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Prepare for a Storm

Severe weather can strike at any time and with little notice. This makes it important to prepare for a storm before there are signs of bad weather on the horizon. Packing an emergency kit for yourself and your family is an important part of surviving the storm and the chaos that may result in the aftermath.

While this list is adapted from the National Hurricane Center, it applies to all severe weather situations, including hurricanes, tornadoes and severe thunderstorms. The list below should help you get through the first 72 hours of an emergency. While emergency personnel will have arrived by that time, in the event of a large scale disaster, they won’t be able to reach everyone affected immediately. Include the following supplies in your severe weather emergency kit:

  • Water – Store at least one gallon of water per person for three to seven days.
  • Food – Again, store enough non-perishable food and juices for everyone in your household to last three to seven days. If there are babies or elderly members in your party, be sure to store the appropriate food products for them. In addition, include:
    • Non-electric can opener;
    • Cooking tools and/or fuel; and
    • Disposable plates, cutlery and napkins.
  • Blankets and Clothing – Have enough blankets or sleeping bags for everyone in your household. In addition, you’ll want to include clothing that is appropriate for the season, rain gear and sturdy shoes.
  • First Aid Kit, Medicines and Prescription Drugs
  • Toiletries, Hygiene Items and Moisture Wipes – In the event that you are without water for a number of days and are conserving your drinking water, these items will be necessary. Include an ample supply of garbage bags and ties to dispose of waste.
  • Flashlight and Batteries – You may be without power for an extended period of time, making it important to have these items stored in your kit.
  • Radio – To stay abreast of the current weather situation, keep a battery-operated radio and NOAA weather radio close by.
  • Telephone – In addition to your cell phone, have a standard, not cordless telephone set. If the power is out, a cordless phone will not work.
  • Cash and Credit Cards – Have cash (in small bills) and credit cards in your kit, as banks and ATMs may not be open for extended periods.
  • Keys – If possible, store a spare set of keys to your house, vehicles, etc.
  • Toys, Books and Games
  • Important Documents – Store these in a waterproof container or watertight, resealable bag. Some important documents include:
    • Insurance and medical records;
    • Bank account numbers; and
    • Social security cards.
  • Pet Care Items – Don’t forget to store items for any pets you may have, including:
    • Ample supply of food and water;
    • Carrier or cage;
    • Muzzle and leash; and
    • Proper identification, immunization records and medications.


© 2020 The GuideOne Center for Risk Management, LLC. All rights reserved.This material is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to give specific legal or risk management advice, nor are any suggested checklists or action plans intended to include or address all possible risk management exposures or solutions. You are encouraged to retain your own expert consultants and legal advisors in order to develop a risk management plan specific to your own activities.