Hurricane Center expo highlights items to stock up on ahead of storms

News 6 meteorologist Samara Cokinos brings back tips from annual expo

By Brianna Volz - Web producer

ORLANDO, Fla. - Just ahead of the 2018 hurricane season, News 6 sent meteorologist Samara Cokinos to the National Hurricane Conference, where experts who plan for natural disasters learn the things they need to in order to be prepared.

During her time at the expo, Cokinos took notes on a few valuable lessons that can help Floridians prepare for any storm that may come their way. 

Here’s some of what she learned:

For starters, companies like Sustain Supply Company offer complete disaster survival kits that come in one backpack.

Stern said the backpack is stocked with enough food, water, tools and gear to get you or you and your family through a 72-hour period of time. 

[MORE: 2018 Atlantic hurricane season could be above normal, NOAA says]

The backpack comes filled with basic essential supplies meant to last you three days in the event of an emergency.

Some of the items in the backpack go beyond your basic needs, though, to help you get by for a while should you lose power.

Other items include a knife, a handy bath, wet napkins to clean your body if you don’t have access to a shower, bathtub, or most importantly, water.

The National Hurricane Center recommends that you have enough water collected for each person in your household to use one gallon per day for at least three days.

It’s also important to keep a filter that can help to make sure you’re using clean water if and when your stockpile runs out and you find that your area is under a boil water notice or something similar that would prevent you from having clean, running water. 

Some filters, like the one Cokinos saw at the expo, can filter up to 1 million gallons of water and will remove almost all water-borne illness that can be found in water, Stern said.

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Food options, including ready-to-eat meals, or MRE meals, are a good thing to keep in mind when stocking up on disaster-preparedness items.

Experts at the expo recommended the meals, saying they’re easy to make because they don’t require other resources. They can also make for a fun activity to do with kids if the power is out and your family needs a meal. 

First-aid kits for both humans and pets are also important to have ahead of hurricane season. Experts recommend you keep your pets in mind when preparing for a storm, because there’s a good chance you won’t be able to get to a vet right away in the event of a medical emergency. 

Orlando Emergency preparedness manager Eric Alberts walks you through what needs to go into an hurricane kit below.

The National Hurricane Center also recommends you stock up on the following items ahead of the season:
•    Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
•    Flashlight
•    Extra batteries
•    Whistle to signal for help
•    Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
•    Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
•    Manual can opener for food
•    Local maps
•    Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

Click here to download a supply checklist from the Federal Emergence Management Agency.

Officials also recommend you have a plan in place and that you're familiar with the route you should take if and when you have to evacuate

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