ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Hurricane season begins on June 1, but now is the time to start preparing.
Once you know your evacuation zone and have an evacuation plan, you should prepare a hurricane survival kit. Even if you’re not ordered to evacuate, a strong tropical storm or hurricane may leave you without power, food and other supplies for several days and possibly longer.
Being prepared means having your own food, water and other supplies to last for at least several days. A hurricane survival kit is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.
Ready.gov recommends you have two kits: a basic kit and a kit with additional emergency supplies.
Basic Disaster Supplies Kit
To assemble your kit, store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag.
A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:
- Water (one gallon per person per day for several days, for drinking and sanitation)
- Food (at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food)
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio and an NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
- First aid kit
- Extra batteries
- Whistle (to signal for help)
- Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
- 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
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
Additional Emergency Supplies
- Masks (for everyone ages 2 and above), soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes to disinfect surfaces
- Prescription medications
- Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
- Prescription eyeglasses and contact lens solution
- Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes and 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
- 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
Pet Hurricane Survival Kit
- Bottled water
- One to two weeks’ worth of your pet’s food
- Collapsible food and water bowls
- Cat litter and pan
- Leash, collar and harness
- Pet life jacket and paw protectors
- Basic pet first-aid kit
- Vaccination records and medical history
- Veterinarian’s contact information
- List of medications
- Emergency contacts
- Photos of your pet in case of separation
If you do have to evacuate, take your pet with you. If it's unsafe for humans, it's unsafe for pets. Emergency shelters and hotels may have limited space and pets might not be allowed, so find a boarding facility along your evacuation route and make arrangements before a storm threatens.
Once your kits are assembled, it’s important to maintain them for the entire season.
Maintaining Your Kit
- Keep canned food in a cool, dry place.
- Store boxed food in a tightly closed plastic or metal containers.
- Replace expired items as needed.
- Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family’s needs change.
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