Building A Proper Hurricane Emergency Kit

The Atlantic is a hurricane hotbed, always threatening Florida’s coast with the possibility of major storms. 

Preparing for a storm, whether a tropical depression or category 5, should happen well before it’s hurtling toward the Sunshine State. 

There are four pillars to making a proper hurricane emergency kit: Basic Supplies, Additional Supplies, Storage and Maintenance.

Basic Supplies

  • Water (3-day supply of 1 gal. of water per person per day for drinking and sanitation)

  • Food (3-day supply of non-perishable goods)

  • First aid kit

    • Red Cross Recommendation:

    • 2 – Absorbent compress dressings

    • 25 – Adhesive bandages

    • 1 – Adhesive cloth tape

    • 5 – Antibiotic ointment packets

    • 5 – Antiseptic wipe packets

    • 2 – Packets of aspirin (81 mg each)

    • 1 – Emergency blanket

    • 1 – Breathing barrier (with one-way valve)

    • 1 – Instant cold compress

    • 2 – Pair of nonlatex gloves

    • 2 – Hydrocortisone ointment packets

    • 1 – 3 in. gauze roll bandage

    • 1 – Roller bandage (4 inches wide)

    • 5 – 3×3 in. sterile gauze pads

    • 5 – 4×4 in. sterile gauze pads

    • 2 – Triangular bandages

    • Oral thermometer (non-mercury/non-glass)

    • Tweezers

  • Flashlight

  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio

  • Cellphone chargers and a backup battery

  • Extra batteries

  • Dust mask

  • Garbage bags

  • Plastic ties

  • Wrench or pliers

  • Local maps

Additional Supplies

  • Prescription medications

  • Non-prescription medications (pain relievers, anti-diarrhea, laxatives or antacids)

  • Important family documents (insurance policies, identification and bank records)

  • Cash or traveler’s checks

  • Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes and rash cream

  • Pet food and extra water

  • Bleach and medicine dropper to disinfect water

  • Fire extinguisher

  • Matches 

  • Sleeping bags or warm blankets

  • Change of clothes

  • Glasses and contact lens solution

  • Personal hygiene items

  • Mess kits

  • Paper cups, paper plates, paper towels and plastic utensils

  • Pencils and paper

Storage 

  • Store items in easy-to-carry plastic bins or duffel bags 

  • Place sensitive items in airtight plastic bags

  • Keep kit in a designated space at home

  • Additional kits can be kept at work or vehicle

    • Vehicle kit:

    • Jumper cables

    • Flares or reflective triangle

    • Car cellphone charger

    • Blanket

    • Local maps

    • Cat litter or sand for better tire traction

Maintenance

  • Replace expired items periodically

  • Keep food in a cool and dry location

  • Rethink kit needs and make adjustments accordingly

For your convenience, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) created an emergency supplies checklist that you can print out.