The Atlantic hurricane season is now reaching its peak. You can expect extreme weather in the days and weeks ahead. If you have a business or a home along the path of the hurricane, you need to prepare yourself and your family for the expected extreme weather conditions.
One critical thing that you need to prepare right now is a disaster preparedness plan. After you have made this plan, you should start building your emergency preparedness kit which should include a hurricane survival kit.
But where do you start? Follow the tips below. They will help you assemble the right emergency items that you will need to weather out a hurricane.
There are essential items that you should not go without in emergency weather conditions. Here are some of the critical disaster supplies that you must prepare before a hurricane strikes.
As a human being, you won’t be able to last long if you will not eat food and drink water. These are the most important things that you need to include in your hurricane supplies. Therefore, stock sufficient bottles of drinking water that will last for two weeks. Allot one gallon per person per day.
You can preserve the purity of bottled water by keeping it in the refrigerator. If the power goes out, you can use ice boxes. Of course, you will need blocks of ice for these ice boxes.
Then add sufficient stock of canned and dried (preserved) food in your emergency supplies that will also last for one to two weeks.
Drying is one way of preserving meat and fishes. Extract the entrails from fishes and the fats from meat and cover them with salt before drying them. This will be enough to make the food last for months even without refrigeration.
First-Aid Kit and Medications
Among the hurricane supplies that you need to prepare is a first aid kit, together with some general medications.
First-aid kit items should include the following:
- Swiss army knife
- Antiseptic spray
- Compression bandage for bleeding control
- Sterile gauze pads for bleeding control
- Adhesive bandages
- Safety razor / disposable
- Face masks for air and smoke filtering
- Goggles for eye protection
- First aid manual
Some medications should also be included in your first aid kit. Here are some of them:
- Tylenol or other headache medicines
- Imodium or other anti-diarrheal tablets or capsules
- Emetrol or other nausea medications
- Flu capsules or tablets
- Salt packets for salt gargles
- Vicks vaporub
- Vicks inhaler
- Cough syrup
- Medicines for cold
In times of stress, you need to keep your emergency shelters clean to prevent opportunistic bacteria and viruses from doing their dirty work on your body. Therefore, sanitation supplies should be included in your hurricane supplies. Here is a list of the items that you need to prepare:
- Garbage bags and plastic ties for your personal sanitation
- Toilet paper
- Moist towelettes
- Feminine supplies
- Some sanitation equipment (mops, sprayers, hoses and water buckets) for cleaning your emergency shelter
Your hurricane supplies should also include items that you will need to keep you abreast of what’s happening in your local area. Here are some suggestions:
- Radio – to get you updated on the status of the hurricane as it lashes your neighborhood. If you can get an NOAA weather radio, that would be much better.
- Flashlight and batteries – just in case the power is cut off. The batteries should include those for the radio. Stock more batteries that you will need.
- Cellphone – just in case you need to call someone. Others can also communicate with you even with the raging storm. The battery should be fully charged. Have another fully charged cellphone battery as a backup.
- Local map and a compass – you never know if you will be forced to go out of your shelter. In that case, you will need a local map (waterproof) and a compass to guide you as to where you need to go.
- Waterproof equipment – such as raincoats (preferably heavy duty), zip locks (for important documents), waterproof tarps, waterproof containers, etc. You can also put heavy duty tarps on your roof to protect it from the storm. Just see to it that the tarps are securely fastened on the roof.
- Dust masks – for filtering the contaminated air.
- Contact lenses and extra eyeglasses. If you rely on these to be able to see clearly, make sure you’ve got an extra pair just in case you lose it.
- Blankets and sleeping bags. It can be extra cold during a hurricane, especially when there’s no electrical power. If you’re evacuating, a sleeping bag should help snooze comfortably anywhere you may be.
- Copies of personal documents. Store them in a sealed plastic bag to keep your documents dry during evacuation.
There are other special supplies that you also need to include in your hurricane supplies. These will address the needs of the special members of your household. What are these items?
The needs of your pets are continuous whether there’s a storm or not. They will still need a pet emergency kit: food, water, leash and collar, toys, grooming equipment, etc.
It can be hard to find your pet supplies in the aftermath of a hurricane or storm so make sure you pack enough of everything they need to survive. Pack enough food and water to last for a week and don’t forget to bring along medications if your pet takes any. Other items to include in your pet emergency kit include:
- Vaccination records and other medical reports
- Most recent photos of your pet
- A copy of your pet insurance policy
- Poop bags
- Food dishes
Put your pet in a carrier so it will be easy to move it when you need to leave your home or evacuate.
Babies have their needs too no matter what the weather condition is. Prepare things such as baby food, baby milk, diapers, baby clothes, milk bottles, etc.
Prepare a separate emergency bag for your baby, which should contain the following items:
- At least one pack of diapers, 2 packs of baby wipes, diaper rash cream, baby powder, and some resealable plastic bags (for stashing dirty diapers and clothes).
- Infant formula (or pump) and feeding bottles
- Nursing pads
- Burp bags, smaller blankets
- Clothes (overalls, rompers, socks, and hats)
- Infant pain reliever
- Small camp stove for boiling water to be used for sterilizing
- Baby food and snacks
Being confined in close quarters for an extended period of time will easily get you bored. That is, if you have not prepared for the exigencies of the situation. So, if you want to get your mind off the storm raging around you, you need the following items:
- Board games – these types of games can reduce stress. You have a lot of choices here such as chess, scrabble, monopoly, clue, battleship, blokus, and many more.
- Puzzles – solving puzzles can also take your mind off the howling wind of a hurricane. Crossword puzzles are a good example of this.
- Cards – you can while away the time by playing a lot of solo and group games using a deck of cards, such as solitaire, free cell, poker, blackjack, lucky nine and many more.
- Books – reading books is also an effective way of not being worried about the storm. You will be focused on how the story of the book unfolds and how it ends. Additionally, you’ll be amazed that you’re not yet finished reading the books but the storm has already spent its raging power and is now only a drizzle away from oblivion.
- Drawing pads – although this is only for the artistically inclined, still, anybody can benefit by scribbling and drawing their imaginations in a drawing pad. The hurricane may have already fizzled away and you’re still in the finishing touches of your work of art.
- Baby toys – babies have very short attention spans. If you have a baby, you must supply him with toys that will prevent him from getting bored. Toys should be appropriate for the age of the infant, for them to be engaging and amusing at the same time.
Hurricanes are no joking matter. They can unleash destruction that you can’t imagine. The best way you can hedge yourself and your family against them is to adequately prepare ahead of time. That means at least three days to a week before the hurricane lands and not just a day before. How can you prepare all the things mentioned above in just one day?
After collecting all these items, store them in an easily accessible place in your home. If you are not able to use them, re-think and update them regularly. Be sure to inform all your family members where these hurricane supplies are in store.
Having the proper supplies on hand is the key to being prepared during an emergency situation. As we go through the hurricane season, use this guide to pack essential supplies in an easy-to-carry emergency-preparedness kit that you can use at home or take with you in case you need to evacuate.