15 Everyday Items for Tropical Storm Survival

Do you know the basic items needed for tropical storm survival? Could you survive a tropical storm or hurricane with the few items that you have in your home right now? Are you prepared for the next weather system that may come your way?

If you live in the hurricane belt, you’ve been here before. You’ve seen the warnings, watches, read newspaper reports, seen news forecasts, heard emergency sirens and talked to your neighbours. At this point, you should be ready for anything.

Admittedly, not everyone can afford to buy each and every survival item that’s out there. Whilst they may make life a bit easier in the time of need, it’s not always practical. That’s why every household within the tropical storm path should aim to store the very basic items which they may have on hand already.

1. Canned Food

Canned foods are the best friends you need to get comfortable with. Items like canned tuna, salmon and other types of fish; canned meats like chicken, pork and ham;  and vegetables such as corn, pea and beans are perfect items to keep on hand at all times. They are non-perishable, affordable, and nutritious and are readily available in supermarkets and shops.

2. Manual Can Opener

When you lose electricity, your trusty electric can opener cannot help you when you are hungry. The manual can opener, which may require some elbow grease is a useful tool when you have to open a can. I have a bright yellow Kitchen Aid can opener and it’s the best can opener that I’ve ever used or owned. It is easy to use and the blade is sharp and does not dull.

3. Water

Clean water can make the difference between life and death in an emergency. If you purchase bottled water, there is no harm in keeping extra bottles on hand. If you use tap water, you should try to keep a couple gallons in storage bottles. If you choose the latter option, set reminders to change out the water periodically, so that it does not go bad. I purchased collapsible water containers a couple years ago and they are still going strong.

4. Batteries

These days, batteries are popular for keeping electronic devices functioning as they should. However, when your electricity is out, they become the life saver that could connect you to the world. Keep an extra stash of batteries for your transistor or antenna radios, flashlights, mobile phone chargers and portable TVs.

5. Battery Operated Radio

Yes, technology has evolved a lot and battery operated radios may seem a bit prehistoric. But when a storm or hurricane is in your area, this tiny tool will connect you to much needed communications from authorities. Even though your power may be gone, you will still be able to hear about the storm and conditions in your district and surrounding areas.

6. Flashlight

It’s an awful feeling to be in the dark and you cannot see where you are going. The smallest flashlight can be the greatest comfort in a power outage. In addition to a powerful mini MagLite, I always keep small LED flashlights which are useful at any time throughout the year, around my home. Throughout the year, when the light is not in use remove the batteries, so that they do not corrode. If you’re interested in conserving your batteries for other devices, you can consider investing in a solar lantern.

7. Matches

My grandmother always kept boxes of matches in her home, just in case the electricity went off. Back then, kerosene lamps were very popular and provided light when there was none. For tropical storm survival, matches can be used to light almost anything. One big benefit of matches is that they are cheap and easy to find in stores. If you’re worried about matches getting wet and being rendered useless, there are waterproof matches like Everstryk.

8. Resealable Plastic Bags

It’s hard to imagine that a tiny plastic bag could be used for tropical storm survival. Resealable bags are durable and can protect personal documents and items; keep items from getting wet; you can see exactly what’s stored in the bag and they are cost effective and convenient. These days, manufacturers are creating more environmentally friendly resealable plastic bags that are biodegradable and better for the environment.

9. Garbage Bags

The versatile garbage bag could be a crucial aid for tropical storm survival or any other type of survival. The garbage bag can keep items dry, store food and other items and it can also be used for medical purposes. Many garbage bags are biodegradable, but they will serve you well in an emergency.

10. Clothing

Everyone has clothing, but not everyone has clothing for survival. You should aim for clothing items that keep you warm; those that can absorb moisture; those that can protect you from the sun; those that protect you from insects; and sturdy, enclosed shoes that will keep your feet safe. To be on the prepared side, a long sleeved shirt, a long legged pants and a jacket or windbreaker are examples of clothing that you may need.

11. Blankets

Blankets are used to keep you warm when sleeping. For tropical storm survival, a simple wool and fleece blankets will keep you warm when sleeping and when you’ve lost power and cannot heat your home. These types of blankets can be very helpful in an emergency situation.

12. Basic First Aid Kit Items

The basic first aid kit contains plasters, alcohol, cotton buds and cotton balls, painkillers, gauze, antiseptic cream, bandages and gauze at minimum. If you already have these items in your home, then you are fine. If you want to build your own as opposed to buying a store bought option, take a look at the suggestions here.

13. Hygiene Items

In the throes of a storm or hurricane, your personal hygiene should not suffer. Since most households already have soap, cleansers, personal wipes and hand sanitizers in cupboards, these should be easy to pull together. If these items are not already in your home stash, now is the best time to get them.

14. Cash

Not many people use hard cash these days, but in the aftermath of a storm having a little bit of cash can go a long way. When electricity is out, stores may not be able to make sales unless you are paying with cash. Although it’s not safe to keep large amounts of cash, you should keep at least $100 for emergencies.

15. Backpack

If you ever need to leave your home in the heat of a weather event, you need a sturdy backpack that can hold all of the items that you will need. I have a large Jansport backpack that has enough capacity to hold most of the items in this list. It was initially purchased as a travel bag, but now it’s been designated as the emergency bag.

Tropical Storm Survival

We’re already in the midst of the tropical storm season and many people have not started to prepare for the season. Unfortunately, many people do not clue in to what could happen until the storm is banging on their door, stores are sold out of basic storm supplies and emergency storm shelters are filled to capacity.

Just to recap, the 15 items that you need for tropical storm survival are canned food; a manual can opener; water; batteries; a battery operated radio; a flashlight; matches; resealable bags; garbage bags; personal hygiene items; clothing; blankets; a basic first aid kit; cash and a sturdy backpack.

Take some time now to ensure that you have these items on hand. Download the handy 15 Everyday Items for Tropical Storm Survival Checklist that you can use to check off the items that you have as you take steps to increase your chances of surviving a tropical storm.

References

Pierce County Emergency Management: Your 7-Day Emergency Kit
Popular Science: How to Survive a Hurricane With Household Items
Fox News: Hurricane Essentials: 12 Must-Have Items to Help You Survive the Storm
The Odyssey Online: 15 Essential Items You Need To Survive A Hurricane
Mashable: The 11 Most Crucial Items to Stock up on Before a Storm
Survivalism, Prepping and Homesteading: The Survival Clothing Must-Haves: You Need These For Any Disaster
Emergency Essentials: 20 Must-Have Supplies for a Hurricane
Primal Survival: Best Emergency Blankets: Which Blanket Will Really Help You Survive?

How to Prepare for the 2019 Hurricane Season (Tips from Trustworthy Weather Experts)

The 2019 hurricane season is upon us and tropical waves have already made their trek from the African coast through the Caribbean and towards the United States.  If you’ve been living in this region for an extended period, you should be very familiar with all that’s required to prepare for the June start of the annual tropical storm season.

However, if you’re not too sure about what to expect and what you should do, these tips highlighted by the top weather experts will set you on track for the six month long season.

Preparing for a Hurricane or Tropical Storm (CDC)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has an excellent list of hurricane preparedness tips that were compiled from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ideally, preparation for the season should have started several weeks ago. This is especially pertinent since in many years (including 2019) some storms formed well in advance of the official June 1 tropical storm start date.

The tips range from making sure that you are adequately prepared for a hurricane; stocking your home and vehicle with enough emergency supplies for you, your family and pets; creating a family disaster plan that can be quickly enacted if a catastrophic event occurs; taking smart precautions if flooding occurs (which includes avoiding flooded areas and not venturing into bodies of water); taking the health and medical conditions of older family members and neighbours into consideration; being mindful of carbon monoxide emissions from generators and running vehicles and ensuring that devices that can detect this gas are working; and remaining safe after a hurricane or tropical storm.

Hurricanes (Ready)

Ready is a United States of America based public service campaign which prepares people for emergencies such as natural disasters and man-made emergencies. At the very minimum it advises people to be informed about the possible emergencies and the ways to respond to them; create a family emergency plan that considers the needs and capabilities of the family members; build an emergency kit and participate in community emergency preparation activities.

For hurricanes occurring in the Atlantic or Pacific, residents should be aware which threats can impact them. All USA coast lines and countries in the Atlantic or Pacific oceans may be impacted by hurricanes.

The tips provided by this resource outline what you should do if you are under a hurricane warning; steps that you can take to prepare now and well in advance of a tropical storm or hurricane; what to do when a hurricane is 36 hours away, 18 – 36 hours away, 6 – 18 hours away, 6 hours away from your area; how to survive during a hurricane or tropical storm; and how to remain safe after the hurricane has passed.

How to Prepare for Hurricane Season (Insurance Information Institute)

The Insurance Information Institute, an independent and objective insurance oriented body that aims to improve the public’s understanding of insurance, created a thorough guide that outlines how people can prepare for hurricane season. This guide outlines a number of tips and suggestions that you can use to help minimise the impact of the storm.

Main tips include how to plan your evacuation route in advance of a major storm event; the types of non-perishable emergency supplies that should be kept on hand; creating a home inventory of your personal possessions for yours and insurance purposes; reviewing your insurance policies to assess whether or not it is adequate in the event of damage to your home; and taking preventative steps to protect your home – hurricane proofing windows and doors by installing storm shutters and covering them with plywood, cutting overgrown shrubs and trees and removing dead limbs, removing garbage and debris from surroundings to reduce the likelihood of them becoming deadly missiles during hurricane season.

Learn How to Prepare Your Household for Hurricane Season (American Red Cross)

The American Red Cross provides invaluable service in the form of relief and support to people facing unbearable crises and helping people prepare for the aftermath of emergencies. Their services include disaster relief, blood donation processes, health and safety training and certification, international aid and support programmes and supporting military service members, veterans and their families.

The American Red Cross blog has suggested three simple tips that can create the biggest impact in the event of a tropical storm or hurricane. They are building an emergency kit that contains water, non-perishable food and other core supplies for all members of the family; getting together with family members and creating and practicing an evacuation plan that can be easily implemented when the time arises; and staying informed by taking note of your neighbourhood’s emergency response plan which should include being knowledgeable about local shelters and which ones accept and do not accept pets.

2019 Hurricane Season (Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety)

The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety is an independent research and communications organisation that aims to provide more resilient communities and keep the insurance industry informed. Their focus includes the formulation of construction standards; providing flood and hail guidance for home and business owners; maintenance suggestions; business continuity planning; detailed roofing guides; water intrusion, wildfire, wind and winter weather guidance; and emergency preparedness and response planning.

The 2019 Hurricane Season Guide contains several helpful and timely tips which are informative and practical. There is a hurricane checklist; an analysis of often overlooked storm surge risks; tips on how to protect the home from wind; and a video on how to avoid flying debris dangers.

There are also specific tropical storm and hurricane preparedness tips on preparing to evacuate, preparing your surroundings, protecting windows and doors; reducing water damage risks. For further reading, guides are available on reducing hurricane risk; how to use generators safely; and staying safe after the storm.

6 Ways to Prepare Now For Hurricanes (AccuWeather)

AccuWeather is one of the leading weather monitoring and forecasting organisations in the world. It reaches over 1.5 billion people daily through a combination of communication methods including radio, television, newspaper and the internet. The AccuWeather network enables the organisation to reach more people in more places; and to provide its up-to-the-minute weather updates to customers nationally, regionally and internationally.

In a recent post, AccuWeather suggested 6 tips that everyone living in any of the hurricane belts can use to prepare for hurricanes now. These smart tips include creating an evacuation plan, even if you’re not in an evacuation area; buying supplies well ahead of time and not waiting until the hurricane is on your door step; checking your insurance coverage and making changes to ensure that you are protected with standard home insurance, flood insurance and renters’ insurance where necessary; making copies of important documents and keeping in a secure waterproof container; protecting your home by carrying out inspections on the roof, outer walls and windows and doors; and backing up electronics and storing data in a remote location.

Highlighting the Importance of Being Prepared

Many of these tips highlight the importance of being prepared for the hurricane season. Even if you have never been affected or impacted by a tropical storm or hurricane, it’s in your best interest to be ready for anything. Past hurricanes have shown that you do not have to be in the direct impact zone or living on the coastline to feel the wrath of a storm.

Tropical Storm Definitions and Acronyms

Each year, the Colorado State University (CSU) publishes several hurricane forecasts for the Atlantic basin. Although these forecasts are designed so that anyone can read and interpret, there are some terms and acronyms that may be unfamiliar. As a result, the CSU includes a list of tropical storm definitions and acronyms that are used throughout the forecasts. This makes it easier for the average reader to adequately understand the text.

Tropical Storm Definitions and Acronyms

Here are key tropical storm definitions and acronyms which have been excerpted from the CSU’s Extended Range Forecast document for 2019.

Atlantic Basin – The area including the entire North Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico.

El Niño – A 12-18 month period during which anomalously warm sea surface temperatures occur in the eastern half of the equatorial Pacific. Moderate or strong El Niño events occur irregularly, about once every 3-7 years on average.

Hurricane (H) – A tropical cyclone with sustained low-level winds of 74 miles per hour (33 ms-1 or 64 knots) or greater.

Hurricane Day (HD) – A measure of hurricane activity, one unit of which occurs as four 6-hour periods during which a tropical cyclone is observed or is estimated to have hurricane-force winds.

Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) – An irregular oscillation of sea surface temperatures between the western and eastern tropical Indian Ocean. A positive phase of the IOD occurs when the western Indian Ocean is anomalously warm compared with the eastern Indian Ocean.

Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) – A globally propagating mode of tropical atmospheric intra-seasonal variability. The wave tends to propagate eastward at approximately 5 ms-1, circling the globe in roughly 30-60 days.

Main Development Region (MDR) – An area in the tropical Atlantic where a majority of major hurricanes form, which we define as 7.5-22.5°N, 75-20°W.

Major Hurricane (MH) – A hurricane which reaches a sustained low-level wind of at least 111 mph (96 knots or 50 ms-1) at some point in its lifetime. This constitutes a category 3 or higher on the Saffir/Simpson scale.

Major Hurricane Day (MHD) – Four 6-hour periods during which a hurricane has an intensity of Saffir/Simpson category 3 or higher.

Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) – An index defining ENSO that takes into account tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures, sea level pressures, zonal and meridional winds and cloudiness.

Named Storm (NS) – A hurricane, a tropical storm or a sub-tropical storm.

Named Storm Day (NSD) – As in HD but for four 6-hour periods during which a tropical or sub-tropical cyclone is observed (or is estimated) to have attained tropical storm-force winds.

Net Tropical Cyclone (NTC) Activity –Average seasonal percentage mean of NS, NSD, H, HD, MH, MHD. Gives overall indication of Atlantic basin seasonal hurricane activity. The 1950-2000 average value of this parameter is 100.

Proxy – An approximation or a substitution for a physical process that cannot be directly measured.

Saffir/Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale – A measurement scale ranging from 1 to 5 of hurricane wind intensity. One is a weak hurricane; whereas, five is the most intense hurricane.

Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) – A normalized measure of the surface pressure difference between Tahiti and Darwin. Low values typically indicate El Niño conditions.

Standard Deviation (SD) – A measure used to quantify the variation in a dataset.

Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly – SSTA

Thermohaline Circulation (THC) – A large-scale circulation in the Atlantic Ocean that is driven by fluctuations in salinity and temperature. When the THC is stronger than normal, the AMO tends to be in its warm (or positive) phase, and more Atlantic hurricanes typically form.

Tropical Cyclone (TC) – A large-scale circular flow occurring within the tropics and subtropics which has its strongest winds at low levels; including hurricanes, tropical storms and other weaker rotating vortices.

Tropical North Atlantic (TNA) index – A measure of sea surface temperatures in the area from 5.5-23.5°N, 57.5-15°W.

Tropical Storm (TS) – A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds between 39 mph (18 ms-1 or 34 knots) and 73 mph (32 ms-1 or 63 knots).

Vertical Wind Shear – The difference in horizontal wind between 200 mb (approximately 40000 feet or 12 km) and 850 mb (approximately 5000 feet or 1.6 km).

1 knot = 1.15 miles per hour = 0.515 meters per second

Reference: The Colorado State University

Atlantic Basin Seasonal Hurricane Forecast for 2019

The hurricane research team at Colorado State University has released its initial hurricane forecast for 2019. The outlook states that the 2019 season is expected to be slightly below normal activity, thanks in part to a weak El Nino. The forecast touches on several important points, but the most important one to note, especially for coastal residents, is that it only takes one tropical storm or hurricane landfall to make the season active.

Although, residents living in the general Atlantic tropical storm belt should always be prepared well in advance of the annual hurricane season, forecasting offers a more accurate outlook of things to come. These forecasts are important because they provide bases on which plans can be made for the hurricane season. National disaster and emergency management agencies can use this information as they formulate disaster relief efforts and mobilize disaster relief teams and resources.

Seasonal Forecasts

Colorado State University has been providing forecasts of the Atlantic Tropical Storm season for thirty-six years. The seasonal forecasts provided by CSU were developed by the late Dr. William Gray, who was a leading author and researcher in topics related to weather and hurricanes. Along with his guidance and tutelage, several former students have made valuable contributions to hurricane forecasting, which is in itself a relatively difficult science.

The university mentions several people who were instrumental in creating these seasonal forecasts. They are Chris Landsea, John Knaff and Eric Blake. We have also benefited from meteorological discussions with Carl Schreck, Louis-Philippe Caron, Brian McNoldy, Paul Roundy, Jason Dunion, Peng Xian and Amato Evan. Additionally, predictions are released with support from several partners including Interstate Restoration, Ironshore Insurance; the Insurance Information Institute; Weatherboy; the G. Unger Vetlesen Foundation and the GeoGraphics Laboratory at Bridgewater State University.

Seasonal Hurricane Forecast for 2019

The 2019 seasonal hurricane forecast provides an outlook that there will be 13 named tropical storms and 5 hurricanes. Of the five hurricanes, two are expected to be major hurricanes with a Category 3 rating or higher. The developing El Nino conditions will have an impact on the Atlantic hurricane season. It is believed that this may be the underlying reason for what is forecast to be a “slightly below average” hurricane season.

Additionally, the forecast also looks at the landfall probabilities of named storms impacting countries in the Caribbean and the Americas. This is an important aspect of the research by CSU and its partners. There is a 95% chance that the United States will be impacted; an 80% chance that the Gulf Coast will be hit; a 77% chance that Florida and the East Coast will be impacted; and a 94% chance that a named storm will hit the Caribbean.

Because of the dynamics of weather and weather forecasting, the CSU will be issuing updates to its seasonal hurricane forecast for 2019. These updates will be released on 01 June, 02 July and 06 August. In November 2019, discussions and analyses of these forecasts will be issued.

To read the report in full, please visit the Colorado State University’s website.

Meteorological Predictions for the 2018 Hurricane Season

Each year, people wait with bated breath for the latest meteorological predictions for the hurricane season. For some, the formation of one tropical storm is very bad news, because it could mean a setback for countries still recovering from the previous hurricane seasons. For others, it could mean that the chances of a direct hit by a storm are significantly reduced.

Tropical storm outlooks and predictions require the highly scientific work of esteemed hurricane scientists who tirelessly pore over weather models. One of the results of this work and analysis is a best guess prediction that states how many tropical storms will be expected and whether or not the season will be active.

Meteorological professionals are unfairly accused of providing inaccurate information. But, it should be noted that because weather changes so rapidly, it is almost impossible to forecast every possible occurrence. Weather scientists can look at data of what has happened in the past and make predictions based on this information.

2018 Hurricane Predictions

In April 2018, the first prediction for the 2018 tropical storm season was released. It was stated that there would be fourteen named storms, six of which would form into hurricanes and two of which would be severe.

However, in July 2018, a revised outlook showed that the season was expected to be a low activity one. The revised prediction was that there would be ten named tropical storms, and of these, four would form into hurricanes. This revision came as a result of changes in the meteorological world.  Named storms of the 2018 Atlantic tropical storm season include Alberto, Beryl, Chris, Debby, Ernesto, Florence, Gordon, Helen and Isaac.

There are cooler ocean temperatures which mean that there is less support for tropical storm development. Additionally, there is the belief that the oceans are transitioning towards an El Nino occurrence, which is a drought like event. Also wind pressure gradients are strengthening, which make it more difficult for storms to form in the Atlantic and progress on their usual path through the Caribbean and upwards to North America.

Impact of Meteorological Predictions

The impact of meteorological predictions is not just limited to the people in countries which may be affected by tropical storm activity. Insurance companies around the world, who have interests in the region are also interested in these predictions. Past tropical storm seasons in conjunction with predictions for the future seasons can impact insurance rates and premiums.

For some, these predictions bring stress due to thoughts of what could happen. As the most active period in the 2018 hurricane season approaches, people living in storm prone areas, should be prepared for anything and everything. Because of extensive monitoring by sites like Weather Underground and Weather, it’s easier to track storms from the time they form off the coast of Africa.

Be prepared.

References

Caribbean Business: Puerto Rico under tsunami of insurance claims caused by Hurricane Maria

Wall Street Journal: Hurricane Maria Caused as Much as $85 Billion in Insured Losses, AIR Worldwide Says

Florida Office of Insurance Regulation: Hurricane Irma Claims Data

Orlando Weekly: Hurricane Irma insurance losses in Florida pegged at nearly $7.4 billion

Weather Underground: 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season Now Expected to Be Less Active

How to Make a 40 Piece First Aid Kit

Every home should have a first aid kit, even if the home is not in an area that is prone to tropical storms or hurricanes. The most basic first aid kit will enable you to deal with health emergencies and injuries and can save your life if you are unable to seek medical attention right away.

The first aid kit should always be well stocked. If you use an item, you should replace it, in the event that you may need that item again. A checklist can be used to keep a record of the items in the kit as well as expiry dates.

Best First Aid Kits on the Market

One of the easiest ways to obtain a first aid kit is to purchase one. If you’re interested in purchasing a kit until you can build your own, I would suggest the following kits which are available at Amazon:

 ProductPriceKit Contents
EverLit 250 Piece First Aid KitCheck PriceIncludes bandages, gauze pads, metal scissors, blanket, tactical flashlight and poncho
Sportsman Series Grizzly First Aid KitCheck PriceIncludes bandages, gauze, forceps, gloves, disposable thermometer and CPR face shield
Delta Provision Co. First Aid KitCheck PriceIncludes medic bag, gauze pads, bandages, wound dressings, compass and whistle.
154-piece Deluxe Sports First Aid KitCheck PriceIncludes antiseptic wipes, bandages, gauze, finger splints and nosebleed plugs
Surviveware Small First Aid KitCheck PriceIncludes personal medicine mini bags, gloves, wound closures, bandages and emergency blanket.

How to Build a First Aid Kit

If you are ready and willing to build your kit, there are some rules of thumb to follow so that your kit is adequate and contains all of the items that you may need in an emergency. Kits like the Everlit 250 Pieces Survival First Aid Kit, include must have items such as bandages and antiseptic cleansing wipes. But when you build your kit, you can incorporate the same items and personalise it based on the needs of you and your family.

The starting point is to use a sturdy, waterproof container that will house items for the kit. This container should also be large enough to hold all items and it should be able to close easily and firmly.

Inside this kit, you should include enough of the following items to at least tend to the needs of the members of your family. A first aid kit built for one person, would be considerably smaller than a kit built for a family of four.

Kit ItemOur SuggestionUse
First Aid BagHouses all first aid kit items
BandagesWraps injuries and cuts
DressingsHelp stop bleeding and apply pressure to wounds
Face MasksPrevent contamination and infection
Cotton BallsClean wounds
Cotton SwabsClean wounds and apply topical creams and lotions
PlastersWrap small cuts and grazes
Sterile Gauze PadsWrap wounds and injuries
Safety PinsAffix bandages
Disposable GlovesReduce infection from blood and body fluids
TweezersRemove splinters or other small foreign objects
Small ScissorsCuts bandages, tape or clothing
Small KnifeCuts bandages, tape or clothing
Cleansing Wipes Clean hands and sanitize wounds and instruments
Isopropyl AlcoholCleans and disinfects superficial wounds
Adhesive/ Sticky TapeHolds bandages in place
Bug Bite Cream or SprayRelieves insect bites
ThermometerChecks body temperature
Antiseptic CreamCan relieve minor pain and soothe the skin
PainkillersCan relieve pain
Cough MedicineSoothes coughs and provides chest relief
Distilled WaterCleans wounds
Thermal BlanketHelps manage body temperature
Cold and Warm CompressesRelieve pain and swelling
CPR Breathing MaskProtects against infection
Zipper Plastic BagsStore small items
Duct TapeTapes down bandages
Petroleum JellySoothes and protects minor cuts and burns
Medicine DropperAdministers medicine
Calamine LotionRelieves pain from sunburn, insect bites and some plant poisons
Aloe Vera GelReduces pain from burns, insect bites and cuts
Baking SodaRelieves upset stomach
Paper BagsUsed to calm hyperventilation
Hand SanitizerUsed to clean hands in the absence of water
Antiseptic SoapUsed to wash hands as needed
Hydrogen PeroxideDisinfects wounds and scrapes
WhistleCan be used to attract attention
Small FlashlightUsed to provide light in a power outage
First Aid ManualExplains how to administer basic first aid.

The best first aid kit is one that is well maintained and ready to use in an emergency. To ensure that your first aid is as effective as it could be, you should:

  1. Store the first aid kit in a cool, dry place and out of the reach of children and babies.
  2. Keep track of supplies and expiration dates, so that you can update the kit as needed
  3. Wash reusable items (e.g. tweezers and scissors) after each use, and sterilize them with isopropyl alcohol

To get the most of your medical kit, you can take a first aid class if it’s available in your area. If you cannot find a course that’s close to you, the Red Cross offers online first aid courses.

References:

Health Direct: First Aid Kits
Helpside: First Aid Kit Checklist
Survival at Home: How to Make Your Own DIY First Aid Kit
Kids Health: First Aid Kit https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/firstaid-kit.html
Red Cross: Make a First Aid Kit
NHS Choices: What Should I Keep in My First Aid Kit
St. John Ambulance: Workplace First Aid Kit Contents and Supplies Checklist

Weather Forecasts and Outlooks

Accurate forecasts and outlooks can make all the difference when it comes to being prepared for tropical storms and hurricanes. The science of meteorology is rapidly advancing and this has resulted in more detailed forecasting that offers greater insights into weather events. Weather forecasting itself is a detailed process that includes the collection and observation of raw data which is gathered from several sources.

Forecasts and Outlooks

The World Meteorological Organisation has defined meteorological forecasting ranges, which range from nowcasting to seasonal outlooks. Nowcasting describes “current weather forecasting” where a weather event may occur anytime between 0 and 2 hours from the current time, whilst seasonal outlooks are average weather values for a particular period of time, usually referred to as a season.

Short-Term Weather Forecasts

Short term weather forecasts provide a more immediate outlook of what weather can be expected in the short term. The National Weather Service states that the main purpose of the short term forecast is to “provide users with a concise, non-technical short term forecast of ongoing weather conditions.”

NCAR RAL LogoWho: The Research Applications Laboratory conduct research that enhances weather monitoring, nowcasting and forecasting.
What: The Research Applications Laboratory is one of the libraries in the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).
Where: Online
More: The Research Applications Laboratory also performs collaborative research in the area of atmospheric and related sciences.
Earth NetworksWho: Earth Networks helps organisations to mitigate weather related risks
What: Through its revolutionary ENcast innovation, Earth Networks provides accurate short-term forecasts that can be produced for specific locations.
What: The Research Applications Laboratory is one of the libraries in the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).
Where: Online
More: Earth Networks’ weather forecasts are more accurate and reduces the occurrence of forecasting errors.

Medium-Term, Seasonal & Long-Term Outlooks

Medium term forecasts, seasonal forecasts and long-term forecasts are even more complex than creating short term forecasts. Many websites and companies often predict what weather is likely to occur at some time in the future. But, there is always the possibility for weather expectations to deviate. This often causes some frustrations among weather watchers and enthusiasts, especially during the tropical storm season.

The Old Farmer's AlmanacWho: The Old Farmer’s Almanac is a periodical published for home makers, gardeners and weather watchers.
What: Long range weather forecasts are based on solar science, climatology and meteorology.
Where: Online, In Store
More: Long range forecasts cover regions in the United States of America.
CPC LogoWho: The Climate Prediction Centre develops products that cover time scales from one week to seasons.
What: The Research Applications Laboratory is one of the libraries in the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).
Where: Online
More: The Center aims to promote the management of risk and thus create a climate-resilient society.
Con Wx LogoWho: ConWx is a knowledge based company that provides advanced weather and energy forecasting services.
What: ConWx provides forecasts for retail purposes, wind farm operations and conducts wind site assessments.
Where: Online
More: ConWx focuses on solutions for energy and offshore related needs.

References:
Britannica: Principles and Methodology of Weather Forecasting
World Meteorological Organisation: Definitions of Meteorological Forecasting Ranges
Penn State College of Earth and Mineral Sciences: A World of Weather
NOAA Climate.gov: Weather Forecasts Versus Climate Outlooks: What’s the difference?
Precision AG: Weather Forecasting: How Does It Work, and How Reliable Is It?