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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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?