Though major hurricanes are not guaranteed to hit U.S. landfall every year a hurricane survival kit is a necessary part of life for the southern and eastern states where hurricanes strike. Hurricanes are vicious storms producing winds between 100-150 miles per hour, with gusts exceeding 200 miles per hour. These massive storms can produce storm surges ranging from 4-20 feet above normal high tide levels and deliver rainfalls of a foot or more. Mother nature is not to be trifled with during these powerful storms and having a hurricane survival kit shows much prudence.
Two main packages
A hurricane survival kit should be divided into two main packages. The first package is the equipment necessary for a quick evacuation from the hurricane zone. The second package of the kit is the equipment necessary to ride out the storm and its aftermath. It is important to note that if evacuation orders are given, they should be obeyed if at all possible. Do not assume that your hurricane survival kit is a comparable substitute to evacuation.
In the event of an evacuation a hurricane survival kit should contain the following: Food and water for two weeks, flashlights and batteries, cash (as ATMs may not be working), a one month’s supply of all prescriptions, photo copies or originals of important documents, and bedding and clothing sufficient for a few days at a time. Also a good idea are travel games and a deck of cards to stave off boredom.
Temporary hurricane relief
If evacuation is not possible a hurricane survival kit can be supplemented with generator produced electricity. Be sure to have fuel on hand as gas pumps might not be in operation in the immediate aftermath of a hurricane. Be certain all the shutters are fastened over the windows or nail thick sheets of plywood directly into the frame. Take shelter either in the basement or the innermost room of your home, away from windows. A VHF radio receiver can be used to pick of broadcasts by the NOAA giving out updated information on the storm.
Be certain to include a minimum three day supply of food and water per person in your hurricane survival kit. Also include a first aid kit, tool kit, tarps, and work gloves to deal with damage and debris. Maintaining sanitation through use of commodes, trash bags, gloves, toiletry items and cleaning supplies is a vital part of recovering from the damages and promoting healthy living conditions. The aftermath of a hurricane is devastating, but the consequences of not having a hurricane survival kit when it is needed can be even more catastrophic.