DOs and DON’Ts of Being a Hurricane Guest in Someone Else’s House

This post will be a little different from the rest of my cleaning and client shenanigans. While I try to stay completely anonymous, I will say I am in one of the states affected by Hurricane Dorian. We got very lucky with only minor damage and a few days without power. The Bahamas, on the other hand, will take months, if not years to fully recovery. I encourage you all to donate to the relief efforts here.

I have been through many hurricanes over the years, some very destructive and some preparing for days only to get a light breeze. And I’ve always opened my house to anyone who needs a safe place to stay. Some of my guests have been delightful, some not so much. Having all these guests over the years has compelled me to create this list of the proper practice and etiquette for staying at someone else’s house during a hurricane. Here goes:

  • DO bring a gallon of water for every day you may spend at the host’s house.
  • DON’T substitute half gallons of vodka for water.
  • DO bring your own food. Resources will be limited and all stores will probably be closed.
  • DON’T consider vodka food.
  • DO bring your pet if you are going to a pet friendly house.
  • DON’T pass out three hours after arrival so the host has to take care of your pet.
  • DO help with any last minute preparations, like bringing in the patio furniture.
  • DON’T pass out on the patio furniture.
Don’t
  • DO help with any meal preparation and cleanup.
  • DON’T wake up in the middle of the night from your vodka binge and eat all the hurricane supplies.
  • DO limit your time in the bathroom as there may be lots of other people in the house who will be waiting.
  • DON’T lock yourself in the bathroom for two hours and take a bath in the water the household will use for washing dishes.
  • DO stay inside during the hurricane.
  • DON’T climb up on the roof with your broom staff shouting “You shall not pass!”
  • DO conserve the host’s batteries and candles if the power is out. You don’t know how long the outage will last.
  • DON’T light all the candles trying to recreate an 80s video while powering your 6 disk-changer boom box.
Don’t
  • DO help with any cleanup after the storm is over, like picking up sticks and branches in the yard.
  • DON’T throw stick and branches at the live wire hanging down from the power pole because you want to see it spark.
  • DO leave when it is safe to do so.
  • DON’T assume you are the best house guest in the world and the host will need your “help” for at least another week.

Hurricanes are serious business and very stressful if they are headed toward you. If you need to evacuate to another household and follow these tips, you can alleviate some of the stress for everyone that come with these storms.

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