From 2007 to 2012, hurricanes and typhoons affected over 100 million Americans. It’s a staggering number of people, and yet less than half have prepared for the worst. If you’re one of them, then it’s time to take matters into your own hands and create a hurricane kit.
A hurricane kit, along with a hurricane plan, is the most important part of any hurricane preparedness list. Do you know what supplies you’ll need in case of an emergency, or how to prepare for a hurricane?
If not, protect yourself and your family with this ultimate hurricane preparedness list.
The Ultimate Hurricane Preparedness List
Even if it’s not the hurricane season, you need to have a hurricane kit prepared if the worst occurs. A hurricane emergency kit consists of much more than a first aid kit. Here’s what you’ll need:
1. Food and Water
The rule of thumb is to have a daily gallon of water on hand for each person. If you have a family of three, then expect to go through three gallons of water every day. In general, you want your kit to last three days if you’re evacuating, or two weeks if you’re staying home.
As for food, make sure it lasts just as long. Rely on non-perishable items like cereal and crackers. If you rely on canned goods, be sure to have a can opener in the emergency hurricane kit.
When a powerful hurricane strikes, it’s likely to knock out power. Don’t forget to pack a flashlight — or several — in your emergency kit, along with a radio to stay tuned in to weather alerts. Be sure to have a pack of batteries tucked away so you can keep these devices operational.
Since you’ll likely have a cell phone in hand, bring your phone charger along.
3. Personal Hygiene Products
Whether you’re staying at home or evacuating, you’ll want to have the most basic of sanitary items. These include toilet paper, hand soap, and toothpaste.
4. Personal Documents
Don’t let your important paperwork get lost or soiled in the flood. Create copies of important medical documents, birth certificates, and of course insurance policies. If anything happened to this information, it’d be difficult and time-consuming to replace. Put these important documents in a plastic bag and keep them with you.
5. Paper Money
ATMs and credit software tend to go down following a bad storm. Although stores might open a few days later, they won’t be able to run your card.
This is why it’s useful to have a decent amount of cash on-hand during the recovery effort.
6. First Aid Kit
In case the worst occurs, a good first aid kit is an essential part of any emergency hurricane kit. These tend to include antiseptics and gauze. More serious kits might include a cold compress and sling.
7. Diesel Generator
If you’re staying at home, you’ll likely be without power for several weeks. A diesel generator can keep essential electronics working and can make for a more comfortable experience following the destruction of a heavy storm. It may come as a surprise, but diesel generators are affordable.
Don’t forget to keep some diesel stored away to run the generator, or to use with your vehicle. Interested in a diesel generator? Here are some diesel generators for sale.
Any must-have medical items should be included in the emergency hurricane kit. Even if you only pack three days’ worth of food, you should bring a larger supply of prescription medication because it may be a while before you can visit a pharmacy.
Along with prescription meds, bring contacts, an extra pair of glasses, and any other essential medical items.
Prepare Your Home
Now that you have your emergency kit tucked away somewhere safe, you should know what to do in case of an impending storm. Don’t worry: Hurricane prep is simple. It starts with your home.
You should bring your outdoor equipment inside. Anything you can’t bring in, you should tether down securely. Otherwise, high winds from the hurricane could make these items hazardous.
Be sure to disable your utilities, such as electricity and water. In the event of high water, active electricity could become a serious risk if you’re staying in your home. It’s usually okay to leave the gas on since you’ll need it for cooking.
Preparing a sandbag barricade is a large investment, and you need to start early to have enough time to establish one. If you choose to go this route, you might want to enlist the help of a few neighbors.
Stash Your Assets
You should move expensive and fragile items to the safest areas of your home, such as higher floors, and in a room without windows. Furniture may be too bulky and difficult to hide at a moment’s notice, but covering them in sheets or heavy blankets can help minimize damage.
Take an inventory of everything you own. In case these items are destroyed, it can help your insurance company process your request as soon as possible. Try to stash your small valuables and important documents in a safe.
Better yet, entrust a bank’s safe deposit box to keep these items safe for you, so you don’t have to worry about losing them during the storm.
Stay Safe During a Hurricane
Large swaths of the United States contend with tornados and hurricanes every year. With this hurricane preparedness list, you’ll be ready when the storm strikes. Have an emergency plan in place so your entire family knows what to do during a weather disaster.
From homes to vehicles, you can find more safety tips on our blog.