I'm a pretty inexperienced sailor, but that won't stop me from posting my thoughts ..
In stormy weather the last place I want to be is near land, I think it is a good idea to learn how to heave to if you haven't already so that you can just ride it out.
It is easy to sew more reefing into your main on your own.
When running off I have found it easier to fly a small storm jib and no main, the small sail pulls the boat along and she very nearly steers herself away from the wind (for better and worse).
Sounds like you had quite an experience!