What Do I Really Need in My Hurricane Prep Kit?

By Vernon Trollinger, July 8, 2016, Hurricane Prep

The first rule of hurricane preparedness? Do NOT wait until a hurricane is heading your way to assemble all the supplies you need to keep your family and home safe. However, determining what you really need in your hurricane prep kit really depends on whether you plan to hunker down at home or evacuate to an area further inland.

What Do I Really Need in My Hurricane Prep Kit? | Bounce Energy Blog

Let’s examine both of those situations.

Sheltering at Home

After listening to the weather reports and local emergency response folks – and talking it over with your family – you’ve decided to stay at home and ride out the hurricane. Your next step should be to assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit so you’ll be prepared for what happens before, during, and after the storm passes.

But… prepared for what?

What Do I Really Need in My Hurricane Prep Kit? | Bounce Energy Blog

Editor’s Note – Do NOT include candles in your hurricane prep kit. They are a fire hazard in any post-hurricane environment because of the potential for gas leaks.

Apart from rainfall, lightning, and potential for tornadoes, the big concern is the power going out for your entire area, meaning a loss of electricity that includes municipal water utilities not being able to run pumps. Also, roofs can get damaged, there could be flash flooding, and family members could get injured.

The smart thing to do is to make sure everyone’s basic survival needs are met first. You need to be ready in case someone does get hurt, and you need to have a plan ready in the event you have to evacuate because of damage after the hurricane.

Your “Stay at Home” Kit must include:

  • One gallon of clean drinking water per individual (and pets) for three days to seven days. Fill your bathtub with water for washing plates and utensils, and save the used dish-washing water for flushing the toilet.
  • Non-perishable food to last three to seven days for each person and pet.
  • First aid kit plus a three to seven day supply of any prescription medications.
  • A flashlight for each person
  • A Battery-powered weather radio
  • Extra batteries for the flashlights and radio.
  • A “Go-Bag” for each individual that includes clothes, toiletries, and a variation of the above supplies.
  • Full gas tanks in your vehicles.

Evacuating

What Do I Really Need in My Hurricane Prep Kit? | Bounce Energy Blog

If you live near the coast in a storm surge zone or in a flood-prone area, there’s a good chance you’ll probably want to evacuate.

This means your immediate family needs to have a plan that includes knowing where to meet and/or who to call in case of emergency. Everyone should have a card containing contact information they can use in case of emergency (ICE) — that’s why it’s called an ICE card. Make sure that your greater circle of family and friends also know your plans and how they can contact you. Finally, know where you are going and take time to plan out different routes in the event flooding or other hazards close to your evacuation route.

Evacuating means you need to assemble supplies to help you and your family travel safely. You also need to secure the proper documents you may need when you return home.

1) Pack three to five days of supplies. Put water, canned food, cash, and a first aid kit in a waterproof box. Each person (and pet) should have one gallon of water per day and enough for five days.

2) Your GO Kit contains essential things each family member needs during the actual evacuation event:

  • Some food and water.
  • First aid and prescription medicine supplies.
  • A flashlight, portable radio, fully charged cell phone.
  • Emergency cash in small denominations and quarters for phone calls.

3) Locate insurance, medical, financial, and any other important documents and put them in large Ziploc bags to keep them dry. Also remember to catalog your possessions with a digital camera of some sort (like your fancy smartphone!) and upload these images or video to a photo-sharing account online. That way, if anything is lost, your insurance will have an easier time of replacing them.

DON’T FORGET! 

Take some time to secure your home before you go, especially reinforcing the exterior to protect your family’s belongings. It’s also important to stay connected, so follow Bounce Energy on Twitter and Facebook for news and updates.

And before everything begins, download the Bounce Energy Hurricane Preparedness Guide and Hurricane Tracking Map.

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About 

A native of Wyomissing Hills, PA, Vernon Trollinger studied writing and film at the University of Iowa, later earning his MA in writing there as well. Following a decade of digging in CRM archaeology, he now writes about green energy technology, home energy efficiency, DIY projects, the natural gas industry, and the electrical grid.

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