While building a disaster kit to get prepared for hurricane season is different for every household, there are a few basics everyone needs to be ready for when disaster strikes.
- Bottled water
- Non-perishable snacks
- Important documents
- Sanitation items
- First-aid kit
- List of prescription medications and the actual medications
If you are in a household with children, you may want to have extra games and coloring supplies. Additionally, comfort items, such as blankets and stuffed animals, are good to have on hand as well.
Division Chief Lauraleigh Avery of Orange County Fire Rescue said not to wait until the last minute to rush out and get these items. Not only will you have to deal with crowds and limited availability of items, but it can put a strain on your pocket.
“If they pick up a couple things, every time they’re at the grocery store, or, you know, other stores, they can be prepared before a storm is announced,” Avery said.
She even had a few budget-friendly tips to share.
“People can take milk jugs, or other jugs of you know, juice or what have you and clean them really well, and put regular water in them and store them in the back of their refrigerator. That is, you know, great drinking water that they can use during the storm,” Avery said.
She added those same frozen jugs can be used to keep food cold in the event the power goes out.
There are other options, like pre-made disaster bags, for those who may not have time in the day to grab a few items here and there.
We caught up with Brittany Bettonville, the marketing director for Quake Car and the Lighthouse for the Blind of St. Louis, Missouri where they provide pre-assembled emergency ready kits.
“We want to be able to help... individuals and families shelter in place for 3-10 days, so that if there’s a widespread disaster, first responders may not be able to assist them immediately so we decided to put together pre-assembled kits. They come in buckets or bags and they basically contain everything you need to be self-sufficient for up to 72 hours until Red Cross or FEMA can come,” Bettonville said.
The buckets and bags come in all different sizes and price ranges to fit the needs of the individual or family. They’re filled with basic necessities, like those listed above, and even items to help build a shelter and even tools for search and rescue efforts. People can even build their own kits online and they have a shelf life of five years. It’s one-click shopping at your leisure and it’s done.
So remember, when getting ready for hurricane season, look and see what you have first. Then fill in the blanks with items you or your household will need. From there, take action by getting those supplies either by going to the store or ordering them online. Doing this ahead of time will not only keep you safe, but it will help keep stress levels down. Keeping your mind at ease before disaster strikes will allow for better focus on the people that matter most, which includes you.