Emergency Supplies & Go Bag Checklists for a Storm
When a major storm arrives in your town, you need to be prepared for serious disruptions to your normal day-to-day activities. Snowstorms, hurricanes, floods, tornados and other forces of nature can be powerful and unpredictable, and could result in property damage and loss of access to electricity, water or natural gas. With luck, the storm will pass by and leave your home unscathed, but in the event the worst occurs, it is essential that you have enough supplies on hand to survive in your house until help has time to arrive, or on the road if you evacuate.
Make sure you keep the items in this emergency kit checklist in a safe place in your home so you have the capacity to ride out a damaging storm:
- Non-Perishable Food: Make sure you always have enough canned goods and other packaged foods to get you through a few days when you might not an opportunity to get to a grocery store. Canned soups, beans and vegetables make good emergency stashes, as do sealed snack items like crackers. Peanut butter is a great, long-lasting form of protein that doesn't need to be refrigerated. Dry goods like rice and pasta are also handy to have around, although you shouldn't rely on them alone since you could lose electricity or gas and not have any means to cook.
- Bottled Water: The general rule of thumb is that each family member will need about one gallon of water per day. That means keeping a decent supply in a protected area in case an emergency arrives and you don't have time to stock up.
- Extra cooking and cleaning water: When you're preparing to ride out a storm, fill up your bathtub and spare pots with water so you'll have more available for cooking and cleaning in case the water gets cut during the storm.
- Prescription Drugs and Other Medications: In the event distribution chains are disrupted, or you aren't able to get to a pharmacy at all, you don't want to run short of the medicine you need to function. Keep an emergency supply on-hand, and don't forget about non-prescription drugs like painkillers and allergy meds that might come in handy during an extended storm.
- First Aid Kit: In the chaos during and following a storm, a family member could sustain an injury that requires treatment while you still lack the ability to transport them to a hospital. Keep a kit handy so you can deal with cuts, scrapes, and even major issues like a broken bone the best you can before help is able to arrive.
- Flashlight and Plenty of Batteries: You'll need a source of light to get around at night in case the power goes out. Candles are not an optimal solution, particularly in a storm, as they can pose additional safety risk if they get blown over or knocked down, or if there is a gas leak. Use a flashlight instead.
- Battery-Powered Radio: If the storm takes out cellular and internet networks, the radio will give you the ability to receive news and updates about the trajectory of the storm and any rescue and recovery efforts underway.
- Safe Indoor Heat Supply: If you lose heat in your home during a winter storm, you can huddle up under blankets and sleeping bags, but it's a good idea to have a supplemental space heater that runs on batteries or propane available as well. Just make sure the model is rated for indoor use and you follow all the manufacturer safety instructions to avoid creating a fire hazard.
When to Supplement Your Emergency Supplies Checklist
If you have ample warning that a storm may be on the way, it's a good idea to supplement your emergency supplies survival kit list with additional food and water since there is an increased chance that you will need to dip into your stash, but you should always have enough for at least a few days so you can ride out even an unexpected emergency.
Don't Neglect Your Emergency Backpack Checklist
In addition to the supplies that you should keep available in your house, it's also important to keep a to-go bag handy in case you need to leave your house in a hurry and don't have time to gather together essential equipment. Make sure you follow this emergency go bag checklist to ensure that your backpack has the supplies that you need:
- Another stash of necessary medications
- Enough cash to get you through a few days if credit card networks go down
- A clean set of clothes for each family member
- Another first aid kit for injuries that occur on the road
- Non-perishable, portable snacks such as protein bars
Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst
In the best case scenario, you'll never need to dip into your emergency kit. But in the event that a serious storm does knock you off the grid for a spell, you will be much better prepared to ride it out if you create and follow an emergency preparedness checklist to ensure you have the supplies you need.