Hurricane season began on June 1st, and according to NOAA, this season is expected to be “active or extremely active”.
Preparing for severe weather and other disasters isn’t difficult or expensive. If you are as financially-limited as most of us are these days, just build up your disaster supplies over time. Put together whatever you have on hand today and add things one item at a time whenever you can.
Water: 1 gallon per day, per person.
If you have nothing else, have 3 days’ supply of water stored up. If you can’t buy bottled water, fill soft drink bottles with water from your sink, cap them tightly, and store them away from sunlight. Sanitize the bottles, first. Look for the triangle recycling symbol with the number 1 on it. Any other type of bottle might decompose or break. Then, every 6 months, pour the water out and replace it with fresh water. Add a bottle of water to your stash whenever you can and you’ll have what you need pretty fast.
Food: 3 day supply, non-perishable
Store a 3 day supply of food for each person. Canned food is best, but don’t forget to include a manual can opener! Try to avoid dried or salty foods, as you’ll need lots of extra water. If you can’t spend much, buy just one can of food for your disaster supplies whenever you go to the grocery store.
Radio: Hand-crank or battery powered
You will need to stay informed of news and weather reports when the power is out. A quick internet search turns up several used emergency radios for less than $5.00, and new ones for about $15.00. That might seem like a lot for one item, but staying informed can save your life.
First Aid Kit
If you can’t fork out $15 or so for a first aid kit, start with what you have: a zip top bag with some bandages, gauze, medical tape, and alcohol wipes or cotton balls and a bottle of alcohol if that’s what you have. Try to have some triple antibiotic ointment, as well. It is very important that you can clean and bandage small wounds to protect against infection.
If you are in serious trouble, yelling won’t last long. Your will only be good for a few shouts before you start to lose your voice. A whistle makes a very loud sound with almost no exertion.
Protecting your breathing passages from contaminants can be critical to protecting your life. Mold can be a huge problem after a hurricane or flooding.
Don’t forget special-needs items:
Supplies for babies: extra formula and diapers, etc.
Supplies for pets: food, liter, extra water
Other items which are good to have in your disaster kit:
Plastic garbage bags
liquid household bleach
extra clothes and shoes
sleeping bags or blankets
games and toys
candy and comfort foods