June 1 marks the beginning of Hurricane Season in our neck of the woods and even though it’s been simply ages (knock on wood) since a storm of considerable size has come anywhere near Tallahassee, it’s not a bad idea to start assembling a basic disaster supply kit–aka Bug Out Bag–just in case this is the year we get one.
What needs to be in that kit?
According to ready.gov, your basic disaster supply kit should contain:
- At least 1 gallon of water per person per day, for at least 3 days (72 hours) for hydration and hygiene; don’t forget pets if they’re part of your plan!
- A 3-day supply of non-perishable foods, enough for all the humans and pets you’re responsible for.
- Manual can opener for canned goods.
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio, with extra batteries–a NOAA Weather Radio is even better.
- Flashlights and extra batteries.
- A first aid kit (make sure to keep a back-up supply of all prescription medications, too!).
- Whistle to signal for help.
- Dust mask, plastic sheeting and lots of duck tape!
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and twist-ties or zip-ties to safely handle sanitation needs.
- Some basic tools: wrench, pliers, hammer, screwdriver, etc.
- Maps marked with your evacuation route should you need to beat feet to a safer location.
- Cell phones, chargers, and car adapters.
A generator and fuel is a nice thing to have, along with a converter that plugs into your car’s lighter or accessory jack (we had one of those for car trips and it meant not needing to rely on my laptop’s battery alone–nice!). Some extra fuel for your car wouldn’t hurt.
Since this is a food blog, can you go beyond mushy canned goods for your food stores? That’s something I’ll be exploring more in-depth this summer, but I’ve heard good things about today’s MRE (Meals Ready-to-Eat) packs. Adding a camp stove and some fuel canisters can greatly increase your options for stuck-in-the-dark meals, just remember to add extra water and fuel to your stores if you’re depending on dry rice, beans or pasta as part of your food supply.
And who says you can’t go gourmet in a storm? Check out the The Storm Gourmet, which I first heard about in 2006 on NPR, where they shared a salad nicoise made entirely from canned and jarred items.
Do you have a hurricane plan or other disaster supply kit prepared?