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Be Ready: A Hurricane Supply Checklist

Be Ready: A Hurricane Supply Checklist

Nobody knows just how much damage a storm will cause until it is over. Be prepared for the worst by putting together the following supplies, which you will need during and after the storm. Tip: start collecting your supplies a little at a time from the start of the season. This makes them more affordable.


Drinking Water - minimum of 5 gallons per person. Use pre-bottled water or keep clean containers with tight-fitting lids. Once you fill them, seal tightly, use a permanent marker to write ‘drinking water’ and the date; store in a cool, dark place.

Non-Perishable Food & Beverages - at least a 7- day supply for each person.

Special Needs Items for the Sick or Disabled, such as:

  • Buy items in cans, plastic or other unbreakable, water-proof containers.
  • If items have paper labels, use a permanent marker to write the name of the item directly on the container, as the label may get wet and fall off.
  • Some items do not keep long once they are opened. Buy sizes which you can finish the same day opened.
  • Include some high-energy and comfort foods such as granola bars, chocolate, candy, etc., and some hardy fruits and vegetables
  • Extra prescription medicine (2-week supply. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for guidelines for storing these.)
  • Special foods
  • Special equipment

Baby & Children’s Items:

  • food and liquid formula, diapers, wipes, snacks, a few favorite small toys or games, etc.

Cooking, Heating Equipment & Fuel:

  • Portable stove – e.g. camp stove
  • Mini propane/butane tanks
  • "Sterno" for heating food
  • Waterproof matches or lighters
  • Oil and Gasoline for Generators
  • Portable cooler / ice chest
  • Disposable utensils - plastic cutlery, plates and cups


Tools and Materials, including:

  • Can opener - non-electric
  • Sharp knife
  • Scissors
  • Duct tape
  • Rope
  • Hammer, nails, screws, screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers
  • Tarp or heavy-duty plastic
  • Work gloves
  • Portable Radio -If battery-powered, get extra batteries; consider a wind-up, or solar-powered, radio. These do not need batteries.
  • Cell phone, car charger and/or extra battery
  • Lighting - 2 flashlights for each person and 2 extra packets of batteries, or wind-up flashlight
  • Battery-operated lanterns, replacement bulbs and batteries

Note: It is best to avoid using open flames such as candles or kerosene lamps for lighting as these carry a great risk of starting a fire. Flashlights provide the safest light.

Personal Hygiene, Sanitation & Health Aids:

  • Toiletries
  • Paper towels
  • Toilet paper
  • Insect repellant
  • Hand sanitizer
  • First-aid kit
  • Bleach (pure, unscented)
  • Water purification tablets
  • Heavy-duty trash bags
  • Containers for sewage - at least two 5-gallon buckets, with tight-fitting covers. Line with plastic bags
  • Cash

Important Documents


Keep these records in a waterproof pouch in a convenient place known to all family members. When a storm is threatening, place your pouch in your survival kit. The pouch should include the following:

  • Personal identification, Passports and travel visas (or waivers)
  • Immigration records/permits
  • Other travel documents such as airline tickets
  • Emergency contact list and phone numbers
  • Bank and credit card account numbers
  • Insurance policies & papers – household, auto and life
  • Inventory of valuable household goods
  • Contracts, deeds, stocks, bonds and will.
  • Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates and immunization records)

Pet items 

  • Pet carrier(s)
  • extra pet food
  • water
  • litter


Extra Gasoline for Vehicles/Generator (at least 7 day supply)

Jumper Cable for Vehicles.

Blanket, Sleeping Bag, Small Pillow for each Person



Storing your Supplies

Pack smaller items in waterproof containers and store on a shelf or countertop away from the floor in case of flooding. Tie bigger items down or store in a safe place where they won’t float or blow away.

Generators: Remember that generators should be stored with oil - but not gasoline, which can ignite easily.


Grab and Go Survival Kit

Conditions may change suddenly in an emergency and you may have to leave at a moment’s notice. When a hurricane threatens, get together a personal survival kit from your supplies or, better yet, prepare it beforehand. The kit is a bag or other portable container with your most important emergency items, which you can just grab if you have to go in a hurry. Each family member should have one.

It should contain:

  • Drinking water for at least three days (see guidelines above)
  • Food and drink for at least three days - lightweight, compact, water-proof- packaged, non-perishable items that don’t need
  • cooking, heating or refrigeration and which can be eaten from the container
  • Change of clothing and sturdy, protective shoes; rain gear, hat, sun glasses
  • Sleeping bag, mat or blanket

In addition, the kit for each adult and each child old enough to carry them should contain:

  • Personal identification and other important documents (see box)
  • Portable radio, flashlight and extra batteries
  • Cell phone and charger/ extra battery
  • Can opener, utility knife, utensils
  • Cash (including coins)
  • Prescription medicine if necessary (Ask your doctor or pharmacist for guidelines for storing these.)
  • Eyeglasses if used (extra pair and/or a copy of the prescription)
  • Extra keys for house and vehicles
  • Special items for children, elderly or those with special needs
  • Store other valuables in a water-proof container on the highest level of your home to minimize the chance of them becoming soaked.


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