Storms can roll in with little-to-no notice. And waiting to prepare could be life-threatening. It’s extremely important to prepare for dangerous weather long before it’s even announced. Should you wait until the last minute, you may not be able to find the essential supplies necessary to weather the storm safely.
An emergency kit is a critical tool in a hurricane or severe storm. This kit should be stored somewhere that’s easy to get to in case of an emergency evacuation. Although what’s in the kit is up to you, here are some of the essential things you should include.
- Water. One of the first items to sell out at the store before a storm is bottled water. Think ahead and stash some away in case of emergencies. As a general rule of thumb, keep a 3 to 5 day supply of drinking water per person in your home.
- Non-perishable food. The food in your refrigerator is safe to eat so long as the power has been out for less than 4 hours. However, you might experience longer outages during severe storms. Keep a supply of non-perishable foods, such as peanut butter and tuna fish, handy just in case.
- Manual can opener. An electric can opener might be a handy kitchen tool, but it will do little good when the power’s out.
- First aid kit. Keep first aid supplies close by in case of an emergency.
- Clothes. Include at least one change of clothes for everyone in your household.
- Sanitation supplies. Keep moist towelettes, garbage bags, paper towels and cleaning supplies handy.
- Cash. Don’t keep all of your money in the bank. Without power, you won’t have access to the ATM and stores won’t be able to take your credit or debit card. Keep a little cash stashed away in case of an emergency.
- Battery-powered devices. Make sure there’s a battery-powered flashlight in your emergency kit, as well as extra batteries. Also consider a wind-up or battery-powered radio, which can help keep you connected and informed.
- Disposable products. Keep a stockpile of disposable plates, bowls, cups and utensils. That way you don’t have to waste your bottled water washing dishes during an outage.
- Kid’s supplies. In addition to diapers, clothing and formula, you should consider packing away some non-electric entertainment options. Coloring books, puzzles, board games and toys can be great options for your kids.
- Pet food. Keep extra pet food stashed away with your emergency supplies. During a hurricane you won’t be able to go to the store if you run out.