Top 10 Items For Your Hurricane Preparation Kit
In An Emergency, These Are The Items You Will Need
When the word goes out that a hurricane is on the way, you usually have 2-3 days to prepare. Having these items will ensure the safety of yourself and your family. Unlike other natural disasters, this is an emergency you can actually be ready for, if you take the time to do it. The after effects of hurricanes often include power outages, tainted water supplies, flooding, and gasoline shortages. If you prepare a Hurricane Emergency Kit, chances are that you will be able to weather the storm-- not only while it strikes, but for days to follow. These are the must have items you will need to get through.
Make Sure You Are Prepared
One Gallon of Water Per Person Per Day
Water Supplies are often shut off or tainted after a hurricane. You should have at least a three day supply of water for yourself and for each person in your family. FEMA advises one gallon of water per person, per day, as a standard rule.
Often, bottled water is the first thing off the shevles. In the old days, before bottled water, my mother would scrub out the tub and fill it with water, and fill milk jugs with water. Those options still work today. 2 Liter soda bottles and milk bottles can be cleaned out and used to store water.
However you store it, make sure you have plenty of water for the coming emergency.
2. Flashlights, Batteries, Lanterns, Lighters/Matches, Candles
When the power goes out, you'll need a source of light. You'll also need lots of extra batteries for flashlights. Most typical flashlights will hold a charge for several hours. After a hurricane, power might be out for several days. Make sure you have batteries for flashlights as well as your portable radio.
Candles are another source of light. You won't need batteries, but you will need to keep an eye on all lit candles. You don't want one emergency to turn into another. Never leave a lit candle unattended. If you've got youg children, try to stick with flashlights and battery powered portable lanterns.
3. Medicine and First Aid Kit
Put Them In A Watertight Container
Make sure you gather together all of your prescription medicine as well as your family's medical supplies. Put them in a watertight container, or at least in a ziplock bag.
You'll also want your first aid kit. If you don't have a store-bought first aid kit, then gather these items and place them in a watertight container:
Box of bandaids; Scissors; Tweezers; Tape; Gauze; Cotton Balls; Antibiotic Ointment; Tylenol; Aspirin; Needle.
4. Food And Baby Formula
Stores May Not Be Open After The Storm
FEMA says to plan on having enough non-perishable and canned goods for up to three days, per person. They also recommend foods that will not make you thirsty. If you have a toddler or baby, make sure you have enough formula, (and water to mix the formula) for up to a week, just to be safe.
Also make sure you have good, high-protien, non-perishable snacks on hand. With power outages, stores may be closed for days or even weeks. Being smart about your choices will really help you through these hard times.Items that do not need refrigeration or electricity to prepare are good for your emergency kit. Peanut butter, peanuts, raisins, low-sodium crackers, protein bars, assorted nuts, cans of soup, ravioli, granola, dry cereal, canned vegetables are all good choices. For the kids, throw in some pudding snack packs, dried fruit, and trail mix.
Fruit will also last a long time without refrigeration, so stock up on apples, oranges, and bananas.
After Hurricane Isabel hit in 2003, and power was out for three weeks straight, my mother was so frustrated at not having her morning coffee for so long that she finally cooked some in a pot on the grill. If you are the coffee-type, I'd suggest putting some instant coffee in your supply kit. The water might not be hot, unless you cook it in a pot on the grill, but you won't have coffee grounds floating around, and you'll still have your morning caffeine fix.
5. Battery Powered Radio
Yes. They Are Still Around.
If the power goes out when the storm is hitting, you will still need to be in the know about what is happening. Floods and tornadoes often accompany hurricanes. If a tornado or flood warning goes out, you will need to be tuned in to hear about it. If you have a portable, battery-operated radio, you'll be able to keep up with the moment-to-moment announcements. You may have a cell phone or a smart phone, but those tall cell phone towers are easy prey to high winds. Play it safe, and get a radio.
6. Sanitation and Hygiene Items
Antibacterial gel, wet-naps, anitbacterial towelettes, toilet paper, toothpaste, feminine hygiene needs, diapers, baby wipes.Pack them. You need them. You know why. Enough said.
7. Cash and Coins
Often, the credit card machines are offline for days, or longer. Some stores may open, but they will only be able to accept cash. Make sure you have enough cash set aside for the coming emergency. Stop by the ATM before the storm hits.
8. Gas, Propane, and Charcoal
Fill up your car's gas tank. And do it early. Evacuations up the coast potentially puts hundreds of thousands of people on the road. Gas stations start running out of gas. Depending on conditions, new supplies of gas will not come in for days or longer.
Additionally, you may find that you will have to leave after the storm. If your tank is empty, you may not have a way to fill up your tank for a long stretch of miles, and this could leave you stranded. So gas up early.
Also, if you have a generator, as so many people on the east coast of VA, NC, SC, then you will also want to have enough gas to run the generator.
Make sure your propane tank to your gas grill is full. Additionally , if you have a regular grill, make sure you have enough charcoal, and place your charcoal in an area free of flooding. You'll be able to enjoy hot meals, even if the power is out.
9. Kitchen Accessories Including Can Opener
You've remembered the non-perishable food and canned goods. Now you want to be able to cook them and what's more, open them. A can opener and a small pot or pan will do the trick.
10. Pet Needs
Too many times, pets are left off the list for emergency preparation, but they are part of the family, too. If you have a pet, make sure you have plenty of water and food for your furry, feather, fluffy or scruffy friend. They will need to drink and eat, too.
Other Things to Think About
Extra pair of eye glasses, hearing aid batteries, contact lens solution. What are some of the other things you might use every day, but take for granted.
If the storm is a couple of days away and you have a pile of laundry to do, then do it before the storm hits so you'll have enough clean clothes.
Fully charge your cell phone before the storm hits. You may not have a chance to charge it once the power is out.