- Buy enough food and water to last a few days. Canned food is the only kind acceptable for an event such as a hurricane; again, check the expiration dates to make sure the food is fresh. Always have these supplies on hand so that you can respond whenever an emergency arises. Try getting canned food that doesn’t require any added water or milk, such as Progresso.
- Fill up the bathtub with water if you decide to stay home. An average bathtub full of water holds enough water for about three days. It also makes it possible to flush the toilet using a bucket. There is a lot of water in the hot water heater of your home. An average 150-liter water heater has enough water to keep a single person alive for a month. See here for details. An average person needs about 3.5 l of water (one gallon) per day. Pets (dogs) need about 1.75L of water per day. Cats need much less water.
- Prepare your fridge and freezer. Do this as the storm enters your area and you settle down for the long haul. Eat perishables first in anticipation of the power going out. Fill your fridge and freezer with bottled water and sealed non-perishable items. The more full your freezer is, the more items there are to retain the cold and keep the overall temperature down. The same applies to the refrigerator.
- Store as much water and fluids as you can in your fridge. If the power goes out, it will retain the cold longer; hopefully in time for the power to turn back on.
Put all the ice that you have in your freezer into plastic bags. Fill all spaces in your freezer with bags of ice. Freeze water bottles, too.
See How to keep foods frozen during a power failure for more details.
- Have your prescription medication. Be sure that you are well supplied with any prescription drugs that you or your family takes on a regular basis. Some insurers will not honor refills until the last refill is nearly used up or has run out. If necessary, drugs must be purchased without insurance; weeks may go by without the ability to get refills, putting your health at risk. If you’re in hurricane season, always have extra medication just case a storm comes in and all the pharmacies close down.
- Make sure that you have the necessities. Have the supplies to make it through if you and your family are trapped in your house for a week without access to electricity, running water, and stores. These materials include things such as light sources (powered by battery or hand crank), a manual can opener, a first aid kit, and hygiene products.
- Print out a medical aid guide like this so that you know how to administer proper care if the situation arises.
Note: This article is informational only. When making purchasing decisions, conduct your own research.