When a natural disaster strikes, you have to be ready to leave your home at a moment's notice or live without power or water for an extended period of time. This means making some important preparations, like putting together a hurricane emergency kit. Having essential items within reach can make recovering from a disaster's aftermath more bearable and can help keep you and your loved ones safe. Make sure you're ready for a catastrophe by gathering up the following items.
The most important item that you can have in any emergency preparedness kit is enough water to last everyone in your household for at least two weeks. Hurricanes and other strong weather can knock out power and impact water supplies, making your tap water either nonexistent or undrinkable and dangerous. Even after the storm has passed, you don't know how long it could take to get your water back, so it's best to be prepared for the long-term.
In the age of credit and debit cards, many of us rarely have cash on hand. But in the event that the power in your city goes out during a hurricane, you'll want to make sure you still have access to money since ATMs could be knocked out or inaccessible.
None of us enjoys thinking about losing our homes, but this is a real possibility if you're in the direct path of a hurricane. That's why it's so important to have your important documents ready, protected, and in a safe place. Keep passports, social insurance cards, home insurance policies, birth certificates, and any other essential documents you have in a waterproof container. Make sure it's in a location where it's ready to grab at a moment's notice.
Putting prescription medications in your emergency kit is a must. Include anything you take on a regular basis that's prescribed by a doctor, and make sure you're packing any medications that your loved ones or elderly family members take, too. Also consider packing things like EpiPens, pain medication, antidiarrheals, and other medications you might need.
Like water, you should have enough food in your emergency kit to last you and your family members for at least two weeks. You won't know if you'll have electricity during this time, so focus on nonperishable food items like canned soups and dry foods like crackers. Make sure to pack a manual can opener, too!
Sanitary Items and Toiletries
Floodwater can be toxic and very dangerous to your health. While you'll want to avoid contact with floodwater, sometimes it's impossible to fully avoid. In this case, it's important to have sanitary items and toiletries on hand so you can keep clean and prevent illnesses. Keep personal hygiene items on hand as well, like toothbrushes and sanitary napkins.
Supplies For Children and Pets
Your children and pets have unique needs that require extra planning. Parents with babies and toddlers will need to pack diapers, wipes, soothers, formula, clothes, blankets, and other essentials. For pets, make sure you have two weeks' worth of food and any special medications they take, as well as any crates or carriers for transportation. Pack toys for both children and pets to ensure they're kept occupied.
Flashlights and Extra Batteries
Being without power and light is not only inconvenient, but it can be dangerous as well. Pack a few flashlights in your hurricane emergency kit, and be sure to stash some extra batteries. You should also try to pack extra batteries or wireless chargers for the rest of your electronics, like your cell phone, so you can keep in touch with family or contact emergency services if necessary.
First Aid Kit
No disaster preparedness kit would be complete without a first aid kit. You can buy a first aid kit from the Red Cross, or you can put one together yourself. If you're putting it together yourself, just be sure to include an assortment of bandages, antiseptic wipes, gauze, gloves, tweezers, scissors, and a thermometer.