It’s time to get ready again for hurricane season. Even if we haven’t had a direct hit in more than 10 years, there is always the potential that a hurricane or tropical storm could wreak havoc with South Florida. A lot of people have moved into the area in the past 11 years who have never experienced the kinds of storms that we can get here. Even among our wild weather phenomena, hurricanes are like nothing you have ever felt. Even America’s most recent severe hurricane, Hurricane Katrina, was 10 years ago this summer.
- Water for drinking: One gallon per person per day. So for a family of four, for a minimum 72-hour kit you should have 12 gallons of water. You will need additional water for your pets, too. This should be bottled water that is purchased off-the-shelf in sealed containers and should be rotated throughout the year so that it doesn’t go bad. Be sure to check the expiration dates, and if necessary write the date with a Sharpie so that they are clearly visible. You can also purchase Halazone tablets for water purification and an extra measure of safety if you are being told to boil your water. Here’s an extra tip, try freezing your three-day water supply and if you lose power, store it in the refrigerator and freezer to keep your food cold.
- Water for sanitation: You will also need water in order to flush your toilets, wash your hands, and bathe. You may also use Halazone tablets to purify water for bathing, if you do not have enough power or operational gas to boil your water. For toilet flushing, simply fill old one-gallon milk jugs with water and placed them next to the toilet. You may also want to purchase a chemical toilet, or other waterless or low-water toilet.
- Food: You will need three days of food for each member of the family, this includes baby foods and formula. Ideally, these foods should not require cooking or refrigeration, but should be ready-to-eat single servings. Foods like energy bars, trail mix, dried fruit and nuts, ready-to-eat canned foods, and dehydrated camping foods can all come in handy. Very young children should have a supply of Pedialyte, baby food, and formula set aside for them. If you are using dehydrated foods, stock extra water.
- Sanitation: You will need toilet paper, soap, liquid hand sanitizer, dish detergent, personal hygiene items such as feminine supplies, deodorant, toothpaste and mouthwash. In order to save water you may want to stock a brand of dry shampoo, and no-rinse hospital bathing wipes.
A lot of people have fallen out of practice or have never had any practice about what to do before, during, and after hurricane. Emergency supplies are critical. No home anywhere in Florida should be without a minimum 72-hour disaster survival kit. These supplies should be kept at home, and emergency kits should be placed in each car in case of evacuation orders.