Experts agree that preparing for a hurricane is an essential step in providing for the safety and basic needs of your family during and after the first hours the calamity struck. Fortunately, creating your own emergency hurricane kit can be fairly simple when you follow a few basic guidelines. For example, your kit should include the items you need to survive for at least several days until help can arrive. In preparing your kit, consider the basic list of recommended items; however, be sure to include specific items essential for your family's needs. This might include special medical equipment, medicines or even diapers and formula for young children.
Important Essentials to Keep in Your Emergency Kit
- Water -- one gallon per day for each person. It is recommended that you have a minimum of 3 days' worth of water.
- Non-Perishable food -- an emergency food supply that is sufficient for at least 3 days.
- Manual can opener -- this will be an important tool if your emergency supplies include canned foods. Remember, your electric opener will not work during a power outage.
- Flashlight -- preferably one for each member of your family. Don't forget extra batteries.
- NOAA Weather Radio -- hand crank or battery powered. Include extra batteries if your radio needs them.
- Whistle -- Every member of your family should have an emergency whistle they can use to signal for help.
- Personal sanitation -- plastic bags and moist towelettes.
- Matches or lighter -- be sure to store matches in a waterproof container.
- Eating utensils -- plates, bowls, cups, flatware
- Cooking pots and utensils -- items you can use on an open fire or portable cook stove.
- Blankets or sleeping bag
When preparing for any type of emergency it is important to have a plan. Prior to assembling your emergency kit, think about the types of situations you might encounter during a hurricane. Frequently, this will mean a loss of power. You can certainly get by without having to cook, especially if you have stocked MREs or Meal's Ready to Eat; however, many people include a small camp stove with propane in order to warm canned goods. This can help provide an extra level of comfort during the stressful days following any disaster.
Other factors should be considered as you assemble your personal emergency kit. For example, extra blankets might be needed in very cold environments. If you have pets, you will certainly want to add extra water and pet food to your emergency provisions.
When preparing a hurricane emergency kit, keep in mind that there will be times when you will need to evacuate. It is highly recommended that you have a smaller emergency kit that you can take with you if necessary. Additionally, it is important to have a plan on how you will handle pets and special medical situations, not all shelters are prepared for these situations. Thus, it is always a must to plan and be prepared in advance.