We may not live on the coast, but every few years we get a hurricane that wants to pay us a visit. If your luck is like my luck, When we prepare it will never come, but when we slack off it hits us HARD. I have compiled a list from several sources (including a few things we have learned) to get prepared for a hurricane if it hits us.
Basic Hurricane Supplies Kit
To assemble your kit, store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag.
A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:
- Water - one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation NC advice- Fill your bathtub full of water. This kind of water can be used for MANY things, but for me it is so I can flush the toliet if the power is out and my pump does not work (septic system)
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
- Flashlight (Don't forget the batteries)
- First aid kit
- Extra batteries (We can not stress this enough..)
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air (or to be used as a water filiter because your little brother backwashed in your water) and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place (plastic is for more then just shelter, makes it easier to move large piles of debris)
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation (We also recommend a bucket...)
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities (you should already have these, Every house should have a small set of tools. Please come see us if you need a basic tool bag)
- Manual can opener for food (or just get the easy open cans...)
- Local maps (This may be hard to come by.. )
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery (PLEASE purchase a backup charger and make sure it is charge. Also have a car charger. And stop playing games on it, you may REALLY need it)
Things to do BEFORE the hurricane comes
We will hear about the hurricane weeks before it comes, so do not wait till the last minute to do the following things
- Fill your car up with gas at least 3 days before it touches down. The day off the gas lines will be croweded, and because most of the oil comes from the south up (the same way as the hurricane) you do not want to take a chance and not get any.
- Get your food the week of, not the day of the hurricane. In the summer time milk is not as important as bread unless you have kids. Ask yourself if you REALLY need milk. I say this because many families that need milk for thier kids will not have a chance to get it if everyone grabs one "just because you think you might need it"
- Get canned foods with easy open tops unless you have a can opener.
- Fill your bathtub up with water the night before, you may need the spare water
- Secure outdoor furniture or your neighbor may find himself with a few chairs in his pool
- Bring your pets in!!!!
- Public Hardware Will be open our normal hours, even if it means eating birthday cakes for lunch, and walking around with flashlights. (It has happened like that many times)
Additional Emergency Supplies
Consider adding the following items to your emergency supply kit based on your individual needs:
- Prescription medications
- Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives (The digestive meds are important... and don't forget vitamins)
- Glasses and contact lense solution
- Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream (Purchase this in advance, the shelves get low quick at the threat of a hurricane)
- Pet food and extra water for your pet
- Cash or traveler's checks (this is outdated... carry cash..)
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
- Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
- Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper to disinfect water (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OR-yu0oKN-I)
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
- Paper and pencil
- Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children (don't use your phone, you may need it)
Maintaining Your Kit
After assembling your kit remember to maintain it so it’s ready when needed:
- Keep canned food in a cool, dry place
- Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers
- Replace expired items as needed
- Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family’s needs change.
Kit Storage Locations
Since you do not know where you will be when an emergency occurs, prepare supplies for home, work and vehicles.
- Home: Keep this kit in a designated place and have it ready in case you have to leave your home quickly. Make sure all family members know where the kit is kept.
- Work: Be prepared to shelter at work for at least 24 hours. Your work kit should include food, water and other necessities like medicines, as well as comfortable walking shoes, stored in a “grab and go” case.
- Vehicle: In case you are stranded, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car.