Every year I go through a gradual checklist to be sure we are ready for storm season. It is gradual because preparing a little at a time is easier on us both mentally and financially. To go out and buy everything at once would break the bank and I prefer to avoid going into debt. I do, however, keep an eye out for great sales and used preparedness items throughout the year.
During Week 1 I am going to go through all of my stores and supplies to see what I am getting low on and I am checking expiration dates. Also, be aware that some items tend to break down over time, especially plastic items. That means that tarps, water bottles, etc. can become useless while sitting in their original packaging. Check everything over and make a detailed list.
Once I have my list I am going to start watching for sales and comparing prices while I am in stores. I need to keep a mental list also, so when I am out and about I know whether to buy that low priced, unexpected sale item.
"Water, water, everywhere and not a drop to drink." This saying epitomizes tropical storms in Florida. Water is a must have and should be the first item on your preparedness list. You need at least three gallons per person a day for drinking and hygiene (1 gallon just for drinking and don't forget your pets). I go about gathering water in several different ways.
I do watch the sales for inexpensive bottled drinking water. Store brands can be very inexpensive and they go on sale regularly. I wouldn't pay more than $3 for 24 small bottles.
Large water storage containers come in many different styles and sizes. My rule of thumb is: can we lift the container after it is filled or do we have a small pump that will allow us to access the water in the container? We purchased several five gallon white plastic water containers at Lowes one year. We fill these when a storm is coming and empty them when storm season is over.
There are also collapsable containers that take up very little space when not being used. There is even one that is made to be placed in your bathtub prior to filling.
When storing water the best way to keep it wholesome and potable is to treat each gallon of water with eight drops of unscented, plain clorox. If treating collected water let it sit for thirty minutes after treating with clorox before drinking. We also have a small amount of water treatment tablets on hand, which I purchased at Walmart in their camping section.
Sometimes all we think of is drinking water, but being able to wash is necessary for health over a longer period of time. For washing water I have a 55 gallon drum that I use to collect water off of the roof during rainstorms. Mine has a brass spigot that I added at the bottom to make it easy to access the water. In a pinch, this water could also be filtered and sterilized for drinking. Make sure that your drum was used to store food materials in it's earlier life. I believe mine was used for apple juice; it definitely had a fermented apple smell when I got it.
Time to get started!