Suggested Hurricane Check List

Use this list for everything you'll need during and after a Hurricane!
(and please, feel free to add "your special items" to it)

Think ahead and be ready. If you do, weathering the storm will be easier.
Decide now if you're going to evacuate. Talk it over with your family.
If you're staying home find a "safe room", without windows, near the center of the house.

Remember these critical points:

1 - Get a minimum 3 day, or better still; 2-Week supply of these emergency necessities.
2 - Make your "Hurricane Kit" portable if you live in an evacuation area.
3 - Don't forget special supplies for babies, the elderly and dependent persons.
4 - Store clean up and repair supplies in your safe room.

* Full Fuel Tank in the car
* "Car Kit" inc.; tire patch or "fix-a-flat", blankets, shovel, tow rope, etc. * Full Gas Tank for the Grill
* Bleach (without lemon or additives) 1 drop per 1 pint (8 per Gal.) of water to purify
* Extra Cans of gas & oil (careful!)
* Fire Extinguisher (ABC rated, the bigger the better or better still; several)
* Turn refrigerator to coldest setting and keep door opening to a minimum
* Water Purification tablets
* Water Jugs, 7 gallons of water per person
* Ice & lots of it! (freeze 1 or 2 liter soda bottles, 3/4 full, to drink later )
* Lower TV and other antennas
* Remove outdoor furniture

* Change of clothes (at least 1 set for everyone in the family)
* lots of extra socks
* Flashlights (one for everyone in the family)
* Blankets, pillows
* Sleeping bags
* Soap, shampoo & toiletries

* Personal Identification (drivers license, passport, etc.)
* Important Papers
* Insurance information
* Cash, credit cards
* Other valuable papers
* Stocks, bonds, incorporation or other company papers
* Family Photos / heirlooms

* Personal Medicines & prescriptions, extra refills. Enough for 2 weeks
* Extra Glasses or contact lenses
* Eyeglass repair kit
* First Aid Kit and Manual
(If you are not buying a commercial First Aid kit, for a good list see: Uncle Dave's First Aid kit.
or contact The Red Cross at:, Emergency Management, or your doctor.)

Food (must be "non-perishable)
* More Water
* Eat perishable food right after the storm (meats, cold cuts, etc. within 48 hours or until they warm up)
* Canned and dry food (put dried food in zip lock bags)
* Sandwich Makings (peanut butter & jelly, cheese spreads, crackers)
* Snacks (nuts, dried fruit, potato / corn chips low salt)
* Non-electric can opener
* Pots and Pans
* Portable cooler (the 12v condensing kind are great)
* Cooler, for water and ice
* Eating and cooking utensils
* Sponges & Paper Towels
* Aluminum foil and / or plastic wrap
* Emergency cooking facilities (grill or camp stove)

Special Needs
* Baby food, diapers & formula
* Toys (to occupy the children)
* Extra pet food (don't take your pet to any shelter!!)

* Battery-operated radio and / or TV
* Weather band radio
* Alarm clock (wind up or battery operated)
* Batteries spare for all your TV, radios, flashlights, etc.
* Cards or a board game
* Camping lantern (electric or gas)
* Butane lighter and matches
* Pocket knife / scissors * Needle & thread * Toilet paper & towelettes
* Cellular phone (service will be off similar to your reg. phone, but it's an alternative)

Clean Up After the Storm
* Gloves and goggles (for clean up)
* Heavy Shoes
* long sleeved shirt
* Bug spray / insect repellent

Evacuating to a Shelter

If you are evacuating to a public shelter (a very wise idea) there are some thing you should know and bring. Public shelters are usually set up in schools or other large open buildings to house as many people in a space as is comfortable and reasonable. Shelters only provide the basics for life; a roof, four walls, shelter from the storm (literally). When possible they will provide food, water, electricity, heat and emergency medical help. Most shelters also provide communications thou usually this is for official purposes only.

* No weapons or alcohol are allowed in shelters.
* Shelters do not accept pets of any kind. These are Health Dept. regulations.
* Some food is provided but don't count on this. Bring snacks and sandwich makings.
* Bring your personal items; medication, toiletries, change of clothes, etc.
* Bring bedding; a camp cot, sleeping bag, pillows and blankets.
* Bring your Identification, especially something with your address to pass check points when returning.
* Bring a flashlight, radio and cards or a board game.
* Bring toys for the kids (to keep them occupied)
* Bring any special needs items; Baby needs, special health items (oxygen tank, walker, wheel chair, etc.)

Other considerations

Temporary Toilet:
It has been suggested that a 5 gallon bucket can be used as a temporary toilet. Have on hand a number of heavy trash bags and a supply of "kitty litter". The kitty litter will absorb liquids and help contain odors. Some sort of seat may be fashioned from an old toilet seat or bought at marine or camping supply stores. Hay, it's better than nothing.

Arrange for boarding well in advance. Boarding facilities will fill up fast! It may be better to arrange with a friend out side of your home area (affected area). This can be a reciprocal arrangement. If it looks like a storm is threatening their area they can bring their pets to you. Also, contact your local Human Society, Emergency Management Agency or your veterinarian.

Boats on trailers and camping trailers:
These should be staked to the ground. If time permits, dig a shallow hole and set the boat in it with or without the trailer. Boats should be filled 1/3 to 1/2 with water for extra weight but if is still on the trailer, watch the weight limits so as not to over load the trailer. You may also set a camping trailer in a shallow hole. This reduces the "wind profile". If you have inside storage, all the better but make sure it is a strong building.

Boats in the water:
These must be moved 48 hours before landfall. Anchor in a secluded / sheltered bay or inland area (hurricane hole). Intercoastal Waterway bridges will be locked down for evacuation of the beach areas. For more information contact your harbor master, marine patrol, U. S. Power Squadron or U. S. Coast Guard.

Mobile Homes, Trailer Homes, and RV's:
Obviously this is no place to be in a hurricane! These places are usually mandatory evacuation areas. See the information on "Evacuating to a Shelter". You may also contact your local government, Emergency Management Agency or FEMA for more information on evacuating or securing these dwellings.

After the storm (usually 72 hours) communications should be possible to your loved ones outside of the affected area. The Red Cross, some shelters and other "official outlets" will have access to message passing amateur radio operators. Most often the rule is; All "health and welfare" message (that are not urgent or a true emergency) will be held 72 hours so that the official and emergency messages may be transmitted. Please tell your loved ones about this and that they may not hear from you for a few days.
Other communications systems may be set up as well. Local phone companies have been known to set up (some times for free) "emergency pay phone trailers". These are medium to large trailers with eight or more phones hooked in to a hastily repaired line.

Public Utilities (power, phone, cable TV and gas) will be repaired as quickly as possible. Usually in the hardest hit areas first. When waiting for your phone service (cellular too) and power to be restored please remember; this is a large, wide spread disaster. Many people are affected. Please be patient!
Also, service may "flicker" on and off for a while. Many people will be trying to use the limited resources. Phone lines will be clogged and power will be stretched.

Returning home:
If you have evacuated or have left your home for supplies and you are returning here are some other things to keep in mind.

* Because of looters and "sight seers" you will need to produce identification (with your address) to pass check points and get in to some of the harder hit areas.
* You will not be allowed in to hard hit areas that are still dangerous (broken gas mains, power lines down, dangerous debris, etc.)
* Prepare your self! As long as you and your family is safe your home and possessions can be replaced! If you are feeling apprehensive about the condition of your home bring a friend for emotional support (and to help clean up). You have survived some of Mother Nature's worst now it's just time to clean up and get life back "on track".

Sources of Further Information:

(most of these are in the "white pages" or "blue pages" of your phone book)
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (
Local city government
Local county government
Local emergency management
The Salvation Army
The American Red Cross
Local TV and radio stations.

Also check and ask questions at;
Book stores for books on weather, hurricane survival, natural disasters, etc.
Local libraries
The National Weather Service
Marinas, RV and camping stores

This information is compiled by: Dave H. Messinger, N4QPM. I am an Amateur Radio Operator, Florida resident, Emergency Medical Technician and volunteer for Palm Beach County Emergency Management. I can be reached through

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