Irma hit us harder than any storm in recent memory, but with hurricane season still in full swing, how is your emergency preparedness? We all need to at least restock our emergency kits, but it’s also an opportunity to make improvements.
What to Stock
Some of the primary staples you’ll want to store include:
Non-perishable food items
Cooking fuel and equipment
Hygiene and sanitation supplies
Medical supplies (including first aid, prescriptions, supplements, etc.)
All of these items should cover the needs of your family, including your pets. Water, food, “bathroom” supplies, and emergency health items for your pets are not only as important as the supplies for the human members of the family, but in an evacuation situation may be even harder to get, so stocking up in advance helps significantly.
When preparing for a major storm event, you may need multiple emergency preparedness kits: particularly for your home and your car. Your car kit is optimized for travel and should fit comfortably in smaller spaces, like your trunk, while still meeting the needs of all your family members (people and pets) while on the go. At home, make use of weather-resistant and airtight containers. Your garage might be an ideal location to store your emergency supplies, but that also makes it that much more important that your garage door and the surrounding structure are secure and designed to resist hurricane winds. In case waters rise, keep items up off the floor on shelves.
If your garage becomes especially hot, consider a more climate-controlled storage area in your home so that food and water are not exposed to extreme temperatures.
Beyond simply restocking your kit when supplies are used, it’s important to periodically check for expired foods. Use up food items nearing expiration and restock your kit with fresh supplies. Throw out any bulging or rusty canned foods. Write the date on bottled water and replace twice a year.
Each time you restock your emergency preparedness kit, review your needs for any changes: new pet? more family members or guests? medical conditions? Adjust your kit accordingly.
Storms certainly can be unpredictable, but the best thing we can do is be prepared with a few days’ worth of supplies.