Hurricane Preparedness: The Essential Checklist

Hurricane season isn’t over until the end of November. As the National Weather Service tracks storms and keeps everyone updated, make sure that you and your family are ready to wait out any severe weather. If you decide not to evacuate or can’t evacuate, these emergency supplies may be all you have to go on for a while.

While you should always maintain a kit of emergency supplies, it’s particularly important to double-check that kit this time of year and replace items as necessary. Don’t let yourself get caught by surprise with an expired kit. Use this checklist to make sure you have everything you need and a plan for staying safe this hurricane season.

Hurricane season lasts another month and a half! Use this checklist to keep track of all the emergency supplies you have. Click To Tweet

Food and Drink

Your disaster kit should contain a three-day supply of nonperishable food for each person in your home. Make sure it’s easy to open and prepare as well–for instance, opt for pull-tab tops on canned foods so you don’t have to worry about a can opener. Along with the food, make sure each family member has a three-day supply of clean water with at least one gallon per person per day set aside. Don’t substitute the water for other drinks like fruit juice or soda. While these drinks may taste better sometimes and last a while, because of their less beneficial nutritional content and the potential to increase thirst through high sugar content, they should be saved as a last resort.

Non-Edible Essentials

Of course, there are plenty of non-edible supplies you should include in your emergency kit. These include:

Medical Supplies

  • 7-day supply of any prescription medicine your family needs
  • Bandages
  • Sanitary wipes
  • First aid kit
  • Sunscreen and bug spray

Evacuation Supplies

  • Extra cash
  • Copies of personal records: passports, proof of address, medical papers, etc.
  • Family members’ contact info
  • A full tank of gas
  • Flashlights
  • Hand-crank or battery-powered radio to monitor the weather
  • Extra batteries
  • Extra sets of keys for your house and car
  • Cell phones and extra chargers and/or battery packs
  • Spare clothes

Specialized Supplies

  • Baby supplies: diapers, wipes, formula, etc.
  • Pet supplies: food, carrier, leash, etc.

Pro Tip: Take before and after photos of your house to document any damage that may occur. Your insurance will appreciate it.

Before the Storm Hits

Keep your gas tank full and go down the checklist to see what supplies you may need. Keep an eye on the weather in the meantime. Prepare your home for severe weather by covering the windows, moving valuables inside, and any other steps you deem necessary. Most importantly, make sure your family knows the evacuation plan if it comes to that. Protect what’s really valuable.

Be Ready for Anything

Even the most advanced weather equipment is occasionally wrong. Sometimes, a hurricane projected to die at sea causes severe damage on land. We can never be completely sure what the weather might bring. The best we can do is make sure we’re ready to weather the storm.

Join the conversation for more ideas for your hurricane preparedness checklist.