The 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season officially begins June 1, 2015 and ends on November 30, 2015. During this time it’s important for homeowners to be prepared for intense tropical storms and hurricanes that may cause power outages for hours, days or even weeks. A few simple steps will help you create a hurricane preparedness kit for you and your loved ones.
Preparedness Kit Standards
As a baseline, your kit should contain food, clothes, water and other required materials (medications, etc.) for every member of your family, including pets, for 72 hours. In the event of a severe storm, it is important to have this amount of supplies prepared as it can take several days for rescue crews to restore power and running water.
When preparing for a hurricane, you should allow for both drinking water and water to be used for sanitation purposes like flushing toilets, cleaning and bathing. You should calculate 1 gallon of drinking water, per person, per day to be stored in unbreakable containers. You may need to account for hotter temperatures, nursing mothers and ill people, which all generally require more water than the average adult. Additional water should be added for mixing formula if you have children and for your pets. Stored water should be rotated each year. Water for sanitation use can be calculated as an additional two quarts per person, per day. Water purification tablets (Halazone) can be purchased and used with water stored in bathtubs and other containers and saves you from buying expensive drinking water.
Non-perishable food items should be compiled to account for 3-7 days of food per family member and may include a range of options, preferably in single serving cans that do not require cooking or refrigeration like ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables. Canned juices, milk, and soup (if powdered, store extra water) should be stored as well as high energy foods like crackers, granola bars and trail mixes. Pet food should be accounted for as well.
In addition to the basics of food and water, a list of miscellaneous objects should be added to your preparedness kit to help you weather the storm including: a can opener, garbage bags, liquid detergent, a First Aid kit, towels, rain gear, tents, pillows, blankets and forms of entertainment like board games and cards. Items like vitamins, paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils, aluminum foil are also important.
For more information on Hurricane Preparedness, visit the National Weather Service, National Hurricane Center or the American Red Cross.