If the recent string of damaging hurricanes has taught us anything, it’s how important it is to be prepared with hurricane supplies. Hurricanes can cause flooding, power outages, and damage from high winds. You need to protect yourself, secure your home, and prepare to stay put for days or weeks without the convenience of electricity.
Must-have hurricane supplies
Being prepared for a natural disaster will give you something priceless: peace of mind. Start now twith these hurricane supplies and products. You will be ready no matter when a hurricane occurs.
When it comes to natural disasters like hurricanes, you must heed the warnings of government officials. If they say you must evacuate, it could truly be a matter of survival, so be sure to follow evacuation orders and instructions so you can get to safety.
That will be faster and easier to do if you have a “go bag” ready for each member of your household. The bag itself should be a sturdy, waterproof backpack. Backpacks should include a flashlight, clean water and/or an emergency water purifier, a first aid kit, food bars, batteries or a portable device charger, and a change of clothes.
It’s also a good idea to include copies of important legal documents such as identification. If you or your family requires medication, put a supply in your go bag.
Also, make sure to fill your gas tank when you learn about an approaching storm. That way, you will be prepared to leave town should there be an evacuation.
Surviving in your home without power
In addition to your go bag, you should have some hurricane supplies stocked up to survive waiting out the storm at home during a blackout.
You should keep the following survival items on hand:
- First aid kit
- Flashlight and emergency lighting
- Portable charger for your smart phone: Once a luxury, these are now almost essential.
- Battery-operated or hand crank radio Many models are solar too.
- Manual can opener
- Lighter or matches
- Portable generator: This is a great-to-have option. When you buy a portable generator, you can use it at home or take it with you should you need to evacuate.
Plan for a five-day supply for each member of the family for these emergency supplies:
And, if they apply to you:
- Baby supplies (i.e. diapers, formula)
- Pet food
Additionally, books, a deck of cards, or other non-electronic recreational items will help you stay sane and avoid cabin fever. This will be especially important if you have children.
How to prepare for an emergency
There are several things you should do when you learn about an upcoming power outage:
A power outage could mean that you may not have running water in addition to power. For this reason, fill up the bathtub and other containers with water while you still have it running. This can be used for washing and flushing and can make a big difference in the comfort of your survival.
Cook your perishable food and while you still have power and freeze it. That way, you’ll have the option of eating it as it thaws if the freezer goes out.
You can also repurpose some common appliances during a power outage:
Since it already has a built-in drain, you can use your washing machine as a cooler by filling it with ice or frozen water bottles.
Store things you need to keep dry, such as important documents, photographs, or a stack of extra cash, in the dishwasher. It is sealed off extremely well and will stand up to the pressure of external water. For extra measure, it’s a good idea to seal off whatever you put in the dishwasher in a freezer bag.
Securing your home
Of course, at the first mention of an approaching hurricane, you should start securing your home.
Bring in all outdoor furniture, garbage cans, and decor that could be picked up by wind gusts and cause serious damage.
If you have a pool, drain it by only one to two feet and leave it uncovered.
Wind gusts could get so high that they collapse the pool or lift it from the foundation if it is not properly weighted down by water. The cover will stand no chance against flying tree branches and high winds, and it could easily fly away and cause damage itself.
Doors and windows
The high winds that come with hurricanes can blow out windows, inviting dangerous wind and rain into your home, so it is important to secure them as much as possible.
The best defense against a hurricane comes from storm shutters which are installed permanently and can be easily rolled down to protect all vulnerable doors and windows.
To properly secure a window without storm shutters, you’ll need to gather plywood that is at least 5/8 inches thick and 8 inches larger than the window or door frame on each side.
Anchor the plywood with heavy-duty screws to the walls of the home, not to the window frame or door frame. High winds could compromise the frame itself, not just the glass.
This option is effective and inexpensive. If you have the supplies on hand before the hardware store sells out during a storm, you’ll save yourself a lot of stress.
You can also get hurricane film, which protects glass from shattering. While this won’t help from the entire window being blown out, it will protect you from shattered glass, so it’s a good additional precaution.
You’ll also need to reinforce your garage door, which can be particularly vulnerable during a hurricane.
If you live in a hurricane-prone area, you should definitely make sure that your garage door is at least 14-gauge weight and is securely mounted.
Additionally, you can strengthen your garage door with both vertical and horizontal 2 by 4 boards. Anchor these to the walls surrounding the garage door with heavy duty screws.
Preparing for a hurricane is much easier to do when you don’t have the pressure of an imminent threat.
Keeping hurricane supplies like these around can be a game changer in both your comfort and your survival should a tropical storm head your way.
Want more preparation tips? Check out our article on preparing for a food crisis next.
It’s a good idea to always have a well-stocked hurricane supplies stash so that you’ll be ready to weather the storm. Read on to find out what is recommended to keep on hand.