be an electrical surge that electronics don’t like. PCs are relatively more expensive than pocket gadgets, and usually hold the mass of information that syncs to your phone, so it makes sense to protect your PC by unplugging it from the wall.

Organize your contacts. If you have a smartphone, use an app like CardMunch to take pictures of business cards from your insurance company, favorite electrician, or handyman. The business cards get loaded into your iPhone’s contacts. It’s super easy. If you are paper-based, dig out that information now and put it into a Disaster Preparedness/ Household Maintenance file. Keep key contacts, like insurance company and family members you’d want to contact, in your Disaster Kit (see below).

Use this extra time to tackle one organizing project. If your kids are young, they might be parked in front of a movie (mine are watching Beverly Hills Chihuahua). If they are older or the power goes out, you might be able to get them to help you, with or without a bribe. One of the biggest reasons people use for not getting organized is lack of time. Sports and other activities will be cancelled for the next few days, so you have the perfect excuse to get those closets cleared out, get the home office set up, and get your Disaster Kit together.

Stay safe during FrankenStorm. And if you do use this time to get organized, please leave a comment. I’d love to hear.

12 Responses

  1. Nichole says:

    Really good and practical advice. Now to only get off my bum and follow it. :)

  2. Good ideas Darla, now if I’d only started last month! Oh well. Live and learn. Am gathering my ph numbers now.

    • Darla says:

      Nancy, hopefully these ideas are something you can do during the first few minutes or hours of the storm. Well, maybe clearing or prepping the basement will take a bit longer, but still worth taking a whack at today.

  3. All great advice! I think I’m following all of them – except for the basement mode. I didn’t have time to get down there and move stuff around (it’s an unfinished basement, used to be the root cellar in our 1817 house) but after the last time it got flooded I’ve been keeping important stuff out of it. ;) I’m hoping our power won’t go out (or be out for long) so the sump pump can keep the water out as much as possible! *fingers crossed*

    • Darla says:

      Stacy, I wish that for you, since we are in the exact same situation with the basement. We WILL be getting a battery backup next week, for sure.

  4. Great suggestions! Deadlines imposed by Mother Nature can definitely drive positive change. I was super creative/productive last year (in the hours before Irene) and again today! Hope you and your family stay very safe!

    • Darla says:

      Yes, it’s good to have a deadline. Even though the storm has started, you can still get quite a bit done in a few hours. You are an inspiration!

  5. Great advice! One thing I would like to invest in is rechargeable batteries and I love that organizer.

  6. Kristine says:

    Already told my 10 year old we are doing Thanksgiving prep on the first floor. We are hosting my side, 30 people easy, and need to pick up, clear out and take inventory of good fishes, linens, etc.

    • Darla says:

      Why on earth would you inventory your fishes??? I would probably spend time stacking and washing dishes instead. LOL. Lucky you to have help with this since she’s out of school. BTW, what time should I bring the family for Thanksgiving dinner?

Leave a Reply