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The Only Hurricane Preparedness Checklists You’ll Ever Need

As Hurricane Season is only a few weeks away, you should be taking steps to gather supplies and determine safety plans for your home, family and pets.

gulf hurricane prediction image

There are serval items which are often overlooked when preparing for storm season. In addition to developing a plan of action and photographing your home and valuables, consider taking the following measures:

In the absence of a forced evacation, you should have the following items on hand to “ride out” a storm:
  1. Flashlights and lanterns (1 per person). Make sure you buy a cheap small flashlight for small children (otherwise they will likely commandeer yours).
  2. Extra bulbs and batteries for flashlights/lanterns.
  3. Collapsible water containers (enough for 7 days at 1 gal/day per person) one source is
  4. Portable radio and/or TV.
  5. Weather radio.
  6. At least 2 sets of extra batteries for all electronic devices.
  7. Digital antenna for TV (if you have a generator).
  8. First aid kit.
  9. Toolkit – hammer, screw drivers, pliers and assorted nails/screws.
  10. Fire extinguisher (ABC type).
  11. Manual can opener.
  12. Battery-operated fan. Battery operated supplies can be purchased from
  13. Duct tape.
  14. Blue tarp (15x20ft) and 100ft rope or cord.
  15. Gloves.
  16. Protective Eye Glasses.
  17. Protective headgear such as a construction helmet or bicycle helmet.
  18. Automobile power inverter. Source to purchase inverters:
  19. Rain gear (poncho/raincoat).
  20. Matches/lighters.
  21. Pocket knife/multi-tool.
  22. Plastic garbage bags.
  23. 5-gal gas cans (2-4) for car/generator WITH funnel.
  24. Outdoor extension cords (2-3 50ft).
  25. Generator and 4-8 quarts of extra oil.
  26. Whistle.
  27. Plastic sheeting.
  28. Tree saw / axe / hatchet.


Personal Items:
1. Prescription medications (2-4 week supply).
2. Non-prescription drugs (aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever).
3. Extra pair of prescription glasses or contacts.
4. Mosquito repellent / sunscreen.
5. Pet medications (2-4 week supply).
6. Pet cage (if traveling with pet).
7. Emergency phone numbers.
8. Important documents (insurance/passports/Soc. Security card, medical records)
9. Home PC backup disks/drive
10. Antibacterial wipes/wet wipes.
11. $100-$300 in extra cash (small bills)
12. Extra set of car/house keys
13. Disposable diapers
14. Feminine supplies
15. Personal hygiene items (toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, soap)
16. Toys/games for kids (deck of cards or a roll of construction paper and crayons).

Food / Water/Cooking:
1. Water – 1-2 gal/person for 7 days
2. Nonperishable food – enough for 7 days (peanut butter, bread, canned goods, protein bars)
3. Camp stove and extra fuel
4. Ice chest(s)
5. Extra charcoal/propane for BBQ pit
6. Disposable plates/cups/utensils/napkins
7. Salt/pepper/sugar
8. Aluminum foil
9. Garbage bags

Other Preparedness Tips:
1. Sit down with your family and develop a plan in case of a hurricane.
2. Take pictures or video of your house and valuables for insurance claims.
3. Prepare shutters or other coverings for doors and windows
4. Reinforce roof trusses
5. Examine and repair roof shingles
6. Caulk openings, flashings and soffits
7. Reinforce entry doors and collect exterior covering as required.
8. Replace hard mulch with soft material
9. Buy and install a backflow-prevention device in your sewer line
10. Trim trees and shrubs
11. Purchase a generator, gas cans, CO detectors and extension cords
12. Decide how to tie down large outdoor equipment
13. Reinforce or replace your garage door. Garage door bracing hardware:
14. Purchase supplies for cleanup and repair
15. Purchase a road atlas. In times of evacuation you will need to develop plans on how to escape depending on advice from your local Emergency Management. Knowing the routes out of town and beyond is very important. Also don’t rely solely on a GPS, if everybody follows the same set of standardized directions on their GPS systems then there is going to be mass congestion. Instead plan a route, and a set of alternate routes by hand ahead of time and save yourself a lot of trouble.
16. A solar powered charging device for electronic products such as phones and tablets may be handy to have. A source to purchase these:

Finally, take the following points into consideration:
1. Prepare now. You are at risk of some form of disaster. Keep a “Go Bag” of key items (clothes, meds, docs, digital backups).
2. Pet food, medications and crates should readily available should you need to evacuate quickly.
3. Establish out-of-area contact for your family. This reduces phone calls, streamlines check-ins and eases fears of your family members.
4. Make a plan for when you’re at home, at work, at school, in transit. Make sure you have access to “Go Bag”.
5. Educate yourself with your specific local hazards. These will vary greatly in different parts of the country and even from community to community.
6. Is one form of communications down? Try another. Text messages often get out, however, they will likely be delayed due to cell towers being overloaded or down. So, if your phone call fails, try sending a text. Add backup charging sources & cords to your “Go Bag” .
7. Once your area is under an Evacuation Order, leave and do not go back. You’re not just risking your life, but also rescue staff if you need to be rescued. In fact, rescue companies will likely not respond to your rescue call during the worst part of the hurricane due to their own safety and standard operation procedures.