Preparing for a hurricane does not start just as when it approaches. It should be done months before the hurricane season. It meant having one less thing to worry about and more time to focus on other things.
It is a typical scenario to have our hurricane grocery list be made at the last minute just as when the storm approaches. We’re part of those groups of people who are in a hurry to stock up on necessities. But, to no avail, some of the items on the list are no longer available.
That is why the importance of having a robust disaster preparedness plan continues to grow as hurricanes become more powerful and record-breaking as the years go along. This way you have a kit at the ready whenever and wherever. After all, you never know when will a disaster occur.
The Must-Haves of a Disaster-Proof Hurricane Grocery List
The hurricane season may not be coming in a few months, but it’s winter season. We’re already experiencing the strength of Mother Nature as a deadly winter storm went through North America a couple of days ago. That’s why having an emergency kit should be a top priority. It can be used when the need arises, no matter what the season is.
It is best to start immediately when things are slow to get the things you’ll need to set up a good hurricane grocery list or a great disaster kit. Thus, making the word ‘panic buying’ inapplicable to you.
So, where to begin?
Your kit should cover six basic things: a first aid kit, tools and emergency supplies, food, water, bedding, clothing, and special items.
To give you some help provided below are recommended things to get and additional tips.
First Aid Kit and Sanitation
- Various sizes of sterile gauze pads
- Adhesive bandages
- Adhesive tape
- Tweezers and scissors
- Hand Sanitizer
- Wet wipes
- Antibacterial ointment
- Face masks
- Cold pack
- Medicine Kit - non-prescription drugs such as laxatives, antacids, aspirin, anti-diarrhea medication, vitamins
Be sure to check your medicine kit regularly for any expired medicine so you can remove them and replace them with new ones.
Be sure to take inventory of your stockpile before a storm arrives. It is essential to have at least a 3-day stock of nonperishable food. The FDA recommends getting food that has a long shelf life and doesn’t require to be cooked and refrigerated.
If electricity is down, raw meats inside the freezer are safe for consumption for up to 24 hours or 48 hours, depending on how full the fridge is.
Some of the food to have are the following:
- Preserved meats
- Canned food - fruits, stew, veggies, soups
- High energy food
- Comfort food
- Packets of condiments - ketchup, salt, pepper, mustard
Regularly check your stock’s expiration date and remove the ones that are about to go bad. Consume them and replace them with new ones.
Everyone needs to keep themselves hydrated. Water supply is one of the first things to get affected during and after a hurricane. That’s why it’s necessary to have enough water in case it takes a while for the water supply to be fixed.
- 1 gallon of water - the amount of water an individual can consume in one week. Consider getting a gallon of water for each household member. Or at least 56 bottles of 16 oz of water which can last a week for a household of 7 people. That means each person gets to have 8 bottles of water a week before running out.
- Powdered milk
- Energy Drinks
- Canned Coffee
Avoid using containers that easily break like glass bottles or quickly decompose such as a milk carton. This meant less cleaning. Plastic containers are a good way to store water.
And, be sure to inspect your water supplies regularly to make sure that everything is still good. Consume those that are about to expire and replace them.
Clothing and Bedding
Emergency Supplies and Tools
- A list of your local emergency numbers and local shelters
- Matches or lighters
- A small canister of fire extinguisher
- Signal flare
- Storage containers
- Shut-off wrench - to shut down household gas and water
These items or lists are necessary depending on an individual’s situation and a person’s special needs.
For Entertainment and Comfort
Power cuts are expected to happen during hurricane season so keeping yourself and the rest of the family entertained and comfortable should be kept in mind.
- Board Games
- Power Banks
- Solar Generators
Our furry family members are the most vulnerable part of the household so their needs should also be taken care of. Their kit should have the following:
- Cat Litter
- The identification tag with your phone number, as well as friends and family members as an alternative
- Powdered milk
- Prescription medications - be sure to check with your pharmacist or physician about storing them
- Personal and family documents/records - should be kept in a waterproof and portable container
- Eyeglasses or contact lenses
- Denture needs
It can never be said enough. Regularly check your inventory to make sure that every part of your disaster kit.
Your work doesn’t stop with completing your hurricane grocery list. It’s just a part of a bigger plan. Have an annual hurricane checklist that includes:
- An inspection of your house’s current state,
- Update your family’s emergency plan which includes an evacuation route,
- Check your insurance policy,
- And see if you can receive alerts in other ways from your local authorities, FEMA or Red Cross.
Be sure to stay informed once a hurricane is coming. Keep up-to-date with its current path to ensure your safety and everyone at home.
By having all of these things checked and prepared, it meant one less thing to worry about. Giving you more time to focus on other things.
So, don’t wait until the last minute to buy and put together these things just as the hurricane approaches and people scramble around to get them too.
Now is the perfect time to do it.
And, by having a well-made hurricane grocery list you’re equipped with the building blocks to face other forms of emergencies that may arise.
* We want to give credit where credit is due. Professional writer, Cris Ilao, contributed research and content to this blog titled: A Guide to Turning Your Hurricane Grocery List into a Disaster-Proof Plan Thank you, Cris, for your contributions!