When a hurricane is threatening your area, you and your family need to make the decision whether you are going to evacuate or ride it out at home. This is a decision only you and your family can make, and you need to take all circumstances into consideration.
How old is your house? When was the roof last replaced? How close are you to the coast? What about any rivers or canals? What elevation does your home sit at? Is a storm surge expected? How strong is the storm predicted to be when it hits your area?
If your area floods, would you be stranded? Does anyone in your family have any medical issues to consider? Do you have enough supplies at home? If you don’t have power for days, will that cause major problems? Is there somewhere to go that allows any pets you have?
Once you have come to the decision that you are going to stay home to ride out the storm, you need to start prepping your house and your supplies. Staying home means that, during the storm and even in the days after you may be stranded. Roads may be blocked and/or flooded, meaning that you won’t be able to get out to get more supplies as you need them. So plan ahead, and be prepared.
Every person, every family, every household is unique. Take everything into account when you are making your list of needed supplies. These are some of the basics and a few things you may not have thought of. This is a list of supplies that you may need during the storm and after.
- At least 1 gallon drinkable water per person, per day, for 4-5 days.
- More water for sanitary reasons such as cleaning clothes, flushing toilets, etc.
- For extra water, fill the bathtub before the storm. If you go under a boil-water notice, this will still be ok water to use.
- Non-Perishable Food
- Make sure to have food that won’t spoil without power to keep it cold.
- Also consider what you need to cook and/or prepare the food.
- Manual Can Opener
- Canned food it’s usually good as non-perishable foods, but not all cans have an easy-open lid.
- Heavy Duty Gloves & Rubber Boots
- Once the storm is over, you will most likely need to do some clean-up, so these will keep your hands and feet protected.
- Sneakers & Socks
- You don’t want to be walking around in sandals or flip flops that won’t protect your feet.
- Make sure to keep your shoes dry as much as possible and have plenty of extra socks.
- You may be taking a “sponge bath” for a few days, so have enough washcloths to clean yourself.
- You may also need to use the washcloths to clean items around the house.
- Wet Wipes & Hand Sanitizer
- Wet wipes are a great way to clean off your hands and face as needed.
- Washing your hands may not always be an option. Keep hand sanitizer around for before you prepare food and eat.
- Hey, you don’t want to be stuck without!
- Diapers/Wipes, Formula (if needed)
- If you have a small child, make sure to think of what they need, such as diapers and wipes.
- Your small child needs to eat as well. If they are on formula, make sure you have plenty of formula on hand.
- Small Tool Set
- You may have some minor repairs that needs to be done following the storm. Keep a small tool set handy for your basic needs.
- Emergency Binder
- Make sure to have your Home Emergency Binder in a safe place.
- This should have all your important paperwork and information all in one place.
- When the power goes out, make sure you have multiple flashlights, one for each person, plus a few extras.
- Don’t rely on the flashlight on your phone because you may not be able to recharge that easily.
- More batteries than you think you’ll need. See what size your flashlights take and have them easy to access.
- Don’t forget to check any other battery-operated equipment, such as any medical equipment, and have spares for that as well.
- First Aid Kit
- You can buy a pre-made kit, or build your own. Either way, be ready for potential cuts/scrapes/fevers, etc.
- If anyone has any prescriptions, make sure you have enough for at least a week.
- Request refills from your pharmacy in enough time if you are starting to run low as they may not be available for some time after the storm.
- Emergency Radio
- Get a good crank radio so when the power goes out, you can keep up with what’s going on.
- Make sure you know how to use it and it works before you really need it.
- Even if you can make it to a store, and they are open, if they don’t have power then credit cards don’t work.
- Extensive Photos of your Home
- For insurance purposes, make sure to take extensive photos of your home.
- Take photos of the inside and outside, including any large items.
- Pet Carrier, Collar, Tags, Leash
- If you have a pet, be prepared with them.
- Our cat doesn’t wear a collar, but we have one if we need it for her with her tags on it.
- Keep a leash handy to be able to keep any pets under control, they will be scared as well.
- Pet Food
- Your pets will need to eat too. They may not eat much if they are scared, but don’t forget about them.
- Make sure you also have drinkable water for any pets.
- Thermometer for Refrigerator & Freezer
- Once the power goes out, you need to know when your refrigerator and freezer reach temperatures that are too warm to safely store your food.
- Ice Bags for Refrigerator & Freezer
- Purchase bags of ice to put in the refrigerator and freezer. Once the power is out, this will help keep them cool for a bit longer.
- Fire Extinguisher
- Many things can happen during a hurricane, including lightning strikes starting a fire.
- Candles & Matches
- Only use these if you run out of batteries for your flashlights.
- Candles end up starting more fires after a storm is over, so use with caution.
- Activities for Kids & Adults
- When you are sitting out a storm, it can be boring. Have boards games, card games, coloring books and crayons, etc. ready for everyone.
- When we rode out Charley years ago, I had my portable dvd player charged and put on Finding Nemo for the kids I was with.
- Paper or Plastic Utensils and Dishes
- You won’t be able to easily wash dishes, so stock up on some paper plates and plastic utensils to use.
- Similar to prescription meds, make sure you have extra contacts and solution if you wear them.
- Keep your glasses with everything as well. You don’t want to be caught unable to see well during and after the storm.
- Insect Repellant
- Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. You may be outside a lot doing clean-up so use repellant to keep bugs off.
- If you are outside during the day cleaning up and repairing your home, make sure to protect your skin from the sun.
Riding out a hurricane is a big decision. Make sure you and your family are properly prepared and have the right supplies together. Think of what you need for your unique situation and make sure you have plenty with you.
Join the Son Shine Community
Become a master of the kitchen.
Acquire new recipes, learn new techniques, and discuss your kitchen accomplishments & mishaps with others.