One of the most important steps to take for storm preparation is creating a “Go-Bag” or, more likely, a go-tote, that has everything you’ll need for at least 3 days spent without power and away from home. Serious preppers will want to have 1-2 weeks’ worth of supplies. Some homes on Fort Myers Beach were without power for 12 days following Irma. There are countless supply lists you can use as resources. One of them can be found in the Lee Hazards Guide at the link below.
Do not delay preparing this kit until a storm is looming. At that point, most of the items that you need will be out of stock at area stores and delivery services stop delivery a day or so before forecasted landfall. Batteries, bottled water, plywood, flashlights and other items on the list will be very hard to find if you wait.
Most supply lists can be broken down into categories: Safety & Communication, Food, Personal, Medical, Pets & Documents. The lists below are not complete, only examples of what you need in a storm kit.
Safety: Cell phone, battery packs for recharging phone, car chargers, weather radio, flashlights w/extra batteries, First Aid Kit, work gloves, unscented bleach for clean-up and water disinfection, sunscreen and bug repellant, whistle.
Food: Have at least a 3-day supply of water (1 gallon/day per person or pet), 3-day supply of non-perishable food, manual can opener, rolling cooler; beverages, trash bags, assorted sized zip-lock bags.
Personal: Cash in small denominations, clothing, closed toe shoes, raingear, bathroom kit, hearing aids w/extra batteries (minimum 2 week supply), spare eyeglasses or contacts, books, puzzles, games, sleeping bag/blankets, toilet paper.
Medical: First Aid kit, medications (minimum 2-week supply), list of medications, physician names & numbers
Pets: Cage or carrier for each pet, food, water, toys, clean-up supplies, photo, shot records.
Documents: Photo ID, military ID, social security card, insurance information (health, life, property, wind, flood), marriage certificate, will, power of attorney, house deed or lease, FMB Re-entry Pass, bank account numbers and balances, recent utility bills.
And on the “nice to have” list: battery powered fans, solar chargers for phones & tablets, disposable toothbrushes, plates & plastic utensils, headlamp flashlights, camp stove, dental floss, emergency water system.
Learn more about hurricane preparation with the Lee Hazards Guide at bit.ly/LeeHazardsGuide
By Missy Layfield