What to Pack in a Hurricane Survival Kit
Hurricane season is officially upon us. Though we thankfully have fairly advanced weather predicting technology — not to mention the fine folks at the National Hurricane Center who are constantly updating us all — things can change in an instant. And that means it’s imperative to be prepared by putting together a hurricane survival kit. Here’s how to get ready for the worst before it happens.
Stay alert for hurricane watches, warnings, and important information.
The first step in staying safe before, during, or after a hurricane is to make sure you have all the information you may need. That means staying tuned to local radio and news stations, as well as the National Weather Service. And, just in case, the National Hurricane Center suggests everyone keeps a list of numbers including local law enforcement, emergency management services, local hospitals, utilities, and the local chapter of the Red Cross.
Pack a hurricane kit.
It’s a good idea to have a hurricane kit ready well before the season starts. This way, you won’t have to stress about it — or fight the crowds — if a storm comes your way. According to Ready.gov, every kit should include one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days and at least a three-day food supply per person.
Each kit should also include a battery-powered or hand-crank radio so you can stay tuned for the aforementioned weather services.
Kits should also include:
- A flashlight
- Extra batteries for electronics
- Whistles to signal for help
- A basic first-aid kit
- Garbage bags for personal sanitation
- A manual can opener
- Extra cellphone chargers
- Wrench to turn off utilities
Beyond these items, FEMA also recommends everyone pack extra prescription medications and glasses, a fire extinguisher, waterproof matches, a bit of cash or traveler's checks and change, and important family documents locked in a waterproof, portable container. It also recommends people prepare a sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person in your household, along with a complete change of clothing, including a jacket or sweatshirt to stay warm.
Amazon also sells pre-packaged kits if compiling all of these items feels like too much of a burden for you.
Don’t forget your pets.
People aren’t the only ones who need to be prepared. If you have a pet, ensure there is a three-day supply of food and water for them in your emergency kit as well. Also, ensure their tags and shots are always up to date in case you are separated or you need to bring them to a shelter.
Make an emergency plan with friends and family.
If things take a turn for the worse with the weather it’s important to have a plan B with your family and friends. Decide on a meeting point, create a phone tree, and maybe choose a destination where you can all be together if you have to evacuate your home. For more information on hurricane preparedness as well as the latest forecasts check out the National Hurricane Center’s website.