September often marks the peak of the Hurricane season, and as evidenced by the devastation of Harvey and Irma, it is important for all residents to be prepared for the possibility of flooding, or even storm surges and hurricane damage.
Taking preventative measures now will help to make any real emergency preparations easier in the long run.
Hurricanes are best predicted by meteorologists, and while many like to create hype, or even panic, be sure to stay informed and check the National Hurricane Center’s website for the most up to date, and informative hurricane information.
Be prepared, make emergency plans, but don’t let incomplete information or scary headlines affect you.
The Eastern Shore and the Chesapeake Bay, should a hurricane as big and as potentially catastrophic as Irma, reach here, it would be as devastating as what we have seen with Harvey in Houston.
In addition to Emergency Kits, be sure you have access to flotation items, including Life Jackets, Kayaks or inflatables.
Given what the Shore experienced during Isabel, always being prepared could make the difference. Be calm, be prepared and stay informed.
A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.
Basic Disaster Supplies Kit
To assemble your kit, store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag.
A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:
- Water – one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food – at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
- First aid kit
- Extra batteries
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener for food
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
Download the Recommended Supplies List (PDF)
Maintaining Your Kit
After assembling your kit remember to maintain it so it’s ready when needed:
Keep canned food in a cool, dry place
Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers
Replace expired items as needed
Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family’s needs change.
Additional Emergency Supplies
Consider adding the following items to your emergency supply kit based on your individual needs:
- Prescription medications
- Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
- Glasses and contact lense solution
- Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream
- Pet food and extra water for your pet
- Cash or traveler’s checks
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
- Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
- Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper to disinfect water
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
- Paper and pencil
- Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
Kit Storage Locations
Since you do not know where you will be when an emergency occurs, prepare supplies for home, work and vehicles.
Home: Keep this kit in a designated place and have it ready in case you have to leave your home quickly. Make sure all family members know where the kit is kept.
Work: Be prepared to shelter at work for at least 24 hours. Your work kit should include food, water and other necessities like medicines, as well as comfortable walking shoes, stored in a “grab and go” case.
Vehicle: In case you are stranded, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car.