Floridians! Assemble! I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but hurricane season is upon us. In case you haven’t noticed, there has been a significant change to our weather. It’s far more rainy and cloudy these days, which is why there’s no time like the present to start putting together a hurricane disaster kit.
I have put together a master list of everything we use and some separated into 5 categories. Only amateurs will wait last minute to visit their local supermarkets and pick up the necessities for their hurricane disaster kit. It’s true that stores do run out of water bottles, batteries and other popular items as storms approach our coast. So, do not wait last minute.
If you’re hitting the road and traveling north, then make sure to bring gasoline and strap it to your car’s roof. During this past hurricane season, we drove up to Tennessee and made a vacation out of it. Unfortunately, as we started our journey back to South Florida, every gas station had run out of gas. We could only go about 5 more miles when we luckily found gas at a Turnpike Rest Stop. Don’t bring more stress on yourself. Learn from our mistakes and plan ahead by building a hurricane disaster kit.
Funds and Documents
Whether you’re traveling or staying back, do not entirely rely on credit cards. With power outages, there’s a good chance stores will open post-storm and only accept cash. Follow Lion King’s Scar advice, and “Be Prepared.” Visit your local ATM and take however much you think is necessary.
In addition to funds, make sure important paperwork is stored in a nearby, waterproof file cabinet. Documents like insurance cards and birth/marriage certificates are all important to have in your hurricane disaster kit. In the event that there is flooding, having these important pieces of paperwork nearby are crucial.
Water & Canned Food
No surprise here. It isn’t enough to purchase multiple gallons and bottles of water. My family used to fill up the bath tubs with water and use it throughout the storm’s passing.
Like in a tornado, find a spot in your home that you feel is the safest and stock it up with canned/non-perishable food and water in case you have to camp there for some time. Don’t forget the can opener and paper goods!
Might I recommend trash bags for your hurricane disaster kit to keep yourself organized inside. Hurricanes are unpredictable and don’t always follow the weather man’s predictions. Put your trash away and store it somewhere it isn’t in the way. Garage bags really are those things we forget we need until we need them. They also make great rain jackets in the off chance you have to go outside, which I highly suggest against doing.
Backup Batteries & Candles
Like mentioned before, the power going out is very likely. It could be days, weeks, even months before you get power back, so plan ahead with batteries to charge flashlights and radios. If you’re not fancy and don’t have hurricane proof windows, there’s a good chance you have some kind of shutter blocking each and every window, making it very dark inside. So, I recommend getting some candles for your hurricane disaster kit to light your way. I can remember my childhood home smelling like the inside of a Pier One Imports with how many candles were lit at a time. With that, remember the matches.
First Aid Kit
First Aid Kits, whether store bought or made-at-home are incredibly important. They’ve got everything you need: band-aids, scissors, tweezers, anti-bacterial creams, anti-septic wipes, a list of emergency phone numbers. I got mine at CVS for a reasonable price, but you can always make your own.
It’s important to mention that any medications or daily multi-vitamins should be included in your hurricane disaster kit. Anything and everything, whether you use it every day or once-in-a-while, should be added. You know what you need. Keep it nearby.
Personally, this is probably my favorite part of hurricane season. Life gets simpler. There’s no social media or TV – no cooking or working. It feels like an electricity cleanse or a pause on life. I have many fond memories of writing stories or coloring by candle-light as a full-grown adult. I mean, what else are you going to do?
Whether you’re stuck inside for 2 days or 2 weeks, keep yourself busy with books, toys and games. Avoid anything that requires batteries or electricity. Phone games will only last so long and you really should try to extend the life of your phone’s battery.
Before the power goes out, try to take everything you see on the weather channel with a grain of salt. I promise most of it is an exaggeration to keep their ratings high. It’s true that hurricanes are not forces to be messed with, but I’ve seen one too many instances where the reporter is struggling to stand and the people behind are walking just fine. Use your own judgement and stay alert.
Your sweet pet needs to be accounted for, as well. Keep their immunization records, medicine, leash, food, toys and water at hand and in hurricane disaster kit. If your loving animal friend is like ours, this might be a very difficult hurricane season. Our little Cooper is terrified of rain. He shakes uncontrollably and can’t stay still. The thunder sets him off! He hides, and there’s no way to get him to eat or potty. It can be very ruff – see what I did there? Don’t forget about your fur-baby as you prepare for this year’s hurricane season. They need you, too.