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Secure Your Life in Any Emergency.

The Ultimate Hurricane Kit Checklist: 2020 Edition

Updated June 2020

The official hurricane season for the Atlantic Coast is June-November. It is important to prepare for hurricane season before the threat of a hurricane in your area has been issued. At LifeSecure, we always say “shop before, not after.” Tropical storm Cristobal was already the third of this season and the earliest third storm on record. This season is already demonstrating unusual storm behavior. As we saw at the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, essential supplies such as water and nonperishable food items sell out quickly when people are in a panic. Once news of a hurricane reaches your local area, people will go into a shopping frenzy-ensuring they have all the supplies needed to endure the storm. If you get all your supplies before the threat of a hurricane arises, you will be ahead of the game. Prepare to evacuate or shelter in place with a hurricane survival kit.

Should you evacuate or shelter in place during a hurricane?

When a hurricane is heading in your direction you have two options: evacuate or shelter in place. Most people will base this decision on what their local authorities are recommending. Our personal rule of thumb is “when in doubt, get out.” If you are not sure how bad the hurricane will hit your town or whether or not it will avoid your town completely, it is better to be safe and evacuate just in case.

If you are located in a vulnerable area or live in a home that lacks the sturdiness to withstand a hurricane, plan on evacuating. Many have lost their lives by staying in unsafe shelters when they would have survived if they chose to evacuate. However, once you are trapped by the high winds and accompanying water, you will not be able to change your mind. If you do not evacuate early, there comes a point where any attempt to evacuate only exposes you to greater risk. Our advice: if you are going to evacuate, evacuate early.

Regardless of your decision, it is best to prepare with a hurricane checklist for both scenarios.

Goals of a Hurricane Kit Checklist:

● Acquire medical and first aid supplies needed to treat injuries
● Make sure you have the food, water, and materials needed to shelter in place for several days without assistance
● Be prepared to leave your home before the storm with an evacuation plan and all materials you will need to evacuate

Hurricane Kit Checklist

The most essential parts of a hurricane kit checklist is having all the materials you need to prevent anyone from getting severely injured and to also have all the essential supplies needed to shelter in place for at least 72 hours without emergency assistance. Hurricane kits should include emergency supplies such as breathing protection, first aid, water and food, light and communication tools, and more to get you through a storm and the aftermath of a storm. Here is a checklist of all the items we suggest you include in your hurricane survival kit:

For incident management:

  • Laminated evacuation plan
  • Laminated shelter in place plan

For protection and shelter:

  • Face masks
  • Emergency thermal blankets
  • Emergency ponchos
  • Roll plastic sheeting
  • Roll duct tape

For turning off utilities and other tasks:

  • Multifunction tools including pliers, wire cutter, screwdriver, can opener, bottle opener, utility knife, etc.
  • Pair leather-palmed work gloves

For communication and light:

  • Metal whistles with lanyard
  • AM/FM radio with two sets of AAA batteries
  • Flashlight with two sets of D batteries
  • 12-hour light sticks
  • LED Safety Signal
  • Notepad
  • Pen
  • Waterproof document pouch

For hydration and nutrition:

  • Water bag for carrying, purifying, and storing water (1 gallon per person)
  • High-calorie food bars (at least 6 per person)
  • Emergency water pouches
  • Water purification tablets

For medical, hygiene and sanitation needs:

  • Personal First Aid packets
  • Family First Aid kit
  • First Aid Guide
  • Biohazard bags
  • Toilet paper roll
  • Moist towelettes
  • Vinyl gloves

For evacuation:

  • Portable backpack with the following items packed inside
  • Face mask
  • Thermal blanket
  • Emergency poncho
  • Bodywarmers
  • Flashlight
  • Metal whistle with lanyard
  • Weather-resistant flashlight
  • 12-hour light sticks
  • LED Safety Signal
  • Water filtration bottle
  • Emergency water pouches
  • High-calorie food bars
  • First aid kit
  • Vinyl gloves
  • Toilet paper roll
  • Moist towelettes
  • Biohazard bags

We also recommend physically preparing your home for hurricane season by sealing your windows, strapping your roof and more. It is difficult to predict how hard a hurricane will hit your town. However, one of the best qualities of hurricanes, as opposed to other natural disasters like earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes, is that hurricanes usually give warning. If you find out a hurricane is heading in your direction, it is important to do the right thing and prepare your family and home. Remember, preparedness is readiness in any natural disaster.

Download a free poster-size version of the checklist here.

Download Your Own LifeSecure Hurricane Kit Checklist Poster

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David Scott
David co-founded LifeSecure in 2005, just a few months before Hurricane Katrina taught everyone that one can go hungry and thirsty in America and even die before help arrives. For over a decade David has focused on developing and discovering superior emergency and disaster survival solutions - kits and supplies. He has trained community groups in emergency preparedness, helped non-profit organizations prepare emergency kits for needy individuals, conducted community emergency response exercises, and developed emergency plans for non-profit organizations. David makes an ongoing study of how best to prepare for and respond to various natural and man-made disasters, and his mission has been to help others “live Life SECURE” every day by preparing for what may come someday.