Ten years ago today, a little storm named Ivan ripped through my town. That was my first real hurricane and what an experience!

I remember being excited about school being canceled and getting to watch movies all day until our electricity went out. Ivan passed through during the middle of the night. I remember hearing the wind howl, rain pound, and items thrown. I remember hearing the pool screen violently crash to the ground. Can you imagine only hearing crashing and bashing and not being able to see what was going on? It's terrifying. When my mom heard the pool screen crash, she thought the roof of the house came off.

I remember how our neighbors and friends rallied around each other to help those in need. My parents neighbor shared his generator with us since we didn't have one. We picked up debris, tree limbs, and roof shingles. 

I remember my mom making pasta on the grill (she used the heat to boil water) and having a picnic outside after the storm. We ate peanut butter sandwiches, pasta, and canned food for two and a half weeks. My dad came home with a box of MRE's and my brother and I dove into the box claiming the "good" meals.

My family was blessed to have minimal damage and we are still thankful for God's goodness as some weren't as fortunate.


In honor of Hurricane Ivan's 10th anniversary, here are a few tips for hurricane preparation.

1) Prepare your family early. Official hurricane season starts on June 1st and ends on November 30th. Have a list of emergency contacts and a plan in case an evacuation is necessary. Know the evacuation route out of your town.

2) Start collecting canned goods and nonperishable items. To be honest, Dan and I just started our hurricane stash. (Don't judge!) We realized that if a natural disaster were to happen, we'd have very little to survive on.

3) Have enough water. Rule of thumb is one gallon per person per day. We've made it a rule to buy a case of water each time we go grocery shopping. Best thing to do is to look for discounts and coupons!

4) Stock up on batteries and if you can, buy a generator. If you have a grill, buy a propane tank. A battery-operated radio is a must-have.

5) Make sure your family has a variety of medicine in the cabinet.

6) Make sure that valuables (paperwork, jewelry, money, etc.) are in a fireproof waterproof life proof safe. There are some items that money can't buy back, so make sure these items are kept high and are protected!

7) It wouldn't hurt to keep sandbags in your garage in case of flooding.

8) Don't forget about your furry pals! Make sure they have enough food and water as well! Have them microchipped in case they get lost in the storm.

For more information, check out the National Hurricane Center. Maybe hurricanes aren't the natural disaster in your area. I highly encourage everyone to learn about national disaster preparation. You never know when or where they'll strike next.

This is just a sampling of what we have in our stock.