Hurricane Lists

I’m feeling for our friends and family in the path of Hurricane Florence. 

Preparing for a storm is overwhelming and chaotic. Lists are critical. Last year we had enough to write a book. They helped us stay on task even when our plans changed by the hour. Here’s a photo of some of them when we learned we had to evacuate, but still didn’t know where we were headed:If you’re hunkering down at home, of course you need plenty of supplies, but it’s also important to have your home ready for family and friends who need a place to stay. If you’re ordered to evacuate, securing your house and packing your car with your most critical belongings can be emotionally and physically draining. Referring to lists helps you focus.

Here are a few things to think about once you’re in the cone of uncertainty:

Catch up on your laundry.

Start bagging up the ice from your ice maker and freeze bottles of water.You can never have enough: water, ice, toilet paper, paper towels, tarps, towels, buckets.

These things sell out quickly: fuel, propane tanks, flashlights, C & D batteries, tarps, charcoal, lighters, air mattresses, garbage bags & contractor bags. 

I highly recommend an outdoor propane burner. We also use a trailer hitch cargo carrier for extra fuel and supplies.

Here is my shopping list for hurricane food, which doesn’t include some stuff I may cook before the storm if I have time. Here’s a pdf to save or print: hurricane food

Good food keeps up the morale. Despite what the official guides say, I buy some fruits and vegetables that don’t require refrigeration, and I stick to the pantry staples that I know we’ll eat when we have no a/c (no canned soup here). Please share yours in the comments! 

My friend Julie reminded me of another thing you won’t find on any official guides: stock up on beer, wine, or cocktail ingredients you like. She mentioned the sale of alcohol was prohibited after the first of two hurricanes hit the east coast of Florida in 2004. Better safe than sober.

A few quick tasks you can do before the storm hits: boil all your eggs, quick-pickle some veggies, and cook the perishables. As my mom always says, “This bacon won’t cook itself.” 

If you’ve got time to make actual recipes, I recommend quiche and gazpacho. Those were our two favorites when we cruised on our sailboat. They’re so good on a hot day, no heating necessary. That’s what I made before we went to Big Pine Key to clean up last year. I also made brownies and lemon bars. Sitting down to some real food helped boost our spirits after some really tough days. Here are some recipe links:

Watermelon Mango Gazpacho

Tomato Pie

Spinach Sheet Pan Quiche

Cold-brew coffee

Florida Hurricane Popcorn


Lemon Bars

Dark & Stormies

Good luck to all of you weathering the storms this hurricane season. 



13 Comments Hurricane Lists

  1. Denise September 12, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    I liked that you included tortillas/wraps. We used them for everything from sandwich wraps to pizza crust last year. They are an essential, especially when you’re feeding a crowd!

    1. suwanneerose September 13, 2018 at 8:40 am

      Thanks, Denise! Yeah, they’re versatile, easy, and everyone can help themselves.

  2. Julie September 12, 2018 at 8:25 pm

    Those are some great recommendations! We just had a long conversation on a FB post about stocking up on good wine or other desired cocktail makings before a storm. After the first of two 2004 hurricane here, they prohibited sale of alcohol for a period. After that, we always included on our list, a trip to Roy’s Liquers before any threatening storm. A glass of good wine on the porch after a long day of cleaning up and putting back together after the hurricane was a nice comfort to us.

    1. suwanneerose September 13, 2018 at 8:36 am

      You are so right about that, Julie! They never include alcohol on official lists, but the rest of us know better. Once we got to Vero last year, the first thing my mom and I did was a liquor store run! ha. I also didn’t know about the prohibition after those storms in 2004. Very good to be aware of. You and Phil certainly needed that glass of wine on the porch. It’s also a good way to take the edge off and sleep in a strange place if need be. Going to add that to the post.

  3. Mamacita September 14, 2018 at 12:58 am

    When I was a kid, it was my job to “help” Granny make cookies right before a hurricane. I think this kept me out of the way while the grownups did the heavy lifting, and it gave my Granny something to do besides fret.

    In Houston we’re looking at the possibility of a tropical storm this weekend. After last year, though, I’m not too worried. Just annoyed that it might change my weekend plans.

    1. suwanneerose September 14, 2018 at 11:25 am

      That’s really cute. Fresh-baked cookies make everything better. Bummer about the rained-out weekend, but I agree, at this point we have to save our energy for real hurricanes.

  4. Nicole September 16, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    Great post, Danielle – thanks for sharing. During Irma last year I was cooking up a storm. Thankfully we didn’t lose our power, but I certainly had a lot of things to share with neighbors and friends who lost theirs. Nothing went to waste!

    1. suwanneerose September 17, 2018 at 10:55 am

      Thanks, Nicole. I loved seeing what you were cooking up on your blog when Irma was headed our way. So lucky you never lost power! We went a week but it felt like forever. I bet those friends and neighbors are forever grateful for real food from your kitchen.

  5. Coley September 17, 2018 at 10:33 am

    This is an insanely thorough list. Bookmarking, though hopefully I never need to use it!

    1. suwanneerose September 17, 2018 at 10:50 am

      Thanks, Coley. I hope you never have to use it, either, but I guess that’s the price we pay for island life.

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