If you are planning on riding out a Hurricane you need to have a Hurricane Survival Kit on hand.
As Southern Dads, our first priority is making sure our family and home is safe and secure. The time to prepare for a hurricane is not when the hurricane is inching closer, but before any storms even form. Before I go any further into this Hurricane Survival Kit, you need to make sure it is safe for you to ride out the hurricane. Please follow your local authority’s warnings and evacuate if necessary. If it is safe for you to stay in your home during the storm then there are some basic items that you will need and some things that make your life more comfortable.
Let’s start with the basics
The first and most important thing you need to have is at least 20 gallons of fresh water for a family of 4(the general rule is to have a gallon of water per child per day and two gallons of water for adults per day). The best way to make sure you have enough storage for the water is to save your gallon containers of milk and sweet tea (because, be honest, we are in the South, we all have sweet tea). Avoid the rush at the grocery store by rinsing and drying the containers really well when you are done with them throughout the year so that when a hurricane does head your way you can fill up the containers with water from your faucet. You also would want to fill your bathtub with water for flushing the toilet, basic cleaning, and bathing in case the water gets shut off.
The next item you need to make sure you have is plenty of is non perishable goods like dry cereals, protein bars, chips, bread, and canned meats. If you can get cans with the pop top lids then great, but not all cans have those so make sure you have a manual can opener like THIS ONE. Keep in mind that canned goods will eventually spoil, so you’ll need to check your expiration dates from time to time.
One of the last items you’ll need for the basics is battery-powered lighting. I would recommend getting a lantern like THIS ONE, and/or flashlights like THIS ONE. Just make sure you get plenty of extra AA and AAA batteries so when they die you can replace them. The reason why I recommend battery-powered lighting over getting a bunch of candles is because of the fire hazard that candles impose. The last thing you want is for you and/or your kids to fall asleep with a candle burning and catch the house on fire.
Items for comfort in a Hurricane Survival Kit
Many people lose power at some point during the storm and if that is the case for you then you will want a generator like THIS ONE. When choosing a generator you will need one with a minimum of 5500 running watts. That is not peak watts so be careful when you read the specs on the generator. There are ways to hook up your generator to your house with a transfer switch kit like THIS ONE but please have a professional install the kit so you don’t electrocute yourself of burn your house down. If you don’t get the kit then you’ll need to get four heavy-duty extension cords that are 100 ft long like THIS ONE. Finally, don’t forget gas cans to stock up on fuel for your generator. I recommend getting at least four 5 gallon gas cans like THIS ONE so you know you’ll be fueled up for a few days until lines at the gas station calm down.
I hesitate on putting this under the “comfort” category because air conditioning is almost a necessity in the South, but apparently we CAN live without it for a few days. But if you’re like me, you just may not want to. Since most generators won’t power your central heat and air I would highly recommend getting a portable A/C unit with a minimum 10000 BTU like THIS ONE. These units are affordable but relatively small, meaning they are only intended to cool off roughly one room at a time. That’s why I recommend a portable unit over a window unit because a portable unit is easier move from room to room. For example, if you want to cool your bedroom at night and then move the unit to the family room during the day, you can. If you would prefer a window unit I would recommend getting one with a minimum 8000 BTU like THIS ONE.
The next item that makes life easier and more comfortable would be getting a propane grill like THIS ONE. Most generators won’t run your stove so having a grill to cook your food is great. Plus on top of it you can use the grill year around as an added bonus.
One last item you should get to make your life more comfortable would be a solar shower like THIS ONE. I would recommend getting one per person in your household since most generators won’t power your hot water heater. All you have to do is place them outside during the day and at night bring them inside and hang them in your showers in the house to take a hot shower. Everyone gets especially smelly when you’re hot and sweaty with no power for days after a hurricane. Do yourself a favor and get your family members a shower.
What items does your family like to have in a Hurricane Survival Kit?