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Hurricane Florence is coming: Pack these 13 things right now

Hurricane Florence is coming: Pack these 13 things right now
[Photo: ivabalk/Pixabay]

Hurricane Florence is bearing down on the East Coast, and an estimated 1 million people are preparing to evacuate from their oceanfront property in the Carolinas and Virginia.

As hurricane season gets under way, whether you’re in the evacuation zone or not, it’s a good time to check your hurricane preparation kit. While we’re not saying to go buy a bunker somewhere in the Midwest, we’re also not not saying that. (As our climate changes and the oceans warm up, scientists expect hurricanes to get worse.) In the meantime, it’s worth stocking up on a few basic emergency supplies just in case. You may never need them, but if you find yourself battening down the hatches when the next hurricane hits, you’ll be glad to have them.

According to the Department of Homeland Security’s taxpayer-funded preppers website, Ready.gov, here are the basic emergency supplies everyone should include in their disaster preparation kit. Shove everything except the water into a duffel bag and you’ll be ready to rumble the next time disaster strikes:

  • Water–one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food–at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps (as in, on paper)
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

Download the Recommended Supplies List (PDF)

If you’re an advanced beginner in emergency prep, Ready.gov suggests adding a few more items:

  • Prescription medications
  • Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids, or laxatives
  • Glasses and contact lens solution
  • Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Cash or traveler’s checks
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification, and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper to disinfect water
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels, and plastic utensils
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles, or other activities for children
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