Hurricane season is upon us once again. With the potential loss of life and property increasing with each passing moment that the storm gains momentum, it is prudent to be prepared.
Here are somethings that everyone threatened by a storm should have on hand if they are unable to evacuate.
1. Fresh Water: It is always wise to have water on hand, whether you live in a hurricane zone or not. It wouldn’t hurt to know how to purify water too.
2. Batteries: Make sure you have the right types for what you need to power.
3. Food: MRE’s or survival rations are always good. Don’t stock up on things that need extensive prep or cooking. Dry goods always work, nuts, jerky, trail mix, dried fruit, etc.… stock food that you and your family will actually eat. It makes no sense to store five cases of lima beans, if nobody in your family eats lima beans.
4. Flashlights: In case of power outages, which is almost guaranteed to happen.
5. First Aid kit: Having a well-stocked basic first aid kit is paramount. If you are sheltered in place and there is somebody injured, it is better to be able to treat them, then leave it go unattended. Who knows when help will come. It is always wise to brush up on your basic first aid too.
6. Emergency cell phone: A pre-paid cell phone is a handy tool to keep on hand just in case. Keep it in a Ziploc plastic bag or Tupperware container to keep it from getting wet.
7. Means of self-defense: Firearm is best but non-lethal forms (i.e. pepper spray) can work too. It is sad that this even must be mentioned in this list, but the cold hard truth is during a crisis, people do dumb and dangerous things. As we saw with Katrina, looters and scum bags crawl out from the wood works during times like these. Protect yourself. Protect your family.
8. AM/FM radio: If you are sheltered for a long time, it helps to know what is going on. There are battery powered AM/FM radios still available at electronic stores, if you’re feeling thriftier; you could try a Goodwill or Salvation Army to get an old functional radio too.
9. Inflatable raft/boat: God forbid flooding becomes too horrific, but a raft or boat could be the difference between survival of you and your loved ones and death. These aren’t usually cheap, and not everyone will be able to afford this option. If you are able to, all the better.
10. Life preservers: Again, flooding is an issue in almost every major hurricane. I don’t care how good of a swimmer you are, a life jacket can make all the difference.
11. Wet weather gear: Ponchos, rain jackets etc… It’s a hurricane, it’s going to be wet. Prolonged exposure to the elements can make you and your loved ones susceptible to disease and hypothermia.
12. Blankets/sleeping bags: Hypothermia is a real threat in storms like this. Don’t succumb to the elements.
13. Barricade: If you have to shelter in place, board up your windows and doors. Storms like this can send trees and debris flying at speeds of 100+ miles an hour.
Having the right gear and mind set during a catastrophic event like a hurricane, will only aid you and your loved ones in surviving it. Be mindful of your surroundings. Know the best ways to travel and evacuate. Major road ways will be blocked and backed up with thousands of people trying to do the exact same thing you are. Trying to survive.
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