Hurricane Preparedness

Because a hurricane is one of nature’s most destructive forces, hurricane preparedness is not to be taken lightly. Anyone who’s suffered their wrath will tell you that preparing for a hurricane is not a joke, and the frequency of these disasters seems to be on the rise over the last decade. If there’s any good news on this subject, it’s the fact that you have a basic idea when and where these horrific events occur. Traditionally, hurricanes hammer the shoreline, or their adjacent areas in our southernmost states, during hurricane season, which is roughly July 1st through November 1st. That’s not to say that hurricanes can’t happen outside of those months, but traditionally, that’s when the weather patterns are the most likely to create these catastrophic weather events.

Hurricane prep

Like the high winds associated with tornado preparation, your hurricane preparedness will be affected by your geographical location, and what type of dwelling you live in. In other words, if you live in a single-story home or a multi-story home, you will have different hurricane prep needs than someone who lives in an apartment, or a condominium. Location is also a factor that will affect your hurricane preparedness. If you live right on the beach in a city, you’ll have to prepare for a hurricane differently than someone who lives in a rural, inland town. These are all things to consider when you stock your hurricane survival kit. Although there will be different variations, these are the basic items that you will need in your kit.

Hurricane survival kit items

Hurricane survival kit items
  • A 5-day supply of drinking water (at least ½ gallon of water per person / day)
  • Water purification tablets
  • 5-day supply of non-perishable food
    • MRE’s
    • Power bars
    • Beef sticks / jerky
    • Canned food with pull tab lids
  • Mess kits, paper cups, paper plates, paper towels, and plastic utensils
  • 5-day supply of prescription medications
  • First aid kit
  • Battery-powered or hand crank weather radio
  • LED flashlights
  • Whistle or a handheld air horn
  • Dust masks
  • Blankets
  • Pop-up camping tent
  • Sleeping bags
  • Two changes of clothing for each person
  • Work boots for each person
  • Work gloves for each person
  • A leather work belt with large pockets
  • Knives, multi-tools, and hatchets
  • Disposable lighters
  • Baby wipes (along with other toiletries)
  • $500 in cash
  • Extra credit and debit cards
  • A portable charging station for cell phones
  • Local maps
  • A waterproof box containing
    • Instructions on how to turn off electricity, gas, and water
    • Copies of your deeds
    • Vehicle titles
    • Insurance policies / agents contact information
    • Wills
    • Doctors’ names and contact information
    • Current prescription medication lists
    • Contact information for local police / fire stations
    • Contact information for utility companies
    • Names and contact information of neighbors
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Matches in a waterproof container or a disposable lighter
  • Small propane tanks and heaters (weather depending)
  • Fuel you car the night before the storm

To shelter in place, you’ll need to gather your emergency supplies, move your cars and trucks into your garage, clear your yard to make sure it’s free of debris and there’s nothing that could blow around and cause damage or injury. Cover your windows and doors with plywood on the outside, and stack couches and mattresses against the windows on the inside. Fill your sinks and bathtubs with fresh water for washing during the storm, make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors are functioning properly and get ready to turn your power off if your areas are flooded and you see downed power lines.

No matter how well you brace yourself, even the most well-built and prepared homes don’t stand a chance against mother nature’s full wrath. It’s always advisable to listen to your local weather authorities on whether you should stay in your home or evacuate, and you should be fully prepared to do either, at a moment’s notice. Never ignore an evacuation order to stay home and protect your property. It’s never worth risking your health and safety. Preparing for a hurricane is never quick or easy, but the time to start is now. The next killer storm could be right around the corner. Start your hurricane prep now!