Hurricanes are nothing short of a devastating event for infrastructure, property, and those unlucky enough to be within its path. When a hurricane strikes, access to essential services may be limited or completely unavailable, which is why it is so critical to have the proper supplies on hand to get you through the storm and its aftermath. We’ll explore some critical supplies and how having them will aid you through the hurricane, as well as potential consequences of not having necessary supplies.
Critical Supplies for a Hurricane
- Water: Perhaps the most essential supply of all is water. The accepted rule of thumb is one-gallon of water per person per day. Hurricanes being the unpredictable creatures they are, you never know what might be affected. According to an article in the New York Times in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, Stefanie Arcangelo of the Red Cross says, “You don’t know what is necessarily going to happen due to the storm’s impact. The storm could impact the public water system.”
- Non-Perishable Food: Access to fresh food or power to store perishables may be limited or non-existent, which is why it’s important to prepare for the hurricane by stocking up on non-perishable items such as canned goods, peanut butter, crackers, or freeze dried foods.
- First Aid Kit: Hurricanes cause broken glass and flying debris, any of which can cause injury. With emergency services unavailable, you need to be prepared to aid injuries until medical attention can be sought. It’s advisable to have bandages, gauze, antiseptic, wipes, and at least a few day supply of medications.
- Flashlights and Batteries: Losing power is almost guaranteed in the event of a hurricane, so it’s vital to have a proper supply of batteries and flashlights or lanterns. Candles aren’t a good option due to the risk of fire.
- Portable Radio: A NOAA Weather Radio that is either battery operated or hand cranked is ideal to keep up-to-date on important information on the hurricane and aftermath.
- Cash: With power outages being a common occurrence during a hurricane, cash may be required if ATM machines or other electronic payment processing machines are unavailable.
Consequences of not stocking supplies for a hurricane
Not properly preparing or stocking the necessary items for a hurricane can lead to severe consequences.
- A lack of water can lead to dehydration that can exacerbate pre-existing health conditions or add additional health issues.
- A lack of food leads to hunger and can weaken the body’s immune system making you more susceptible to illness.
- Without flashlights or batteries, assessing injuries in the dark may be impossible.
- If you’re without a First Aid Kit, you may not have what you need to avoid infection.
It is especially important to prepare adequate or special supplies for elderly residents, young children, and pets. For a hurricane preparedness checklist for download, click here.