It’s said that the best time to prepare for a hurricane is before you ever get word of one… and we believe it! No one wants to deal with long supermarket lines, empty food shelves, or the last minute dash for gasoline that happens right before a storm makes landfall. In today’s blog, we’ve put together a list of some of the most important items you’ll want to have on hand today:
Nonperishable food: We put food and water on the top of our list, and you should put them at the top of yours, too! When it comes to food, you should have from three to seven days’ worth of nonperishable food—that is, food that doesn’t require refrigeration in case of a power outage—for each person. Trail mix, dried fruit, canned foods, crackers, peanut butter and other items are good choices for when you don’t have a hot or fresh food alternative. If you or someone in your family has an allergy or special food requirement, be mindful of that as you plan your food supply.
Drinking water: In addition to your food supply, you should provide at least one gallon of drinking water per person, per day for seven to ten days. You can pick up actual gallon jugs or opt for easy-to-carry individual bottles.
Portable chargers: There is a wealth of portable phone chargers on the market for you to choose from. If it requires charging on a computer or other power source to work, make sure to do this so your charger is ready to go before the storm. Only use the charger (and cell phone, for that matter) when you absolutely need to.
Radio: You may not have cell service or internet access, but you can rely on a radio to deliver you important news and updates before, during and after a storm.
Flashlights: If your home is left without power, you’ll want to have several quality flashlights on hand to get around in the dark. Of course, these devices would be rendered useless without…
Batteries: Please make sure that you have plenty of batteries to power your flashlights, radio and other devices… and then, pack away some extras as well. Check your devices to see what type of batteries they require.
Medication: After a hurricane, you may have trouble getting to a pharmacy that has your medication on hand. Make sure you or your family members’ medication is filled before the storm.
Pet supplies: Don’t forget about your furry friends! Whether it’s a dog, cat or bird, make sure that you have enough food, water and any medication they may need for seven to ten days. You’ll want to bring along a travel kennel, bed or favorite toy if you plan on traveling after the storm.
Cell phone: Having your cell phone on you is probably a given, but you may want to even pull out your old flip phone for a hurricane. Even if it’s no longer in service, an old cell phone can serve as an emergency phone because it can still make calls to 911, so you can rest easy knowing you always have a last resort!
Landline phone: Cell phone towers may be down even after power has been restored. For that reason, you’ll want to have a traditional corded phone on hand if you need to make calls after the storm.
Emergency numbers: Jot down important phone numbers or websites to know for after the storm—your city’s non-emergency police number, family and friend numbers, and others you may need.
Important documents: Insurance documents, bank information, and important family documents like birth certificates should be kept in a watertight safe or other container.
Waterless soap: This is an item we don’t think about too often, but it can be hugely helpful after a storm when you don’t have running water. This is also known as no-rinse soap… you can stay clean without wasting valuable drinking water!
Cash: You may not be able to access a bank or ATM following a hurricane. Be sure to have cash on hand that can buy you water, food, clothes and other necessities—not your entire savings, of course, but enough to live by for picking up necessary items. Get this cash in small bills to be safe!
Tools: A hammer, roll of duct tape, and wrench are just a few tools that you can have ready to help in many situations.
Trash bags: Have trash bags on hand to pick up trash you encounter during and after the storm, and to carry food and other items if you have no alternative.
Gas: Considering how hard it is to find gasoline just before or just after a storm, this is one of the most important things to have stocked up. Use your car sparingly, but have enough gas to get you somewhere when necessary.
Keys: A hurricane can be hectic, so don’t forget to keep your house and car keys safe and on your person!
Comfort items: After you’ve taken care of all the practical necessities, focus on comfort items that can make the experience easier on you, your family, and even your pets. Items like a beloved toy, security blanket, or miniature board game are a few ideas.
Remember, you should use this list as a jumping-off point for your own list. Be sure to stock up on these items now, instead of later, to avoid a last minute scramble.