|Replacing items for hurricane supply kits|
The Turks and Caicos Islands were impacted this year by two hurricanes — a near miss by Emily and a wallop from Irene — and you and your family may have used some items from your hurricane kit.
Even though hurricane season is nearly over, late season storms are still a threat, so it may be time to replenish your supply kit.
Your kit should include the basic life support you will need after a disaster, not just hurricanes. Experts recommend the kit should prepare you and your family to be self sufficient for at least three days and up to two weeks.
Be sure to include tools
A pocketknife, nails, hammer and rope are important elements. Towels and buckets are useful too if you have a leak.
Place a portable self-generating radio in the survival kit. This provides you updated information during the hurricane. If you don’t get a radio that can be hand-cranked or can run on solar power, buy at least seven sets of batteries for the kit. This should keep the radio and flashlights running for two weeks.
Speaking of flashlights, it is a good idea to have one flashlight for each person. Candles are also important, but don’t forget to include dry matches, a lighter and extra batteries.
Food and water
Replenish your food supply with canned food which should include soups, peanut butter, beans, crackers, vegetables and other food that do not spoil without refrigeration. Add enough food to sustain your entire family for at least two weeks. Remember to pack a manual can opener.
Replenish water supply as well — 1-2 liters per day per person. Be sure to prepare to have extra water for hygiene and for washing dishes.
Keeping a large ice chest around can also come in handy. If the electricity should go out during a storm, you can place any food from the refrigerator or freezer into the chest. If you have access to ice, dump ice over the food to keep it as cool as possible.
First aid kit
You never know what emergencies you will run into, so include items such as adhesive bandages, bug repellent, burn cream, aspirin, pain relievers, rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide and two weeks worth of any required prescription medications.
Toiletries and extras
Top up your family’s needed toiletries for including toothbrushes and soap. Also a pack of playing cards or a few books and toys can come in handy to keep family members busy.
Rain slickers can also help in case of an evacuation or even a bad leaky roof. Inflatable air beds can also be useful for the unexpected guest or if you need to huddle in one room. And don’t forget paper plates, paper cups, napkins and plastic utensils, plus trash bags.
Papers and documents
Every hurricane survival kit needs a fire or lock box. Keep important documentation and computer back-up files in the protected box.
A well-prepared kit is only a part of the plan. Be sure to tell family members were the kit is located, and make it someone’s personal responsibility to grab the kit if your family has to evacuate the house.
If you take a little bit of time to prepare for the eventuality of a hurricane or other disaster, you will have peace of mind when the time comes. You won’t be standing in long lines stocking up on supplies or possibly not being able to get what you need when supplies run out.