Mother Nature is the boss. And she sure has a way of reminding us.
Since you can never exactly tell when and where a hurricane will strike, your best option is to be prepared. After all, you don’t want to be caught off guard when disaster hits—no one does.
Our guide to hurricane preparedness will tell you all that you need to know about hurricane categories and what to do before, during, and after a storm attacks. But, while you may not live in a storm’s direct path, it’s good to have a fully stocked hurricane kit just to be sure.
Here are the things you need to know about a hurricane preparedness kit:
What Is a Hurricane Kit?
The ideal hurricane kit is a bag stocked with emergency supplies that you can easily bring with you when a hurricane rampages. Now, these are the factors to consider when choosing the bag:
- Your physical capacity
- How many people are with you
- Your climate or environment
- Its features
- Its weight and durability
- Its storage space
For better reference, each item is discussed in detail here.
As for storing your kit, we suggest choosing an area in your home that can keep your items safe and undamaged. It needs to be accessible, too, and easy to remember. You need to have easy access to your kit, otherwise, you’ll be less likely to keep it updated.
…Or worse, you may just forget about it entirely.
You should have a hurricane kit even if you do plan on riding the storm out.
Why Should You Prepare Your Emergency Essentials Early?
Here are some reasons why it’s best to start prepping for a hurricane early:
To Avoid the Long Lines
You don’t want to be that guy fighting over the last roll of toilet paper at the grocery.
As early as now, begin purchasing the stuff on your emergency kit list. You don’t need to buy everything at once. Just build your kit slowly so that you’ll be free from the horde of people who buy last minute.
To Have More Time to Reinforce Your Home
The earlier you make your hurricane preparations, the earlier you can make home improvements that can protect your property from a storm’s wrath.
Doing the following can help soften the impact of storm damage:
- Check for leaks
- Trim shrubbery and trees
- Get rid of clutter
- Tidy gutters
- Secure roof clips, window shutters, and garage door braces
You can also purchase flood insurance to give your home further protection.
To Avoid the Loss of Basic Essentials
After a storm, utilities and basic services may be cut off. If you haven’t prepared for a hurricane, you may have difficulty finding access to the following:
- First Aid
That’s why you have to be ready. Based on experts’ advice, you need enough water, food, and other supplies to last you 72 hours.
What Do You Need on Your Hurricane Supply List?
The National Hurricane Center recommends that you keep at least a three-day supply of food ready for a storm.
Your hurricane kit must include food that does not require refrigeration and can be eaten without any preparation or cooking. Ordinary canned heat-and-serve food like stews, pasta, and baked beans can serve as emergency hurricane food.
More food to include in your hurricane supplies would be:
- Dehydrated fruits like apples, oranges, and bananas
- Canned vegetables, juice, and soups
- Trail mix
- Granola or energy bars
- Meat jerky
- Crackers and sandwich fillings like honey and peanut butter
- Dry cereal
In other words, think long shelf life or non-perishable food.
These items can provide your family with enough nutrients, even when there is little possibility of cooking food. Aim to give each person around 2,000 calories to consume per day. Stock all kinds of hurricane food to ensure your family has a balanced diet.
…And it goes without saying, but your kit should include a can opener.
Think it will be easy to find clean, drinkable water when SHTF? Think again.
Natural disasters like hurricanes can compromise public water supplies. So, the next thing to stock up on your hurricane supply list is water.
How much water you need to store depends on how many family members you have and other factors. The typical advice, though, is to store one gallon of water per family member per day for at least 3 days. This is both for drinking and sanitation purposes.
This article offers water storage tips in SHTF scenarios.
Obviously, you can’t bring gallons of water with you when it’s time to evacuate. But, you can add portable water purification tools to your hurricane kit.
Here are some suggestions:
- Survival straws
- Handheld UV devices
- Iodine and chlorine tablets
- Household bleach (must be unscented and with no additives)
We take a closer look at every tool in this article about water purification.
Any household should have a first aid kit ready, weather be damned.
When it comes to storm prep, though, you need more supplies. The recommendation is to have three days of supplies for evacuation and two weeks of supplies for sheltering in place.
A first aid kit should contain these items:
- First aid manual
- Sterile gauze pads
- Sterile adhesive bandages of varying sizes
- Triangular bandages
- Tube of petroleum jelly
- Hypoallergenic adhesive tapes
- Moistened towelettes
- Pain relievers
- Latex gloves
- Sewing needle
When the typical communication channels go down, you won’t regret having this in your arsenal. You can rely on a weather radio for vital local weather reports, which will be important in helping you plot your next move.
You can’t call yourself a prepper if you don’t own one! The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) even puts it as number 3 on their list of recommended basic emergency essentials.
Personal Sanitation Supplies
Proper sanitation is a vital part of preparedness during a disaster.
If you aren’t aware, there are times when more deaths occur following a disaster because of poor sanitation than during the initial event itself. Take the cholera outbreak that happened after the earthquake in Haiti, for example. Thousands were hospitalized or killed at this period.
Don’t let your bad habits kill you, dude. That’s the worst way to go.
Stock up on the following basic sanitation supplies:
- Toilet paper
- Feminine hygiene products like tampons, sanitary pads, and cloth menstrual pads
- Soap (can be bar or liquid)
- Cloth or disposable diapers and rash ointment
- Hand sanitizer
- Baby wipes
- Dental products like toothpaste, floss, and toothbrushes
- Garbage bags
Plastic Sheeting and Duct Tape
Duct tape can come in handy in emergency situations. During a hurricane, it can help stop water from coming into your home. You can use duct tape to seal gaps and small cracks.
In more extreme cases, duct tape along with plastic sheeting can be used to secure windows and vents when you have to shelter in place. This protection is advised when the air has potential contaminants.
If you have to shelter in place, you should choose an interior room that doesn’t have many windows. Your focus should be on creating a boundary between you and any possible contaminant. This is why you have to stay as far away as you can from the outside air.
Here are the things to remember when sealing a room with plastic sheeting and duct tape:
- Tape plastic over all the windows
- Seal every crack around the door into the room
- Seal electrical outlets and other openings
- Tape over any vents
Remember, tape down the corners first and then around every edge to avoid missing any spots. Also, when applying the tape, you want to make sure that the surface is as dry as possible. This helps you make the most out of the adhesive.
More Uses for Duct Tape
Aside from helping you safeguard your home while you shelter in place, duct tape also has tons of other uses. If you find yourself in a pinch during the storm, it can help you:
- Craft a makeshift rope
- Mark a path (works best if you use reflective or vividly colored tape)
- Make repairs
- Reseal canned hurricane food
- Create a temporary lantern
Local maps should not be overlooked on your list. Whether it’s for evacuation purposes or navigating through a post-apocalyptic town, it makes sense to have one with you. You want to be ready to head out in a disaster scenario without relying on GPS or your cell phone.
You’re a prepper— you’ve thought of everything and aren’t running around like a headless chicken, unlike everyone else.
Still, it pays to have several Benjamins on hand. Banks and ATMs may be unavailable following a storm. And your credit or debit cards aren’t going to work if there’s no power.
You should gather vital documents and place them in a waterproof envelope or zip baggie beforehand. When it is time to evacuate, all you need to do is grab them and go.
Here are some docs that you should include:
- Birth and marriage certificates
- Emergency contact information
- Insurance policies
- Important medical records
- Social security cards
- Deed or lease to your home
Each member of the family must have three days’ worth of clothes ready.
We suggest packing the items listed, too:
- Long-sleeved shirts
- Long pants
- Thermal underwear
- Rain gear
- Sturdy shoes or work boots
If you live in a colder area, you may need to bring extra clothing with you, like hats and gloves.
You need to see at night, so you’ve got to be ready in case the power goes out.
Battery-powered light sources are good options. Candles? Bad idea.
When power lines are down, candles are usually what many people go for. But while they are super cheap and easy to use, candles aren’t exactly safe. You’re better off using a sturdy tactical flashlight.
Utensils, Plates, and Cups
Eating out of a can with your fingers is nasty. To make things more bearable, bring utensils, plates, and cups. Store a bottle of chlorine bleach and a medicine dropper in your hurricane kit to clean these items.
Just dilute one part bleach with nine parts water to make a practical disinfectant.
More Items to Add
So, you have the basics covered. What now? Well, you should consider adding the following to your hurricane supply list:
- Prescription drugs as well as non-prescription medications
- Extra pair of contact lenses or glasses
- Whistles, to call for help
- Sleeping bags
- Emergency blankets for hypothermia
- Disposable or rechargeable batteries
- A backup phone
- Chargers for electronic gadgets
- Dust mask to filter contaminated air
- Strike anywhere matches
- A multitool
- Infant formula
- Papers, pencils, and pens
- Toys, games, books, and other activities for children
- Pet food, carrier, medication, and records, if you have a pet
Are You Ready to Weather the Storm?
No one wants a hurricane or other natural disasters to happen to them. But, it’s better to prep now than to face your Creator early.
Who cares if it is hurricane season or not? As a famous dead guy once said, it wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark.
It’s never too early to begin prepping your emergency essentials. Make sure to double and triple check each item. Leaving even one out may come back to bite you in the ass one day.
Preparing your hurricane kit is just the tip of the iceberg.
You also need to have the skills and drive to survive when a hurricane hits. No matter how major the storm is, knowing these survival basics can help save your life and the lives of those around you.
Did we miss out on anything? Share your list with us by leaving a comment down below.