I’ve been living in Florida for most of my life and I’ve been around the block when it comes to hurricanes. It took me living through Ivan, Charlie, Jeanne, Dennis, Wilma (the most destructive in my life) and Irma to even consider building a hurricane kit. If you’ve never experienced a hurricane before you’re in for an awakening. Not so much during the storm but what happens before it. Everyone (and I mean everyone) runs to the stores to buy supplies and it is an absolute madhouse. Half the time the stores are sold out of what you need by the time you get there because they didn’t have time to prepare inventory. I’m telling you it’s like Black Friday for emergency items. As a long term Floridian, I promise you, it will be a much better idea to prepare beforehand.
I am by no means a safety expert and I encourage you to use your best judgement on what you may need based on your lifestyle but I’ve listed out the things I keep in my kit from past experiences along with the amazon links to the exact items I have.
This is not paid affiliated. This is from personal experience.
Battery Powered Fans
ONE FOR EACH PERSON IN THE HOUSEHOLD! You’ll thank me later for this one once the power goes out. I know this isn’t the most important thing when it comes to safety but it will most likely be your most used and more appreciated item. The ones I have take D batteries (make sure you get a lot of extra batteries) and they are a personal size so you can move them around with you. Of course hurricanes happen in Florida during the summer most of the time when it is brutally hot, your fan will be your best friend.
This one is kind of a “duh” item, but it’s one of the most important. It’s important to have a easy to grab and go full kit, as opposed to having band-aids and such randomly around the house. This has never happened to me so I don’t want you thinking you’ll go through this every hurricane but say you need to evacuate your house quickly. You won’t have time to go around grabbing everything you need. You need to have a fully stocked first aid kit ready to go at a moments notice.
If you have a dog, this one is for you. If you don’t, just keep on scrolling. Even if your dog doesn’t use potty pads normally, these are really good to keep in your kit. Our dog is fully trained to go outside and he doesn’t use potty pads at all on a normal basis. But when you are stuck inside for sometimes 24 hours when the hurricane hits, your dog is eventually going to have to go and being a fur mama myself I would NEVER want to put my dog at risk of getting hurt outside in a hurricane. I’ve seen some other pet parents put grass inside of a baby pool and that’s a wonderful idea too, but a lot more work than I’m willing to put in after putting up all of my shutters.
With EXTRA EXTRA batteries. Of course when there’s no power in the entire city it is eerily dark. Honestly it’s a strange feeling that I only feel after a hurricane. You’ll without a doubt need some sort of powerful battery powered light or lamp. I like the lantern ones I’ve linked because they give 360 degrees of light instead of a flashlight that just gives you 180 degrees. They are easy to carry around an just place on a counter top next to you. This is extremely helpful while you’re going to the bathroom at night. I know some others will tell you to have candles and they are good to have as well in case of severe emergency, but my go to is always going to be lantern. Fire is hot, candles hold fire, fire makes house hotter.
This bad boy is such a blessing during a power outage. Not only is it a powerful power bank that will give your electronics a lot of juice, it also has a flashlight and compass on it. Make sure you fully charge up all your power banks along with your solar powered one before the storm hits so you have juice for your phones at least for a little. Once you don’t have power in your home anymore, you can just set your solar powered power bank outside and let it charge up during the day to charge your phone at night.
In preparing for hurricane Dorian (never even hit us in the end) we realized that although we had a beautifully curated hurricane kit ready to go, we didn’t really have a lot of batteries. We searched high and low, every store, every website with no luck of any battery aside from the tiny ones that cost half a years salary. Keep in mind most websites won’t be able to have the batteries delivered in time if you are working with a short notice window, even Amazon can’t make it sometimes. We now purchase a new set of batteries at the beginning of every hurricane season just to be sure the batteries are good and we have enough to last quite a while. Make sure you get D batteries for the fans and AAA batteries for those lanterns.
All Important Documents in a Sealed Bag
You don’t really need to purchase anything for this one unless you don’t have any gallon sized seal-able bags. This is good to keep by or in your first aid kit so it’s all ready to grab and go at a moments notice. Some things to consider putting in this bag are: ID, Cash, Marriage Certificate, Passports, Birth Certificates, Social Security Cards. Keep in mind it is absolutely critical that you put this bag in a safe place that you’re going to remember and if you do end up needing to evacuate your home, be very careful with it. Your entire identity is in that bag and it would be a very painful experience if it were to get lost.
Non Perishable Foods
In addition to your hurricane snacks, you’ll also want to get non perishable foods. Most of the time we are lucky enough to have a nearby restaurant that has a generator open up pretty shortly after the storm passes that we can get a good meal and use their electricity to charge our phones. But there is the occasional time where the damage is so bad, it’s just not safe enough for them to open, or for you to get to the restaurant. We start buying a can or 2 of non perishables every time we go grocery shopping starting at the beginning of hurricane season so we don’t need to rush to the store with everyone else and hopefully find some canned artichoke hearts or something you would never eat. I like to get black beans and soup mostly since they are my faves. If we don’t end up having a hurricane that year we will eat some of it but mostly donate it to local causes that need non perishables. But don’t you DARE let me catch you returning it!
These are just some things I recommend to have in your hurricane kit. Please be sure to think through what your life is like now and what items you would need to keep your life somewhat stable during and after the storm. I also want to make mention that I did not put water on this list and I did that on purpose. The reason being is that you don’t need bottled water specifically. If you’re anything like me you have cabinets full of promotional water bottles companies have given you over time or ever that you’ve purchased throughout the years. We take all of those bottles and fill them up with water before the storm hits. This way we are being slightly more earth friendly and boom, one less trip to the grocery store.
What are some things you keep in your hurricane kit?