Do you have the right supplies & equipment in your home?
The Essential Hurricane Gear List
When a hurricane is on its way, experts love tell you to prepare. But what do you actually need in terms of water, lighting, and medical supplies?
For other tips on preparing for a hurricane, please see our story How to Prepare For Hurricane NOW.
Please note: Links lead to Amazon. Obviously storms can lead to significant delays in deliveries. If the storm is close, go instead to local stores! For more information and detail about ANY of these supplies, please visit www.PreparationConcierge.com. We've got more detailed reviews and advice.
Bottom line: A ready-to-eat, hot meal, for which you need no outside heating source. It heats up within its own reactive bag using a bespoke technology. The absolute simplest way to get a warm meal.
Bottom line: 14 days of reliable food for one person. Just add boiling water. Add it directly into the packet, even. And the food is full of taste and pretty good!
The kinds of bars and snacks that serve as a kind of supplements to actual meals. After all, a hurricane isn't the time to worry about veggies, or high calories. You'll want and need those high calories in an emergency situation.
A few suggestions include: RXBAR Whole Food Protein Bar, 12 pack. These are actually super tasty, if very dense. We love the blueberry, maple sea salt, and coffee chocolate flavors. That stand-by, the Clif Bar, and for those with nut or gluten allergies, a vegan option is That’s It Fruit Bars, which are sweet but tasty. And...Peanut butter! You can't beat it for ease, the ability to spread it on most anything, and longevity. We like Skippy Super Chunk,but whatever works for you. Get four big bottles.
Your cell phone is likely to stop working when the electricity goes down. So too will you lose internet, TV and other easy access to news. And you'll want and need access to the latest weather and news!!! A weather radio is imperative!
Emergency Radio: NOAA Weather Radio
Bottom line: When your cellphone (and everything else on the electrical grid) goes down, a radio is how you will get news about the outside world. This one tunes in to the NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards network, which is a nationwide network of radio stations that give updates from the nearest National Weather Service office.
HURRICANE WATER SOLUTIONS
STORING AWAY WATER BEFORE A HURRICANE HITS
Store as MUCH water away as you can. If the storm is close, fill up every container in the house, including the tub, and buy as many gallons of water as you can. Nonetheless, be aware that bottled water evaporates in storage and isn't particularly durable. You need to be able to store large amounts of water in a stackable fashion (especially in apartments or small houses), and a LOT of water in big barrels whenever possible. Assume on 2 to 3 gallons per day per person. And that doesn't include things like cleaning up and washing hands. (Clorox wipes, a bit vat of Purell, and some heavy duty garbage bags are recommended for sanitation needs.)
Here are long-term solutions to storing water in you apartment or house.
For apartments and small spaces: WaterBrick
Bottom line: The easiest way to store water in small spaces like apartments. Each carries 3.5 gallons in a hardy, stackable, container. A small-space must-have.
For bigger spaces: 55 gallon water barrel
Bottom line: A LOT of water in one place. Store in a garage or similar place, and when you REALLY need water in an emergency, you'll have it. (Do NOT place barrel directly on a concrete floor. Rather put it up on two-by-fours or a roller. Chemicals in concrete can leach into the barrel and water itself.)
WATER FILTERS: WAYS TO MAKE DIRTY WATER CLEAN!
Your stored water is eventually going to run out. (Bummer.) That means you may need to collect rainwater or gather water from streams, rivers, or lakes. That water will not be safe to drink. While you can boil it, or dose it with a few drops of unscented chlorine, one of the best solutions will be to use a camp-style filter. More than any other item, we recommend these key products from LifeStraw.
Bottom line: The Flex filter even takes out some heavy minerals. Works as a straw, in a water bottle, or even a hydration pack. Fits anywhere, and means you have access to clean water anywhere. Not as ideal for longterm use.
Bottom line: The Mission will provide clean water in bountiful and long-lasting supplies. This LifeStraw is great for longterm use, as it will clean 4,700 gallons of water.
EMERGENCY LIGHTING AND POWER
FLASHLIGHTS AND CANDLES AND POWER BACKUPS
You won't realize how much you need light until you don't have it. And each family member is going to want their own personal headlamp (which is even more helpful than a flashlight). A long-lasting lantern is also key... great for having at the kitchen table or taking to the bathroom.
Headlamp: Black Diamond Storm Headlamp
Bottom line: When the electricity is out, lights are crucial. So is the use of your hands. So, voila! A good headlamp is worth its weight in gold. This one can be used with included rechargable batteries or lithium or regular batteries.
Flashlight: 5.11 flashlight
Bottom line: You need lots of small, reliable flashlights — in the house, car, purse, and gp bags. 5.11 makes the best lights in the business, as far as we're concerned. The PL 2AAA is brand new and not available yet on Amazon. The 5.11 Tactical 5.11 Unisex TMT PLx Penlight is a slightly older model that we still really like.
Lantern: Goal Zero Lighthouse 400 Lantern
Bottom line: Buy this lantern. When the lights go out at home, you'll be glad to have it (or, better, them).
Candles: Candlelife Emergency Candles
Bottom line: Long-lasting light from a non-battery source. Each burns 100 hours. And you'll want both some good lighters and a whole bunch of backup matches in a waterproof container.
Extra power: Goal Zero Yeti 150 Power Station
The Yeti 150 is a lead acid battery that provides up to 80 watts of continuous power. Think of this as a travel charger on steroids.
First aid kits: You'll want all the backup medical supplies than you can get. Imagine if you can't simply run to the local CVS or Walgreens or — much worse — hospital. We like a big first aid kit with lots of stuff, and even then experts suggest additions like this list we've compiled.
Bottom line: Fundamentals for first aid.
Bottom line: A reasonably small but versatile first-aid kit appropriate for go-bag and vehicle.
Suggested extra first-aid items: Even a great kit won't have everything in it. Here are a list of other items that are also highly worth considering including in your first-aid supplies.
For more information and detail about ANY of these supplies, please visit www.PreparationConcierge.com. We've got more detailed reviews and advice.
About us: Preparation Concierge is devoted to emergency planning and disaster preparation. We offer users level 101 information and advice, and a smartly curated list of gear, food, and water solutions. We take a particular interest in urban and suburban areas — these populations are especially fragile and susceptible to disasters, and are often the most unprepared.