I live alone and I want to be prepared. I am in the process of cleaning up my very disorganized condo. I have many friends cheering me on because well this is very hard for me. Anyway I have cleaned out a walk in closet that is in the interior of the building. I am thinking it will be a nice reading nook in the winter as it is right near the dryer so it will be warm in there.
Bottled water, toilet paper, handi wipes (in case they turn the water off), first aid kit, radio and lots of batteries), canned food and long lasting snacks, plenty to read, can opene, plastic eating utensils.
Don't forget that most storms don't last long; and you can always share with neighbors; and hurricanes usually come with adequate warning to move food from you pantry to the closet. You're in a condo in Baltimore, not a soddie on the prairie, or a cottage on a coastal island.
Bottled water is a good idea, as is a first aid kit, a flashlight with extra batteries, and a radio. If you have a cell phone, you might want to go in there and see if you still have reception--otherwise you may want to invest in a long cord so you can take a phone in there if you had to. (You could just keep the spare cord in there--again, you would have warning and time enough to get ready.) Land lines may or may not go down in a storm; but usually are restored fairly quickly. Don't forget a list of phone numbers.
Be aware that if tornados are forcasted, you should find out where the safest place in your building is to go. Your fire dept. could tell you this.
I think it is much more valuable that you are cleaning out--one of the hardest things EVER to do; and the idea of a reading nook for yourself is a wonderful idea!
In many parts of the country, people use the mattress from their bed. They crawl UNDER the mattress, and hold on to it, preventing it from blowing away.
A Futon mattress would be really good to hide under. You could lie on part of it, and wrap the other part above/around you.
Some people get in the bathtub, and place the mattress on top sort of like a "lid.", and hold it down. Guess this must work, 'cuz you never see a bathtub flying in the wind.
If you could fix yourself a "duffle-bag" full of things JUST for a storm, leaving it in that walk-in-closet. Put one of those lanterns that uses batteries, with extra batteries. And one of those flashlights that you shake to activate the battery, and a battery powered radio, again with extra batteries.
Some bottled water, a blanket, reading material, some snack items such as peanut butter crackers, canned tuna, canned pastas, or breakfast bars. Be sure to take a can opener if your canned items don't have that handy pull-tab opener. And a spoon or fork.
Baby wipes, Trash bags, small plastic trashcan, (to use as a potty if necessary) kleenex, t.tissue, a handful of bandaids, neosporin (just in case.) If it is cold weather, pack extra socks, mittens, sweater, Flannel shirts, and those pocket hand warmers. They will keep warm for several hours.
Then when the storm warnings DO happen, you can grab a few pillows, drag the house phone close to you, keep the cellphone, and its charger with you, your purse, your medications, eyeglasses, the cat and you are good to go.
Then if they update the storm, then you can drag the mattress to your closet, and crawl underneath.
You could have someone install those wooden Bi-fold doors on your closet. They would look good, and hide the things you are leaving in there for the storms.
In most condos, apartments, and so on there is usually a designated place for people to go in a storm.
In Florida, even the Campgrounds have designated places to go when the weather gets bad. Usually it is in the bath houses, or the Laundry Rooms, or a large enclosed area at the main building. Most places are prepared. So just ask.
You might want to pack some of your food items in a picnic basket so they will all be in one place.
Good for you for being brave enough to get the necessary help and tackling the clutter. I have learned that clutter gets out of control when a major life event happened, not from being slack. Yes, make yourself a lovely storm hideout, and it could be a place to do your nails, eat ice cream, or hug your dog!
I was in a natural disaster once, and I learned quickly that there are some things people just don't think of till it's too late. Keep some cash on hand for buying things, because if the power's out. Chances are you won't be able to use your debit/charge card.
Keep your important papers (birth certificate, etc.) with you! The only thing worse than being in a natural disaster is to be bureaucratically "dead" because your life's documentation is gone!
Finally, you should have a NOAA radio (also called a weather alert radio). You can get these at Wal-Mart or Radio Shack, etc. These have built-in sirens that go off when the Natl. Weather Service issues a storm watch or warning. You can also just turn it on and listen to the Natl. Weather Service's broadcast. Hope this info helps!
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