HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS CHECKLIST
Purchase “CREE LED” flashlights of various sizes
Amazon.com – search “CREE LED LANTERN”
Good choice: Rayovac Sportsman LED Lantern or similar
Don’t Buy: Rechargeable lantern, or lantern that uses AA batteries (stick with D batteries)
- For safety, never use anything with a flame for lighting. No candles, no liquid-fueled hurricane lamps, no propane-fueled Coleman-type lanterns
- Buy only flashlights and lanterns that take AAA, AA, C, or D batteries
- Do not buy rechargeable flashlights or lanterns
- Keep a flashlight near your entry door
- Buy “bricks” of batteries at the beginning of each hurricane season (Sam’s Club, Costco, online)
- Collapsible five-gallon water carriers: Walmart online, sporting goods stores, online
- WaterBob – plastic bladder to put in standard-size bathtub. $22 plus free shipping over $49 purchase at amazon.com, available at various sites online (Alternatives: Aquapodkit and Watersafe bladders)
- Watersafe heavy-duty 55-gallon stand-alone model (for large oval tub)
- New, unused 30-gallon plastic trash cans. Clean well, fill with water in shower
- Access water in water heater. Turn off water heater circuit breaker even if power is off. Use a short hose; must remove sediment from the bottom of the heater before clean water will flow. Filter water with Brita or similar system, or through several layers of clean cotton cloth.
- Consider bulk purchase of freeze-dried and/or dehydrated foods. Google: Wise Company, Mountain House, Lindon Farms, Saratoga Farms. To heat water, use a 12-volt immersion heater or 12-volt hot pot plugged into your car, which should be running. Although such foods are optimally prepared with hot water, they can be prepared with room temperature water (allow to sit twice as long as directed). Properly stored, some products have 25-year shelf life.
- If selecting canned/packaged food, remember that you’ll likely be eating the food uncooked and at room temperature, so select items accordingly. Vary foods and container size per personal preference and family size. Put “sell by” date on each item and store by date; review dates at the beginning of each hurricane season.
- Soups with clear broth (not condensed) – Progresso, Healthy Choice
- Salty snacks very important
- Powdered mixes for water to make palatable – Tang, iced tea, lemonade
- Peanut butter, granola bars, chocolate, saltines, etc.
- See published lists in hurricane prep guides (newspaper, television stations) for recommended food items
- Buy early and store! Don’t fight for the last can of Spam
- Store your hurricane food separately from your daily supplies
- Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) – good choice if evacuating
- Paper plates, bowls, cups; plastic silverware; large trash bags
COMFORT AND HYGIENE
- Disposable toilet bags: wag bags, Go Anywhere Waste Kit Bags, Double Doodie Toilet Bags.
- Toilet options: use bags in home toilet; five-gallon container from Home Depot/Lowes with special toilet seat sized to fit (search “portable toilet seat” on eBay or Amazon.com); Quick Set Portable Toilet (Amazon.com, eBay, other online retailers).
THE 12-VOLT HOUSEHOLD
DieHard 1150 rechargeable 12V battery pack (frequently on sale at Sears; cheapest price found $120 at sportsmansguide.com); can recharge from your car. Use the battery pack to power various 12-volt items, such as 12V fluorescent or LED light sticks, 12V fan, small (+7 inches) 12V digital television.
- When power goes off, turn off all circuit breakers except kitchen lights (to know when electricity returns)
- Have plenty of cash on hand in small bills
- Water infiltration: rope caulk, waterproofing repair tape
- Have a basic wired phone that plugs directly into the jack
- Have a basic set of rabbit ears to see broadcast digital channels if cable goes out or to use with 12V portable television when no electricity