With the forecast of a devastating hurricane on the way, people are searching for how to be prepared for its effects. The cost of being unprepared for a natural disaster can be deadly. Looking at the effects of Hurricane Katrina, many people lost their lives because they did not have the fundamental survival items. While other sites tell you to get prepared, and to take food with you, we are laying out a full check list of the important items you should have in case Isaac turns into a full hurricane and hits land. This list might grossly overprepare you, but you certainly don’t want to be under prepared.
In a hurricane situation, there are many possible injuries that you must be prepared for. Always make sure you have a fully stocked first aid kit on hand. Additional medication you should keep with you are antibiotics, vitamins, personal medication, and pain killers. While antibiotics would not be needed for a small disaster, they could be vital if the devastation is wide spread. There are cases of people stranded after Katrina and becoming deadly ill from a lack of proper medication. An open wound can turn nasty in a mater of days if there is not proper medical attention. While taking antibiotics without medical direction can be dangerous, in a life or death situation it can save your life.
Also looking at the aftermath of Katrina, personal safety was very important. In some places, looters turned to violence against individuals protecting their property. If you are staying in your house and not evacuating, personal protection is highly recommended.
Water is vitally important once the water is turned off. You might think that you could collect water outside after the rains have stopped, but contamination is a big concern. Many first aid kits contain water purification tablets which can help. A good idea is to keep 1 gallon of water per person for 7 days.
Also of concern is identification. If you, God forbid, are injured and are unable to speak to your rescuers, you should carry your ID on you. This is vitally important for individuals with medication allergies or those on medications with interactions. Keep cash on hand for purchasing supplies after the hurricane has passed. Credit card lines might be out from the storm, so cash is the way to go. Remember to pack away valuable papers or jewelry before the storm hits. Safety deposit boxes are a good idea. Other miscellaneous items are flashlights with batteries, a crank powered radio, and an extra set of car keys.
Keeping a full 7 day supply of food for every person is a good idea. Disaster rescue can take up to two weeks to arrive, so keeping food for at least a week is a good idea. After a hurricane, there are high levels of contamination caused by bacteria from decomposing animals. Having food that is contained and shelf stable is the ideal situation. Some meat products to pack are canned fish, canned chicken, canned pork and beef (such as SPAM), jerky, peanut butter, nuts, and canned beans. Some milk products to pack away are powdered milk, canned condensed milk, shelf stable milk, shelf stable soy milk, and shelf stable cheese. Some fruit you should pack away are canned fruits in syrup. While syrup is unhealthy normally, in a disaster situation it can provide precious energy and calories. Also look at canned products rather than glass jars, as the glass can become dangerous in high winds. Some vegetables to pack away are canned products, canned soups, and freeze dried products. Other things to pack are crackers, freeze dried foods for camping, and instant noodles.
A good idea would be to pack vitamins, which can provide energy and fill in nutritional gaps. Regular comfort items are also a great thing to pack and can make you feel normal again. These items could include instant coffee, marshmallows, and cookies. Stay away from alcohol because it is dehydrating and it is dangerous if you are injured.
As always, use your judgement in how you and your family with prepare. This guide is not trying to tell you exactly what you will need. Use our ideas and your own to come up with your hurricane disaster kit. Above all, stay safe.