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People clearing supermarket shelves and pumped gas stations dry as Irma grew to become the strongest storm ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean. Don’t let this happen to you again!
We have a list of things you’ll need to have in your house before everything goes crazy again:
- Stocking a household hurricane kit is a lot like preparing for a survivalist camping trip. Stock up on what you need to stay both comfortable and safe in a worst-case scenario. Keep everything in a durable, waterproof tote that’s easy to grab at a moment’s notice.
- A good rule of thumb is to stockpile enough food and supplies to sustain each family member for 3 to 7 days without any outside assistance. Bottle 7 gallons of water per person — enough to provide each person with a gallon of water a day for a week. That’s in case water supplies become contaminated.
- There’s another way to stay liquid: Withdraw plenty of cash long before any forecasted storms knock out the power to ATMs in your area.
- Emergency food stores, including pet food, baby food, infant formula and other dietary items, should be replaced every 6 months. Look for high-calorie, non-refrigerated food items like peanut butter, powdered sports drinks high in electrolytes and protein bars to help maintain energy in humid conditions.
- If your food supplies include canned goods, then none of that will help you and your family if you forget to pack a manual can opener.
- Be sure to refresh any bags pre-packed with clothes, pillows, sleeping bags and other comfort items you would want to take with you in the event of an evacuation.
- Perhaps even more important than your food supply is an ample supply of prescription medications for each family member, Deputy Emergency Coordinator. In Florida, doctors can provide a 90-day supply for most medications, Antapasis said. The planning council recommends storing enough to last two weeks, along with a list of all medications and dosages.
- Every hurricane kit should contain basic first aid supplies and other necessities such as hand sanitizer, toilet paper, garbage bags, insect repellent and sunscreen. Hand-crank radios, external cell phone charges, solar chargers, and other waterproof gadgets could become necessities if storms knock out communication lines.
- Above all else, every household should get a portable radio, ideally one with a NOAA Weather Radio option, to stay alert on emergency communications, Antapasis said. Also look for apps in the Apple and Android stores. Every city and county also offers push alerts for your cell phone.
- Have all important documents in a safe, dry place and take before and after pictures of your property inside and outside. If you have shutters, don’t forget to take pictures of the property with the shutters installed.