Emergency Preparedness: Disaster Kit

Emergency response workers are often heavily bogged down by individuals who didn’t take simple steps to prepare for an oncoming hurricane. You can become an active participant in your community’s disaster response and recovery by  taking responsibility and engaging in a relatively easy hurricane preparedness activity–building a hurricane disaster kit. And, putting this emergency disaster kit together inevitably entails knowing what to buy for a hurricane disaster kit. This involves having a hurricane checklist that contains both the usual emergency essentials for any disaster kit and disaster kit for pets, like bottles of water and extra batteries, as well as any other items that are specific to your and your loved ones’ needs.

You should make sure that all of the emergency supplies in your hurricane disaster kit are purchased (or made) well in advance of an approaching storm. This will save you from the hassle of mentally reviewing your list while you are trying to figure out plywood measurements for your windows (covered more in depth in 20 Types of Hurricane Damage). Also, be sure that none of your emergency essentials are out of date or have gone bad.

Disaster kit photo

What To Buy For A Hurricane

If you’re like most of us, you’re probably going to be wondering what to buy for a hurricane, rather than what to make for it. That is, unless you’re an exceptionally skilled and crafty person (and possibly more time than most).

Fema’s www.ready.gov site is a wonderful resource for in-depth instructions on how you can involve yourself in the disaster response process and this site has a great recommended supplies list  for items that can go into your emergency, or hurricane disaster kit.

A good rule of thumb is to think 72 hours. That is, imagine what you and your family (this includes pets) will need with no gas stations, clinics, schools, malls, grocery stores, electricity, or gasoline for 3 days. Crazy isn’t it? Well, obviously you’ll need water. That’s one gallon per person, per day. The same with food. You need 3 days worth of it, and ask yourself if you don’t have an electric stove available for three days or more, how are you going to cook? If you don’t have a refrigerator, what will you buy? The key here is non-perishable, easy to prepare meals. Canned or dried foods are ideal. The same goes for your disaster kit for pets.

In addition to filling your disaster kit with non-perishable food and water for consumption, think about what you’ll need for personal hygiene. A good idea here is to fill up your bath tub, and as many receptacles as possible with water for shaving, cleaning up, etc.

Also, what on Earth are you going to do with yourself when you’re plunged into the Stone Age for a few days? Electricity may be out, you can’t really cook, and cell phone towers might be blown over. This article has 20 things to do when the power is out. Hopefully you can get some ideas here.

Remember, your personal circumstances will help dictate your emergency supplies list for what to buy for a hurricane. Checklists like those provided by Fema and the Red Cross cover basic emergency supply essentials. You’ll also want to know what needs to go into a disaster kit for pets. ASPCA has a wonderful disaster preparedness kit checklist for your pets. Ask yourself what you and your family are going to need to get through a hurricane safely and with as little hassle as possible before saying that your hurricane checklist is complete.