prepare for a hurricane
Getting ready for a storm is critical. Building a plan can help you stay safe, mitigate damage and make the recovery process as smooth as possible. This MasterKit will guide you through the steps you should take ahead of time, so you'll be ready to take action when a storm hits.
7 Must-Have Items For Your Hurricane Emergency Kit
Be prepared for severe weather with a hurricane emergency kit – and pro tips for putting it together.
When it comes to hurricanes, you can't be too prepared. Hurricane season runs from June 1 –November 30, but it's never too early to gather supplies and put together your hurricane emergency kit. Use these helpful hacks to create your own hurricane emergency kit with items you probably already have around your house.
1. The Basics1:
Of course, no hurricane emergency kit would be complete without first-aid supplies, personal medications, non-perishable food for a minimum of 3-5 days (including baby formula), clean water, toilet paper, soap, emergency blankets, matches, and a flashlight with extra batteries. These are also the first to fly off the shelves as soon as a hurricane watch is issued. Pro Tip:
Make sure to include a manual can opener in your kit for your non-perishable food items!
You should have at least a gallon of clean water per person per day for 3-5 days in your emergency kit. But if you're running low on clean drinking water and can't boil any, the CDC
recommends that you use unscented household bleach as a method of water purification. Add an ⅛ tsp. of unscented bleach to a gallon of water, mix it well, and let it stand for at least 30 minutes before drinking. Pro Tip:
Do not use bleach that is 6 months or older, and be sure to open windows or doors to get fresh air when using bleach.
3. Goggles and Breathing Masks:
If you have to evacuate your home, keep this protective gear handy when returning to the building – it can help prevent exposure to harmful materials like lead, asbestos, cement, or mold.
4. Trash Bags:
There are several ways that trash bags can come in handy during a hurricane emergency. In addition to their obvious function, you can wear trash bags as rain ponchos, use them as temporary tarps, or to collect rainwater. And since they don't have an expiration date, you can't stock up too early.
5. NOAA Weather Radio (NWR)3:
A battery-powered All Hazards NOAA Radio is a must-have in a weather emergency. With over 1000 stations across the 50 states4
, it provides 24/7 live updates from the National Weather Service on weather and emergency information. In addition to a NOAA radio, you can also get live updates from the NWR on the FEMA app
– if you have access to cell service and a charged battery. Pro Tip:
Don't wait until a hurricane emergency to buy a NWR receiver, because that's when stores sell out. If you can't get a NWR, a hand crank or battery-powered radio with extra batteries works too.
6. Hand Tools:
You probably already have a screwdriver, wrench, and pliers in your home (if not, read 10 Things Every Handy Homeowner's Toolkit Should Have
), so you'll want to keep them handy in your emergency kit. You may need a wrench or pliers for turning off utilities, and a screwdriver to remove storm shutters from your windows after a hurricane. Pro Tip:
Familiarize yourself with your home's utilities and know how to access the water, gas, and power shut-off valves in advance.
7. Home Inventory:
A list of your belongings is an extremely important step of hurricane preparedness, or any claims situation. Take stock of everything in your home, so you have it documented before a hurricane. This will make the claims process much easier if damage occurs. You can use our Home Gallery® App
to quickly and easily catalog your belongings with your mobile device.
Now that you know what should be in your emergency kit, you can get a head start on stocking yours with non-perishables. It'll save you a hectic trip to the store and ensure you're ready for the next storm that comes your way.
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