One of the most important things you will need to have on hand in an emergency is a disaster supply kit. It should contain everything from food and dry clothing to important documents and tools. It is advisable to purchase and store these items prior to an emergency situation as stores will be swamped with frantic procrastinators and rows of empty shelves.
If you are on a tight budget, buy things in advance and as they go on sale. It’s also best to buy items individually instead of in a convenient prepackaged kit.
Your kit should have a 3 to the 14-day supply of the following items:
Invest in plastic water containers instead of buying bottled water. Plastic water containers, the kind used for camping and other outdoor activities, are built to last for years of use versus bottled water, which comes with an expiration date.
Calculate about one gallon per person, per day. Be sure to include enough water for your pets as well. Wait until a hurricane warning has been posted for your area, clean and rinse the containers, and then fill them with fresh water from your tap.
Never reuse milk or juice containers. Milk protein and fruit sugars remain in the container and can fuel bacterial growth when water is stored.
The following consumable items hold up best if stored at room temperature for a few days unless they become moldy or have an unusual color. Keep and stock up on the following:
Butter or margarine
Processed and hard cheese
Fresh fruits and vegetables
Dried fruits and coconut
Opened jars of vinegar-based salad dressings, jelly, mustard, ketchup, olives, and peanut butter
Fresh herbs and spices
Fruit pies, cookies, bread, rolls, and muffins
Cakes, except cream-cheese
frosted or cream-filled
Powdered or single serve drinks
Nonperishable milk (condensed)
Instant tea or coffee
In the event that refrigeration is not an option, prevent food poisoning and other food borne diseases by throwing out the following types of consumables:
Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and egg substitutes — raw or cooked.
Milk, cream, yogurt, and soft, shredded cheese
Casseroles, stews or soups
Lunch meats and hot dogs
Cream-based salad dressings
Custard, chiffon or cheese pies, cream-filled pastries, cookie dough
Any open mayonnaise, tartar sauce, and horseradish if it has been exposed to above 50 degrees for over eight hours.
FIRST AID KIT
Anatomy of a first aid kit suitable for a family of four:
2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
5 antibiotic ointment packets (approx. 1 gram)
5 antiseptic wipe packets
2 packet of asprin (81 mg each)
1 blanket (space blanket)
1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
1 instant cold compress
2 pair of non-latex gloves (size: large)
2 hydrocortisone ointment packets (approximately 1 gram each)
1 roller bandage (3” wide)
1 roller bandage (4”wide)
5 sterile gauze pads (3” x 3”)
5 sterile gauze pads (4” x 4”)
Oral thermometer (non-mercury/nonglass)
2 triangular bandages
First aid instruction booklet
Sunscreen (45 SPF or higher)
Unscented bleach or water purification tablets
Always look for a camp stove that is listed with a certifying agency to ensure you are getting a safe, tested appliance.
Plan your purchase with adequate time to read and understand the information on the appliance and in the owner’s manual.
Be sure to follow all instructions and markings on your cooking appliance and in the owner’s manual.
Bring your new stove home and test it in a safe environment outdoors. You can familiarize yourself with its operation and contact customer support if you have any questions or problems.
Always operate camp cooking appliances outdoors in an area free of overhead obstructions and never use a camping stove in a tent or in any enclosed or poorly ventilated location.
Set up your camp-cooking appliance following the manufacturer’s instructions. Be sure to check and recheck the fuel system for proper installation and freedom from leaks.
Portable camp stove or grill with utensils
Stove fuel, charcoal w/ lighter fluid
Manual can opener
Disposable eating utensils, plates, cups
Napkins and paper towels
Prescription medicines (1 month supply and copy of prescriptions)
Feminine hygiene products
Bedding: pillows, sleeping bags, blankets, sheets
Rain ponchos & work gloves
Extra eyeglasses or contacts (don’t forget
Entertainment: books, games, toys, and magazines
Top 10 Classic Family Games
Scrabble, Sorry, Checker (Draft), Chinese Checkers, Bingo, Trouble, Monopoly. Domino, Card Games, Chess
Formula, food & medication
Bottles & feeding utensils
Flashlight (1 per person)
Portable battery-powered lanterns
Large trash bag- You will need them for storage, collecting trash and cleaning up debris. You should consider buying a large quantity of durable, large capacity bags.
Extra batteries, including hearing aid batteries
Maps of the area with landmarks
ABC rated fire extinguisher
Masking tape or duct tape
Outdoor extension cords
Standard, single line phone
Local phone book
Roofing tarps or plastic sheeting
A list of all your important contacts (family, doctors, insurance agents)
Proof of occupancy (such as utility bill, lease agreement)
Photo inventory of your personal belongings
Waterproof container for documents
HOW TO PREPARE A HURRICANE KIT FOR YOUR PET
Secure pet carriers for cats and small dogs, sturdy leashes/harnesses for larger dogs, and appropriate
crates or cages for other types of pets such as reptiles, birds, and hamsters.
Secure medications and medical records, including proof of current vaccinations
Check with your vet for a laminated card with proof of current vaccinations at each annual visit, which can be used at motels and hotels in case evacuation is necessary
A two-week supply of any medication your pet may be taking on a regular basis and familiar food and water. Take bowls and a manual can opener, as well.
Cat litter/pan, extra litter, and a litter scooper
Current photos of your pet(s) in case it’s lost. Also, be sure each of your animals has name tags, rabies tags, etc., securely fastened to their collars
Portable pet beds, a familiar blanket and lots of toys
Ask a veterinarian about implanting a microchip in your pet
PET SUPPLY CHECKLIST
Dry and/or canned food
ID tags and collars
Proof of recent immunizations
Water (1/2 gallon per day)
Litter box & supplies