If you prepare for a hurricane when a hurricane is approaching, you will find yourself panicking: can I take time off from work to prepare my home? Are there any other stores in the area that might have batteries and water left? Is the shelter closest to me pet-friendly? These are all questions you should address prior to a hurricane coming. June is the first month of hurricane season, but because it’s typically a “quiet” month, many of us don’t give hurricanes much thought. Until, of course, a storm is approaching.
A hurricane is a chaotic time, and being prepared helps put a little more “calm” into the situation. And it’s more than having food and supplies, it’s also knowing evacuation routes, the nearby shelters, which shelters are better for your family (not all are equipped for taking pets or those with special needs), or making sure you know where all your important documents are located.
Now is the time to have your hurricane kit ready. Don’t just give yourself a few days to prepare, give yourself weeks. Here is a list of items you should have (redcross.org):
- Water- one gallon per person per day (for a minimum of three day’s worth)
- 3-day supply of non-perishable food (peanut butter, crackers, granola bars, apples, mixed nuts, etc.)
- Can opener
- A weather radio (battery-operated or hand-crank)
- First aid kit
- Copies of personal documents: passport, social security, birth certificate, insurance, etc.
- Hygiene items (store separately in your bathroom away from your daily items so you know not to touch these items)
- Family contact information
- Baby supplies
- Emergency blanket
- Bug spray and sunscreen
- Extra car key and house key
If a storm were to approach, add these items to your premade kit:
- Cell phone with charger
- Camera to take pictures of damages
- Clothing and shoes
- Pet supplies (collar, leash, food, litter, crate, etc)
- Any medications
The items in the first list are the most likely to sell out quickly once a storm is on the horizon. Plan ahead to avoid extra stress.