Building a Hurricane Emergency Kit: What You Need to Have

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As hurricane season approaches, ensuring that you and your family are prepared for any potential emergencies is essential. One of the most critical steps in hurricane preparedness is assembling a comprehensive emergency kit. This kit should contain everything you need to survive during and after a hurricane, especially if you’re without power or access to basic services for several days. Here’s a detailed guide on what to include in your hurricane emergency kit, based on recommendations from Ready.gov and the CDC.

Fallen down big tree on a house after hurricane Ian in Florida. Consequences of natural disaster.

Essential Items for Your Emergency Kit

1. Water

  • Amount: At least one gallon per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation.
  • Tip: Consider including water purification tablets or a portable water filter in case you need to purify additional water.

2. Food

  • Types: A three-day supply of non-perishable food items such as canned goods, dry cereals, energy bars, peanut butter, and dried fruits.
  • Tip: Include a manual can opener and utensils. Choose items that do not require refrigeration or cooking.

3. Medications

  • Prescription medications: Ensure you have at least a seven-day supply of essential prescription medications.
  • Over-the-counter medications: Include pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids, and laxatives.
  • First aid supplies: A basic first aid kit should include bandages, antiseptic wipes, gauze, adhesive tape, scissors, tweezers, and a thermometer.

4. Tools and Supplies

  • Flashlights: One or more flashlights with extra batteries.
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio: A NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert to stay informed about the latest weather updates and emergency information.
  • Multi-purpose tool: Useful for various tasks, from opening cans to basic repairs.
  • Whistle: To signal for help if needed.
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape: To create a makeshift shelter if necessary.
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties: For personal sanitation.

5. Personal Hygiene Items

  • Supplies: Soap, hand sanitizer, toothbrush and toothpaste, feminine hygiene products, diapers (if applicable), and personal hygiene items.

6. Important Documents

  • Types: Copies of insurance policies, identification, bank account records, and other critical documents stored in a waterproof container.
  • Tip: Consider creating digital copies of these documents stored on a secure cloud service or a USB drive.

7. Clothing and Bedding

  • Clothing: Include at least one change of clothes per person, sturdy shoes, and rain gear.
  • Bedding: Sleeping bags, blankets, and pillows.

8. Special Needs Items

  • Infants: Baby formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, and diaper rash cream.
  • Elderly: Extra eyeglasses, hearing aid batteries, and other essential supplies.
  • Pets: Food, water, medications, leash, carrier, and vaccination records.

9. Cash and Important Keys

  • Cash: Small bills are preferable since ATMs and credit card machines may not be functional during power outages.
  • Keys: Extra keys for your home and car.

10. Entertainment Items

  • Supplies: Books, games, puzzles, or other activities to help pass the time if you are without power or confined indoors.

Final Tips

  • Regular Maintenance: Check your emergency kit regularly to ensure that items are up to date and replace any expired food, water, and medications.
  • Personalize Your Kit: Tailor the contents of your kit to meet the specific needs of your family members, including dietary requirements and medical conditions.
  • Stay Informed: Keep a list of important emergency contacts and local emergency services. Follow local news and weather updates to stay informed about any impending storms.

Assembling a well-stocked hurricane emergency kit can make all the difference in ensuring your family’s safety and comfort during a hurricane. By preparing ahead of time, you can reduce stress and be better equipped to handle whatever comes your way. For more detailed information and resources on hurricane preparedness, visit Ready.gov and the CDC.

Stay safe this hurricane season, and remember that preparation is key.

Lee Miller
Lee Miller was born in Denison, TX and grew up in East Texas with his family. He studied music education at Stephen F. Austin State University taking a job in television on his last day of student teaching. Lee also provides business authoritative expertise to the broadcast industry as a consultant. Presently he is CEO of MSG Resources LLC, which specializes in consulting within broadcast best practices, distribution technologies and media strategy mastery. - - - - - Lee Miller is a well-known veteran of the broadcast media industry with particular experience in leading for-profit and non-profit broadcasting organizations. His career began in Lufkin, Texas in the early 80’s where he progressed from studio operations to creative services and network management. Mr. Miller has since received various professional designations and memberships such as Society of Broadcast Engineers accredited frequency coordinator, The Energy Professionals Association Certified Energy Consultant, and National Religious Broadcasters Television Committee & past Chair. Lee also serves as the Executive Director of the Advanced Television Broadcasting Alliance, is a member of the Advanced Television Systems Committee and is proud to be part of Texas Association of Broadcasters Golden Mic Club, highlighting extraordinary careers in broadcasting. Continued engagement with his community is at the core of his business practices serving on the board of the Salvation Army and as keyboardist for the contemporary worship band at Harmony Hill Baptist Church. Lee lives near Lufkin Texas on one of his family’s tree farms located in the Texas Forest Country region north of Houston. He is married to Kenla and has two grown children, Joshua, COO of MSGPR Ltd Co and Morgan, a Critical Care ICU RN.

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