Hurricane season is here. The best time to prepare for a hurricane is before hurricane season begins June 1, but just because hurricane season has begun doesn’t mean you still can’t get ready before a hurricane threatens the area.
Take time to prepare a hurricane emergency kit. Don’t wait until a warning is issued and the stores are empty or closed. 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– 1 gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food – at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
- First aid kit
- Extra batteries
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air
- Wet wipes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
- Prescription medications and non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
- Glasses and contact lens solution
- Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream
- Pet food and extra water for your pet
- Cash or traveler’s checks
- 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
- 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
After assembling your kit, remember to maintain it so it’s ready when needed. Replace expired items as needed and update your kit as your family’s needs change. Also, make sure that all family members know where the kit will be stored at home.
Before an emergency happens, sit down with your family or close friends and decide how you will get in contact with each other, where you will go and what you will do in an emergency. Keep a copy of this plan in your emergency supplies kit or another safe place where you can access it in the event of a disaster. Also, review your insurance policies to ensure that you have adequate coverage for your home and personal property.
Stay tuned in and listen to NOAA Weather Radio or other radio or TV stations for the latest storm news. Once the hurricane warning has been issued, secure your home. Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows.
And most important, follow instructions issued by local officials. Leave immediately if ordered!