We are in the middle of hurricane season and it can be a really scary time. Especially if you live in a hurricane-prone region. Having to worry about your home and being prepared can be mentally draining.
We were recently affected by Hurricane Dorian. While we were not devastated by the storm in terms of damage, we did end up going three days without power! We have a one year old as well as pets, so it was a really stressful time for our family.
After this storm, we vowed to be more prepared. We stocked up on everything that we need to have a proper hurricane preparation kit.
Hurricane Prep Advice
My best advice for preparing for a hurricane is to do it well in advance. While stores like the Home Depot get extra shipments right before a storm, it is so much less stressful to avoid the crowds and know that you are fully prepared. Once the announcement is made that a hurricane is coming to your area, all supply stores get slammed, so buy your supplies now and save them all year long.
What You Need for Your Hurricane Prep Kit
While there are many nice-to-have hurricane prep items, the following items are essential. These items are most commonly referred to as your “go bag” in case you are evacuating or something happens to you home and you need to leave quickly.
- Water – 1 gallon per person per day for three days (don’t forget pets!)
- Food – 3 day supply of non-perishable food (don’t forget pets!)
- Paper goods – plates, silverware, cups, napkins, etc.
- Can opener – if your kit contains canned food
- Battery powered radio + batteries
- Flashlight + batteries
- Dust mask
- Plastic sheeting or tarps
- Duct tape
- Wet wipes
- Garbage bags
- First aid kit
- Fire extinguisher
- Copies of important documents
While some items in your hurricane kit you might need to gather at the last minute, much of it can be packed up before hurricane season even begins. We recommend picking up a large plastic bin (The Home Depot has tons of options!) to keep your kit together and easily accessible.
Want all of this in a handy printable? Click here to download the free printable hurricane preparation checklist!
The Next Steps
Once you are set on essentials, there are some things that are really nice to have to make you and your family feel more comfortable. We stocked up on these items at The Home Depot. These items are critical if you’re going to be in your home without power for an extended period of time.
The most important investment for our hurricane kit was a gas-powered generator. Generators are not inexpensive, but they are worth their weight. Every year, we see people lined up to buy a generator before a storm and then back in line to return it after the storm. Don’t go through this process. Yes, it’s an expense, but so much better for your family to have one ready.
During this last hurricane, we had to throw out hundreds of dollar’s worth of spoiled food due to the power loss to our refrigerator for three days. That lost food cost itself offset a lot of what a generator would cost. A generator could have saved us a ton of money.
We selected the RYOBI 3,600 watt portable generator due to its price point, power production and the hundreds of five-star reviews online. We didn’t know much about the different features of generators, but after researching the different aspects and reading reviews, this was the perfect one for us.
A great tip is to order your generator online from the HomeDepot.com and have it shipped to your home.
The next most important thing for your hurricane kit is fans. Hurricanes generally hit the southern United States, which is a warm part of the country during hurricane season.
You could choose to have a window AC unit, but we recommend having a RYOBI cordless fan for every bedroom, because you will need them at night! Make sure that you have plenty of the large 18v batteries, too. You can recharge them with your generator.
Flashlights and candles are great, but you might want to light up a room more than that. We love our RYOBI 18v area light for illuminating our whole living room at night when we are without power. Plus, it uses the same rechargeable batteries as our power tools and our fans.
Hurricanes are really scary, but the one positive thing is that you get plenty of notice to prepare. Using these tips, you can create a hurricane preparation kit in advance so if a storm is headed your way, you can focus on securing your property and your family’s safety.