How to Assemble a Storm Survival Kit
No matter where you live, you are probably faced with storms of some type. Whether it's tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, blizzards or ice storms, nearly everyone will occasionally encounter a situation that will present a disruption in your daily life. A little planning and preparation will make these situations much safer and maybe a little more comfortable. This article will help you put together a storm survival kit that will work for just about any situation. You may want to consider the type of weather that you might experience and make some adjustments to this plan.
Purchase a large, waterproof storage locker or plastic bin. This will help keep everything together and dry during the storm. It will also be easier to transport your supplies in case of evacuation. Consider purchasing a lockable foot locker at a local mega mart.
Determine your needs. There are several categories of supplies that you will need to consider, with the first one being food. You will first want to determine the number of people that you are including in your plans. Once you have a number, use the list below to assemble your food supplies: Bottled water ( 1 gallon per day per person): Pack enough for several days Food: Pack non-perishable foods, such as: * Canned meat, fish, fruit and vegetables * Bread in moisture proof packaging * Cookies, candy, dried fruit * Canned soups and milk * Powdered or single serve drinks * Cereal bars * Package condiments * Peanut butter and jelly * Instant coffee and teaDon't forget to pack a manual can opener with your supplies. You will also want to pack disposable kitchen utensils such as plastic forks/knives, paper plates, plastic bowls, paper towels or napkins and plastic baggies. If you have the room, you can pack a small camping stove or outdoor grill. Don't forget to consider household pets when packing food supplies.
Purchase a pre-packaged first aid kit or assemble one of your own. This kit should contain basic first aid supplies such as: Band aids and pads Antibiotic cream Alcohol Aspirin (don't forget to pack both adult and kid strength, if applicable) Bug bite cream Antacids Sunscreen (if applicable for your area) Mosquito repellent Two week supply of prescription drugs Any special need drugs that you might need.
Pack the following items if you feel that they would be helpful after a storm. Plan as if you will have no power or running water. Portable battery powered lanterns Extra cell phone batteries Emergency candles with holders Battery powered radio or TV Battery operated clock Extra batteries, including hearing aids Tools: Hammer, wrenches, screw drivers, nails and saw. These can be helpful for clearing debris or repairing damage. Trash bags, lots of them. Cleaning supplies: Pack bleach, dish soap, and some surface cleaning spray. * Plastic drop cloth Mosquito netting General use fire extinguisher Masking or duct tape--in almost any emergency, duct tape can sometimes be your best friend. * Outdoor extension cords Spray paint--you may need to identify your home for emergency crews or insurance personnel. Rain ponchos and work gloves* Extra glasses or contact lenses
Consider your personal situation when stocking your kit. If you have small children you should plan for extra diapers, sanitary wipes, food and toys. Entertainment items such as playing cards, board games, magazines, books or portable video games can help pass the time while you're waiting on the power to be restored. Hopefully you will never need this kit, but you'll be happy that you have it in the event of a major storm.
- Plan for 3 or 4 days worth of supplies, at the very least.
- Update your kit with fresh food and batteries every six months.
- Keep this kit somewhere that will be safe from a storm, but easily accessible.
- Don't pack more than you can easily transport in the event you are forced to evacuate.
- Resist the urge to pack non-essential items such as makeup or excess toys.
- Don't use stuff from your kit for everyday use. You'll need it later.
Jeff O'Kelley is a professional photographer and writer, currently based in the Tampa, Florida area. His images and words have been featured by websites and publications such as CNN, Creative Loafing and Tampa Bay Times. O'Kelley holds associate degrees in telecommunications and website design from St. Petersburg College.