If you live within an area where hurricanes are a possibility, it is important that you are prepared in advance of the next storm.
Once news hits that a hurricane is on its way, the stores empty out fast. It is too late at that time to try to prepare.
In this article we are going to go over the most important supplies that you need to have in advance to keep you and your family safe during a major storm. (Disclaimer: this is not a replacement for evacuating. If you are told to evacuate it is important to do so.)
The Most Important Supplies for a Hurricane are:
Stored Water & Water Filters
The most important thing you need to store is water. You can last months without food if you have to, but only days without water.
If your situation allows you to stay in your home, your water may shut off or become contaminated. It is very important to have drinkable water stored.
At the very minimum you should have at least 10 days of water stored for each person and pet that you have in your home. The average human will need a minimum of at least a gallon of water per day. Depending on the situation all of that water may need to go for drinking. In other situations part of that might be used for other things.
Below are a couple of links to where you can purchase on Amazon a couple of different types of blue plastic water barrel solutions similar to the one shown in the above left image:
Treating Stored Water
In the image on the left I show a picture of E. D. Goodloe’s Aerobic Stabilized Oxygen. There are lots of companies that make this. If the stored water has enough oxygen in it harmful bacteria cannot grow.
I treated 14 x 55 gallon barrels of water with about twice the amount of E. D. Goodloe’s Aerobic Stabilized Oxygen as the directions called for and then I left the containers of water closed and alone for about 7 years. When I opened them up their was zero algae or growths in the water at least to the visible eye. I drank some of the water and never got sick.
You can also treat the water with chlorine bleach but this gets old and you have to keep treating the water every 6 months to a year. And then when you drink the water you will want to filter the water to get the chlorine out. Some people don’t treat the water because they just plan on running it through a really great filter anyway. I like to treat it.
I could not find E.D Goodlowe’s stabilized oxygen on Amazon. I am sure if you Google the name you can find a place to buy it still. Here is another brand that looks good on Amazon: Stabilized Oxygen.
I recommend that people store more water than a 10 days supply. I recommend that you store at least a years supply of food and at least a 6 month’s supply of water.
You may not need this much for most hurricanes, but if you get a severe storm, earthquake, volcano, or nuclear bomb you could need water for much longer than 10 days.
Water for 72 Hour Emergency Kit
We will discuss later in this article why it is so crucial to have an emergency bug out bag (a.k.a. a 72 hour emergency kit). But right now I want to say that it is very important that you have some water in your 72 hour kit in sterile sealed bags as shown in the image on the left.
Below is a link to where you can get the emergency drinking water on Amazon like that shown in the above left image: Emergency Drinking Water
When a disaster strikes and you are forced to evacuate, whether you are driving or hiking to higher ground or heading to a community shelter, when you will not have access to any water that you can filter. It is very important in emergency situations that you and your loved ones stay hydrated. Packing some safe water with you will allow you to do that.
There are two kinds of water filters that are important to have. If you can’t afford both, then the most important of the two is to have a portable water filter such as a straw as shown in the picture on the left.
Be sure that you get a brand that will filter out 99.99% of the bacteria and viruses that may be found in water, as well as harmful chemicals such as fluoride and chlorine. This type of filter is especially important if you have to flee or evacuate and filter water on the go.
They also have water straws such as I demonstrate in the below video that have a long plastic hose that allows you to drink water out of a puddle, pond or river without leaning over and getting so close to the water.
Having tested it out myself it is a lot more convenient to not have to lean over and get right next to the water. (This may be especially important if you have things such as alligators or crocodiles in the water where you will be drinking from! 🙂 )
Below are links to where you can get the water filter items I demonstrate in the above video on Amazon, just in case you would like them:
Larger Water Filters
The second type of water filter you will want to have if your can afford it is to have a larger filter that will allow you to filter water in larger quantities for drinking or cooking.
In the image on the left it shows a Berkey Water Filter which is a large water filter that you can set on a counter or a table and they will gravity filter gallons of water at a time. There are some very good filters out there now that will filter out everything but the things you want to have in the water.
Again remember, just like with the water straws, you want to be sure to get a water filter that will remove 99.99% of the bacteria and viruses as well as harmful metals and contaminants. The last thing you want to happen when you are dealing with the stress of a hurricane is to get sick from some parasite or nasty bug in your water.
I show the Berkey here because I know it is a high quality water filter. But there are others out there if you do your research.
Water Purification Tablets
I list these last simply because they are my least favorite method. I would much better filter out nasty bacteria, viruses and contaminants rather than dump a bunch of harsh chemicals in the water to kill them.
But water purification tablets are (in my opinion) a necessary evil that we must have. They are extremely light weight and should be kept in every emergency kit. There may be times when this is the only thing you can carry. They can be used should something happen to your water or filters. It is a backup measure just in case.
The next most important thing that you will need to store is food. It does not need to be packaged stored food like I show here in the image to the left. It could be canned foods and frozen foods (assuming you have a backup generator), even foods you canned or freeze dried yourself. The point is that if the store shelves empty out because everyone is stocking up for the storm, you don’t want to go without food.
Here is a link to where you can get the freeze dried food, they are freeze dried ready made meals: Peak Refuel Variety Meal Kit
The best way to do it is you should always keep at least a two week’s supply of food in your house. This needs to be the normal type of food that you are used to eating. Then after that you will want to have at least a 6 months supply of food similar to what I show in the above image on the left (or canned food, as long as you keep it fresh by constantly rotating it).
Packaged stored food from food storage companies similar to what I show above left comes in both dried and freeze dried varieties. Things like grains, legumes and pastas will be dried. And things like vegetables, desserts and sometimes meats, you can get freeze dried.
Anything you can get freeze dried is best because it is lighter, taste better and will keep almost 100% of its nutrients. Pre-made meals are more convenient but will also be more expensive.
72 Hour Emergency Kits (a.k.a. Bug Out Bags)
The next most important thing to have in a hurricane is a 72 hour emergency kit for everyone in your home. I am not kidding. This is critical. If the storm is coming your way and is bad enough, you will be asked to evacuate. A quality well stocked 72 hour kit will save your life, especially if you have to leave on your own by car or by foot.
They sell pre-made 72 hour emergency kits like the one shown in the image on the above left.
Also you may wish to read an extensive article I did on this subject that will save you a ton of research entitled “Top 10 Premade 72-Hour Kits“.
- 72-HOUR SURVIVAL KITS – The first 72 hours after disaster are the most critical, making it essential to have an emergency kit with all the supplies, gear, nutrition, and water needed for the…
- SUPERIOR QUALITY EMERGENCY BAG – Survival backpacks include 24 Wise Company non perishable food servings with bowls and utensils, 4 Aqua Literz 33.8oz Emergency Water Pouches, 4 water filtration…
The nice thing about a pre-made kit is they have enough for you to survive all put together for you. Then if you wish to something added to it, you can always add to the kit yourself. But that way most of the work is done for you.
If you wish to make your own 72 Hour Kit you might find this article helpful “72-Hour Emergency Kit Checklist“. That article is a pretty complete list of all of the things you will need such as an emergency blanket, tent, flashlight, etc.
Emergency Cooking Stove
If the power goes out you are going to need a way to boil water and cook food. In the image on the left I show just one example of many of how this can be accomplished.
A propane BBQ grill or even one that uses charcoal briquettes would work as long as you have enough charcoal to last at least a couple of weeks.
The take away here is that having stored food is only as helpful as your ability to prepare it and get it to an edible state.
Above we talked about the importance of having a 72 hour kit. Well no decent 72 hour kit exists that does not have a small portable stove you can cook the food that you have in the emergency kit. Even that would work in your home, but things would go more slowly.
In the above left image there is a single burner Coleman camping stove. They also make quite nice propane stoves with multiple burners. If you have a large family something along those lines would be preferred. Below are a few links to several options you can get on Amazon to solve your cooking needs:
- Coleman PowerPack Propane Stove, Single Burner
- Camp Chef Explorer Double Burner Stove
- Koblenz 4-Burner Gas Stove
- Royal Gourmet BBQ Charcoal Grill and Offset Smoker
- Royal Gourmet Propane Gas Grill
- Giantex Propane Tabletop Gas Grill
Essential Kits & Medications
What do I mean by an “essential kit”? I am basically talking about a personal hygiene kit. Things like critical feminine products, tooth brush and soap, those kinds of things. During an emergency, especially if you are on the move, personal hygiene is very important.
Not only does it keep us healthier, but it keeps our spirits up. You can walk longer even if you are rationing food and water, if you can occasionally refresh yourself and clean up.
Somehow things are worse if you are hungry and tired, and your hygiene is poor. Here is a link to where you can get the kit in the above left image on CPR Savers website: 12 Piece Female Personal Hygiene Kit. Or as you can see also in the image a kit like that is very simple to put together yourself.
This can also be a matter of life or death. If you have to take heart medication for example, you will want to have several months supply of this at least stored up.
If you are a diabetic and have to give yourself insulin shots, you need to be stocked up at least a couple of months of that. I know this can be hard sometimes because of prescription limitations. Do the best you can and have as much stored up as you are able to.
First Aid Kits
- Medical kit accommodates 1 – 10 people for 1 – 14 days
- Take life-saving trauma supplies in the detachable field kit, and leave the larger kit at base camp
- Stop bleeding from field injuries, animal attacks, and knife wounds with WoundStop trauma dressing
Again as with all of the things we discuss in this article you will want to have at least one large kit for your home, and individual smaller kits for each of your family member’s 72 hour kits.
Here is a link to where you can get this kit on Amazon shown in the image on the left in case you are interested: Adventure Medical Kits Sportsman Series 400 Outdoor First Aid Kit
In a hurricane situation there are various possibilities as to where you will be. The best case situation you will be able to stay in your home for the duration. In the worst case scenario you will have to not only evacuate, but flee quickly.
You need to have each of the supplies we discuss in this article available on a moments notice for each of these situations, including first aid kits.
The focus of this article is on the most important things that we need to have in order to be able to live and survive in the worst of hurricane situations. Hopefully if you experience a hurricane in your area it will not be a worst case scenario. But if you do get the worst case scenario wouldn’t you be grateful if you were prepared for the hurricane?
Now this article does not go over things you can do to your home to prepare it for a hurricane. That is meant for another article. The material of this article is focused on what you need to have to live.