2020 Guide to Building Your Hurricane Kit
Build a hurricane kit that includes everything you need, including special considerations for older family members and your pets! And we have coronavirus updates to keep you extra safe. Check out our guide to hurricane emergency kits and preparation today.
Prepare today for what may come tomorrow. See our tips for making a hurricane plan, building and maintaining your hurricane preparedness kit, and keeping your family and pets ready to survive with all the essential items you’ll need for 72 hours.
How to be hurricane ready
Being “hurricane ready” is critical to the safety of your family. And the key is in education and preparation. When a storm is headed your way, it is too late! Get started with making a plan, and a survival kit today.
Make a plan for your family. Sit down with your family and discuss it. You know whether you’re in an area that is prone to hurricanes. If you are, then you also know how critical hurricane preparedness is.
Here are some planning tips.
- If your family is not together when a storm hits, you will need a communication plan to know how to contact each other, and where the family will meet or reconnect.
- Make sure everyone understands how critical it is to listen to and heed all emergency alerts and warnings.
- If you are avised to evacuate your home, where will you shelter
- Get familiar with evacuation routes, particularly if you are in coastal areas.
- Think about any special needs for your household, such as child care, senior care, special medical needs, and taking care of your pets.
- Appoint who will be responsible for the preparation of small children, seniors, and pets.
- If you already have a plan, review it and update it with any new family issues, and special considerations for Corinavirus such as updating your emergency kit and reviewing your sheltering options.
- Do a dry run of your plan to make sure all are on board.
Stay alert. Monitor conditions on a local emergency station and NOAA weather radio. Heed all directions and warnings from authorities.
What should your kit include?
During or after a hurricane, you may need to be self-sufficient in having your own food, water, medicine, and supplies for 72 hours or more. Build a kit that includes the necessary household items that you would need to provide for the entire family. Take the time to think this through now. You will be grateful that you did later.
A hurricane kit can easily be compiled, is not expensive, and could be a lifesaver later. Start with the essential list and then customize it for the unique needs of your family.
Here is a list of basic emergency kit supplies from the Department of Homeland Security with a few additions from our team.
- Water- One gallon per person per day for three days for drinking and sanitation. That is three one-liter bottles per person.
- Food – A minimum of three day supply of non- perishable food. Select non-cook items in case you have no fuel source. Consider crackers, trail mix, canned tuna and beans
- Toiletries -Toilet paper, toothbrush, and toothpaste.
- Cash Your credit cards or ATMs may not work.
- Battery-powered radio and NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert.
- Flashlight. Add a BIC lighter. You may be surprised.
- First aid kit
- Extra batteries
- Whistle – To signal for help
- Dust mask
- Gloves (to protect from splinters or contamination.)
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape if sheltering at home.
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties for personal sanitation.
- Pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener. Add a multi-purpose knife too.
- Local maps
- Cell phones with chargers and back up batteries
- The DHS also recommends additional items such as prescription meds, infant formula, and diapers, pet food, etc.
- Blankets or sleeping bags.
Download the complete FEMA recommended supplies lists here:
This supply list is a good place to start, but you will want to customize it.
Update your hurricane kit for coronavirus considerations.
Additional items recommended by the CDC in light of the coronavirus are:
- Cloth face coverings for everyone two and above.
- Consider adding hand sanitizers and wipes.
To customize your hurricane kit for your special needs.
If your family includes infants or very young children, you will need to provide food that is updated for their age, diapers, and other specialized products.
Older family members may need help with packing an evacuation bag, medications, and any special medical equipment they require. The time to make this list is now!
Help them create their own contact list. They will be concerned about friends and my need to contact doctors or pharmacies. Be sure you understand the emergency plans of any centers where they may be receiving ongoing treatments.
Build a hurricane survival kit for your pet
Hurricanes are especially stressful for your pets. And they need to be prepared just like you so. Never leave a pet chained outdoors and do not leave them behind. Here are the government recommendations to plan for our pets.
Hurricane planning for your pet:
- Have a neighbor “on deck” to check on your animals if you are not home.
- Many emergency shelters don’t accept pets. Find an option such as a pet-friendly hotel on your evacuation route, a boarding facility, animal hospital, or out-of-town friend.
- Be sure your pet has been microchipped and that your contact info is current.
FEMA suggests the following emergency preparation pet kit:
- Food – Three day supply minimum
- Water – Three day supply minimum
- Medical records and proof of vaccinations and registration
- Medical records
- First aid kit – Bandage rolls, tape, and scissors, antibiotic ointment, flea and tick meds, and other supplies you use for them.
- Collar or harness with current ID tags and rabies tag, and leash
- Pet carrier or crate.
- Sanitation needs – Litter and box, wee pads, paper towels, plastic trash bags, bleach,
- Dishes – water bow and food dish.
- Familiar items and treats to calm them.
- Photo with you if needed for ID
Keep your hurricane preparedness kit up to date
Be sure to review and update your kit annually. Be certain canned food is stored in a cool place and boxed food in sealable plastic or metal containers. Replace any expired items and update the kit to reflect changes in needs, ages, health, etc.
Storing your hurricane preparedness kit
Your kit should be stored in a spot that is readily accessible and known by all family members. You may need to shelter at work. Have a mini kit with water, medicines, and comfortable shoes and clothes. Consider carrying essential items in your car in case you are stranded.
Store your hurricane kit items in water and airtight plastic bags placed in a couple of plastic bins or duffle bags. Think about portability and space considerations.
Purchasing a hurricane survival kit
Many disaster supply kits are available for purchase. They contain general household items such as the radio, containers, lanterns, etc. You will still need to supplement it with your food, water, and personal items. You can also purchase survival kits that include food, water, first aid, and other supplies. Review them carefully. They do have long shelf lives, but you may want to rethink the food!
Sources and important information:
Department of Homeland Security