Prognosticators are calling for a below to near-average hurricane season though the actual timing of the developing El Nino event that presupposes this is up for debate. The National Hurricane Center is coming out with the Potential Storm Surge Flooding Maps this year. It's an interactive map that shows where storm surge has a 10% chance of inundating the coast at 3, 6, and 9 feet above ground level. I'm looking forward to using it for people I know who live along the USofA Gulf and Atlantic Coasts.
Although we have a few storms in the early part of the hurricane season (June through November), our active period is typically July through November, peaking in August and September. But they can happen at any time so it's best to be prepared.
How do we prepare? Well, I'll expand a bit on my April post with a few specifics that might be food for thought for others in hurricane prone areas.
The house is quite solid and there's even a room where Wifey, myself and the dogs can go that, if we're worried about a really devastating Cat5, has only one window leading to the outside bodega/tool storage area so no risk of it collapsing yet supplies fresh air from outside. We...
- ensure the propane tank is topped off;
- have a month's worth of meds on hand and verify contents of the emergency medical kit;
- stock up on canned goods and staples (rice, flour, sugar, cat/dog food, etc.) and water (both for drinking and cleaning/flushing);
- keep the freezer as full as possible with a 50/50 mix of potable water and food. If electricity fails, which we're told doesn't happen often except during very severe storms, the ice will keep the food safer longer and eventually becomes drinking water;
- keep a good supply of baby wipes (store bought or homemade) for quick wash-ups that don't waste water with rinsing;
- keep candles and matches handy. Going to bed and rising with the sun isn't fun when the nights are 12 hours long!;
- keep the ~3,000 gal. water cistern topped off and chlorinated
- have a deck of cards and the cribbage board handy for when the computer batteries fail;
- keep a wee bit of cash on-hand for when the ATM system fails;
- remove all projectiles from the yard immediately before a storm. Coconuts, flower pots, lawn chairs, etc. can become quite the hazard when propelled by strong winds; and,
- keep paper versions of our contact lists from the computer and ensure, along with all important documents, are tucked away somewhere safe in plastic "Baggies" and out of reach of water damage (we're on high ground so aren't worried about flood waters but who knows what happens if a window breaks and rain water comes in.
That's about it. We've been through many hurricanes, typhoons, and tornadoes so this is old hat for us. I continue to delay buying a small emergency generator but still have it top of the list for one day. Nothing special - just a little something to keep the refrigerator and a couple of fans running. It's all we really need.
Wifey is back from the land of the big PX and it's great to have her home again! Since it's real hard for with my still-healing back to chase, grab, and throw the puppy, Roscoe, out when he's being bad, she has become the disciplinarian and she's taken to it with such relish, all the dogs are on the qui vive!
In continuing with the hurricane survivalist theme I think you'll like this recipe:
The process of making beef jerky is the same regardless of recipe as the flavor is all in the marinade! Start with a lean cut of meat - flank or brisket work well but even then, remove all obvious signs of fat. Freeze it for about a half hour to make cutting easier. Slice with the grain in about 1/4" slices.
Marinate heavily for 12 hours in the refrigerator. Submerge in a bowl or place in plastic bags removing excess air.
Remove from refrigerator and pat dry thoroughly. The flavor's on the inside!
To dry it at home without a dehydrator you can use a number of different devices but I'll simply go with an oven set to a low (180-200 degree F) temperature with the door slightly ajar. The process will take 6 to 8 hours depending on the thickness of the slices and oven temperature, so be patient. Dry the meat in the oven for about 3-4 hours then flip the slices and continue
for 3 or 4 more. Remember: you want to dry the meat, not cook it. The meat is done when the slices can be pulled apart in shreds but before it is so dry it breaks when bent.
Here are three marinades that you'll surely like but experiment and enjoy the art of cooking!
for 1 1/2 to 2 pounds flank steak
2/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
2/3 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
For 5 pounds flank steak
3 TBS Kosher salt
2 TBS ground black pepper
2 TBS Emeril's Original Essence (recipe follows)
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
(Tim Ferriss via The Art of Manliness)
For 5 lbs lean brisket
2 cups soy sauce
2 cups Worcestershire sauce
2 cups thick, flavorful Teriyaki sauce (recipe follows)
1 cup liquid smoke
1/2 cup molasses
3 TBS garlic powder
3 TBS onion powder
3 TBS sesame seeds (optional)
3 TBS brown sugar
1 tsp cayenne pepper (a little goes a long way!)
My Best Teriyaki Sauce (makes about 3 cups...you'll want extra!)
2 cups water
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup soy sauce
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2-4 TBS honey
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water
Mix all except thickening agent in pan and heat. Mix cornstarch and cold water in a cup and dissolve then add to sauce in pan. Heat until desired thickness.