It’s the time of year now when hurricanes are starting to become a threat to those who live along the coast. Building a hurricane emergency survival kit with the right supply list is super important in case a storm is headed your way.
Whenever I think about assembling a kit I first like to take a step back and consider what areas or functions is needs to preform. A good start is our 6 areas or preparedness, but you can also think about what specific threats come with this type of disaster like flooding, downed trees, and power outages.
The unique part of hurricanes is flooding and massive damage from tree falling or other debris, so while many of us look to bugging in, this is very likely not going to be possible. So we want to consider what items we need and realize that it’s very likely we’ll need to take them with us on our way to somewhere safe. It may be us having to fit it in our truck as we are evacuated or us carrying it on our backs if the roads are compromised. We need to not just focus on what we need, but how we can stay mobile with it. Things like weight and volume come into play here.
Food And Water
In many cases the power will be out and gas lines might be disrupted, so we want think about food that can be prepared easily, without refrigeration, and possibly on the go. We could be hiking out of town, stopped at a hotel, in shelter or cooped up in a half destroyed home. When it comes to food we should consider not just the food, but how we are going to be preparing it too.
Water may be available from the heavy rains, but we need a way to capture it, store it and clean it. It’s important to note that if there is flooding, water may be very prevalent, but it might also contain raw sewage as utilities are compromised, it will contain a lot of particulate matter like dirt and silt, which can clog up filters fast. In Hurricane Katrina it wasn’t uncommon to see dead bodies floating in the water which had come from washed out graveyards. The best option is to store water for all your needs.
In a hurricane it can be difficult to get to proper medical care quickly. In many cases ambulances aren’t running and hospitals might be closed or over run. With flood waters potentially containing pathogens a simple cut can get infect very quickly or never get enough of a chance to air out and begin healing. Prevention is key here.
Consider how you’re going to protect your medical preps from being compromised if water does come into play and how you’d transport it if you need to get out quickly. Unlike many scenarios where you can typically hold up in your home, you may have to transport injured if an area becomes unsafe, how are you going to do that? What if they can’t walk or swim?
Tools And Supplies
Hurricanes are unique in the fact that they can compromise your shelter/home pretty easily. Consider how you’re going to deal with downed trees, debris, smashed windows, leaking roof or large holes. It’s important to document the damage and keep them for insurance claims, but you also might need to stay in your home while you are waiting for your claim to be processed.
Having pre-cut plywood for all your windows and a solid method of attaching them is key in a large storm. A common way is to cut the plywood just shy of the window size and then use slide barrel locks to secure in place. The barrel locks will hold the plywood in place, but also be easy to remove from the inside if you need to escape quickly.
These should be done ahead of time and can be pre-fitted for all your windows. This also is great for other SHTF scenarios to protect your windows, provide black out effect to help with light discipline and are another layer of defense against intruders.
Other items you should consider is a few 2x4x, a few sheets of plywood, battery tools charged up, and tarps. Finally because trees will most likely fall, consider a chain saw, axe, wedge and other items to deal with downed limbs and trees.
Because most utilities will be out of commission, consider how you will deal with your trash, toilet waste and other things that normally are taken care of for you. It would be a good idea to close your sewer valve at the street to prevent sewage from backing up into the house.
Clean water is important not just for drinking, but bathing and cleaning as well. You’ll need a way to take a bath, wash dishes, wash your hands and clean your kitchen area. In a disaster prevention of spreading of diseases is key and presents a real problem in disasters as most deaths result from poor sanitation in the aftermath than the initial storm.
Here is a few ideas that you might want to include in your hurricane kit and B.O.B.
- Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables
- Canned juices
- Staples (salt, sugar, pepper, spices, etc.)
- High energy foods
- Food for infants
- Comfort/stress foods
First Aid Items:
- Personal medications
- Waterproof first aid bag
- Heavy gauze
- Roller bandages
- Trauma pads
- Non-adhesive sterile wound dressings
- Adhesive bandages
- Skin glue
- Medical tape
- Butterfly closures
- Blood clotting agents
- Antibiotic ointment or iodine Tourniquet
- Burn salve
- Nitrate gloves
- Cotton swabs
- 60cc syringe with irrigation tip
- Small scissors
- Ace bandage
- Triangle bandage
- Pain relievers
- Potassium iodide
Tools And Supplies:
- Good sturdy full tang knife
- Chain saw
- Chain and tow strap
- Mess kits, or paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils
- Emergency preparedness manual
- Battery-operated radio and extra batteries
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Cash and change
- Non-electric can opener
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Aluminum foil
- Plastic storage containers
- Signal flare
- Paper, pencil
- Needles, thread
- Shut-off wrench, to turn off household gas and water
- Plastic sheeting
- Map of the area
- Toilet paper
- Soap, liquid detergent
- Feminine supplies
- Personal hygiene items
- Plastic garbage bags, ties (for personal sanitation uses)
- Plastic bucket with tight lid
- Household chlorine bleach
- Powdered milk
- Heart and high blood pressure medication
- Prescription drugs
- Contact lenses and supplies
- Extra eye glasses
- Pet food
- Pet indoor pads