As Texas is preparing for one of the strongest hurricanes to hit them in over 12 years, it’s a good reminder for everyone else to be prepared for the unexpected. Major storms can appear quickly and without significant warning all over North America. Whether it’s the elusive but powerful microburst, or something larger with a warning like a hurricane, being prepared for anything is a necessity. Government’s across North America recommend having enough supplies on hand to survive without assistance for 72 hours or 3-days. This means water, food, medicine, first aid, and anything else you might need to rid out an emergency. Having more is ideal, but at the very least a 3-day kit will help you get through the toughest parts of a major storm.
Major Storm Food and Drink
Three days without water is a recipe for disaster, however, keep in mind that water isn’t just used for drinking. Food, while not as important as water, would be rather uncomfortable to live without for three days. Here’s a basic list of supplies to have on hand:
- 1 Gallon (4 Liters) of water PER PERSON, PER DAY. Add additional water storage if anyone is pregnant, if the weather is going to be hot, and if you have pets. You can get a 3-day supply of emergency packets of water from Amazon.ca for $60. Also available from Amazon.com for $30.
- Three days worth of food – roughly 2000 calories per person per day. Get goods that do not require cooking to consume such as canned or packets. At the very most, pick up food that can be cooked via boiled water. This includes pasta, rice, ramen etc. If you want to go the extra mile, consider military style MREs (meals ready to eat.) 12 MRE cases are available between $150-$200 CDN. And in the USA, can be found for $90. Also, don’t forget your pets!
- Comfort Foods/Drinks – While not necessary, having some ‘comfort’ supplies at home can make the experience more pleasant. Consider things like candy, chocolates, snack foods and alcohol.
Major Storm Gear
- A Can Opener – Canned food is harder to get into without it.
- Medical Supplies – Start with a first aid kit, then add to it anything you need for 7-days. Places that sell medication can take longer to recover from a major storm than power/water.
- Waterproof Clothing – After a major storm, it’s likely there will still be significant rainfall or flooding. Being able to go outside and stay dry will help make any tasks slightly more bearable.
- Tools – Tools to recover from a storm are important. A hammer, crowbar, chainsaw, and other tools are helpful after a major storm.
- An Inverter Generator – If you anticipate the power being out for long periods of time, consider investing in a generator. There are new Inverter Generators that was smaller and quieter than standard generators while putting out the same power. They are also generally more effective on fuel management. The tradeoff is they do cost more money than the older motor style generator. The Hyundai HY2000si is a highly reviewed model that can be purchased for $677 Canadian, or $540 American.
Major Storm Precautions
- If your water is damaged or somehow rendered unusable, having a backup plan for water is crucial. Bleach and the ability to boil water is a good way to kill harmful bacteria. You can also look into water purification tablets or even a tool like the LifeStraw that enables you to drink directly from a water source.
- Cash! We live in a digital currency world, but when the power goes out the only thing that will have value is cold hard cash. Always have a supply of cash in various denominations on hand to be able to buy things easily from local stores, even if their power is out.
- An Escape Plan – If worst comes to worst, having an escape plan is a key storm precaution. Many things can happen to your home during a storm, so having a GOOD Plan (Get Out Of Dodge) is good planning. To test your GOOD Plan, have your family be ready to leave the house within 5 minutes and have everything you need to survive for 3-days. This is where ‘Emergency Backpacks’ or Bug Out Bags are important.