Hurricanes are in the news today, with several hurricanes and tropical storms in existence all at the same time. While many of them won’t impact the United States, the hurricane season doesn’t end until later this fall so there’s plenty of time for more hurricanes to make landfall in the US. And even if those storms don’t have hurricane-strength winds, the rains and storm surge they bring can cause widespread flooding and significant amounts of damage. Here are some of the key items you’ll want to stock up on before a hurricane.
1. Food and Water
It should go without saying that food and water are the key items to stock up on before a hurricane. Store shelves will be depleted rapidly before a hurricane hits and won’t be full again for days or weeks afterwards. Make sure you have at least three weeks worth of food and water stored up.
2. First Aid Supplies
Hospitals will be overloaded so you’ll be on your own for significant amounts of first aid. Make sure that you can patch up cuts, bruises, and minor puncture wounds. Also make sure to have a trauma kit available for more serious injuries, and make sure you have the knowledge to use that kit to stabilize yourself or patients while awaiting assistance from emergency responders.
You never appreciate how wonderful toilet paper is until you no longer have it. Make sure you have plenty of toilet paper, paper towels, and other toiletry items on hand for yourself and your family.
4. Batteries & Chargers
In all likelihood you’ll be without power for days or weeks. Be sure to stock up on batteries for flashlights, radios, and other accessories. For larger electronics, look into solar-powered chargers.
Whether you board up windows ahead of a storm or cover up broken windows afterward, plywood will be in demand. Stock up in advance while it’s cheap and available.
Cleanup in the aftermath of a hurricane will require numerous tools. Axes, sledgehammers, shovels, and brooms will come in handy.
7. Tarps and Plastic Bags
Plastic bags will be useful for bagging up garbage and damaged property. They can also double up as covers for broken and cracked windows. Tarps can help cover and waterproof anything that has to be stored outside.
Whether it’s gasoline for your car, diesel for your generator, or propane for grills, make sure that you have plenty of fuel stored up to run your equipment. Don’t be caught unprepared with lots of equipment that you can’t run.
Bleach will be very important in cleanup after a hurricane. You’re very likely to experience backwash from sewage systems, dead fish and animals, and various other trash that will require cleaning afterwards. And since municipal water systems may not be running, you can also use bleach to purify water.
Very often hurricanes impact southern states during periods of warm weather. With power losses lasting for days, coolers (and ice) will be very important to keep perishable food and medication fresh.