Being prepared comes with the territory when you live or work in hurricane country. Most hurricane prepping tips focus on what to have on hand while you wait out the storm in the safety of your home. But what happens if you need to evacuate? Is your “go bag” ready for just such an emergency?
How to prep your “go bag”
Standard hurricane prep includes having enough water and food to last for three days for every member of the family. The bottom line is that when you are in storm prep mode, you must make sure you are planning for each individual in your family. One “go bag” likely would not be adequate in the event of an evacuation involving a family of five.
You should make sure that each “go bag” includes:
- Ready to eat food items: Choose foods that shelf-stable and nutrient-rich, such as canned meats, peanut butter and granola, and utensils for eating.
- Can opener: Make sure you pack a manual can opener and not an electric one. And be sure to pack one can opener per “go bag” for each family member in the event you are separated. It’s an anxiety-ridden thought, but smart hurricane prep means making sure you and those you love are ready for anything.
- Emergency cash: Bank ATMs might lose power. If this happens you’ll be glad you thought ahead and stashed an emergency fund of cash and coins in every “go bag” for you and your family.
- Personal documents: Don’t use the originals. Do, however, make copies of all of your important documents like passports, insurance policies, driver’s licenses and birth certificates. You may want to consider having these documents laminated for protection from the elements, or at the very least, placed in waterproof containers for safekeeping.
- Battery-operated radio: You’ll be grateful for this one if you lose power and cellular service.
Remember to add basics like a first aid kit, personal hygiene items, and an emergency supply of any medications you or your family may regularly take in your respective “go bag”. Once your “go bags” are packed up and ready to go, experts recommend storing them in a secure area in your home away from windows. And of course, always opt for higher ground.