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Hurricane 2022: Checklists for building all kinds of storm kits

You’ll need more than one kind of hurricane kit. Here are checklists to build kits for you, your kids and your pets.
This hurricane season, get the latest information about storms and how to get ready at tampabay.com/hurricane
This hurricane season, get the latest information about storms and how to get ready at tampabay.com/hurricane [ JOSHUA GILLIN | Times ]
Published May 25|Updated May 27

You need to do more than get your home ready for a hurricane. You need to get ready, too.

That means building a hurricane kit by assembling the food, water, medication and gear you and your household will need to ride out the storm. But your needs will vary: Your children and your grandparents will require different supplies than you, and everyone will have to take a different approach depending on whether you stay home, head to a shelter or go to someone else’s house.

That’s why the Tampa Bay Times has assembled several checklists to help you prepare, no matter the situation.

Related: Hurricane 2022: Tampa Bay will flood. Here’s how to get ready.

The most important rule of hurricane prep is the seven-day rule: Florida officials urge residents to have seven days’ worth of nonperishable food and water per family member (including pets). That’s how long it could take before help and supplies reach your area after a devastating storm. The standard hydration rule is that each person will need at least one gallon of water per day.

You should keep at least 30 days’ worth of prescription medication on hand. Getting refills after a storm won’t be easy.

The Florida Division of Emergency Management (www.floridadisaster.org), the Department of Homeland Security (www.dhs.gov), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (www.ready.gov/kit) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (cdc.gov/childrenindisasters/checklists/kids-and-families.html) also offer checklists.

Related: Hurricane 2022: Protect your mental health during the storm

Hurricane kits should be built for different purposes, whether for staying in an evacuation shelter or in someone else’s home. Remember that when you go to a shelter, you’re not going camping. Water, meals and perhaps even beds will be provided. But if you go to someone’s house, don’t rely on them to feed, care for and hydrate your family. Do your part.

So get your seven-day supply ready first, then go through these checklists:

• • •

Personal Hurricane Kit

Build a go bag — aka a “bug out bag” — that has everything you’ll need in a backpack or two if you have to evacuate with little notice. It’s the kind of bag you should keep ready year-round in Florida, where the weather can always turn against us.

  • Air horns or whistles, to call for help
  • Assorted batteries, including for hearing aids
  • Backpacks, sturdy and waterproof
  • Can opener (manual, never electric)
  • Cash (no power or cell service means no credit cards or mobile payments)
  • COVID-19 test kits
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Extra clothing and socks, including something warm in case it gets cold
  • First-aid kit
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Handheld lanterns
  • Headlamp and batteries
  • Identification, insurance card, etc.
  • Insect repellent
  • NOAA Weather Radio, battery or hand-crank
  • Non-prescription medication (anti-diarrheal, pain relievers, etc.)
  • Pandemic masks (N95 or KN95 masks; do not rely on cloth or surgical masks)
  • Pens and paper (don’t run down your phone battery by writing stuff down)
  • Personal wipes (antibacterial)
  • Phone charging cables, wall chargers
  • Portable power banks for smartphones, tablets
  • Rain jacket and pants/poncho
  • Rubber boots
  • Safety work gloves
  • Spare contacts and eyeglasses (also eyedrops)
  • Spare keys to homes, businesses and vehicles
  • Sturdy boots or shoes (and a backup pair)
  • Sunscreen, lip balm
  • Sleeping bags
  • Toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss
  • Water purification tablets
  • Waterproof folders, for documents and photos
  • Waterproof matches and lighter
• • •

Home Hurricane Kit

If you lose power after a storm, if your home or neighborhood gets hit hard or if help is unable to reach you for a while, this gear will make your wait at home much easier. If you have camping gear, you’re already in good shape.

  • Bleach (to clean up mold)
  • Carbon monoxide detector, battery-powered (for gas-powered generators)
  • Can opener (manual, never electric)
  • COVID-19 test kits
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Duct tape
  • Extra water (fill bathtubs for flushing)
  • Hand soap
  • Fan, battery-operated
  • Fire extinguisher
  • First-aid kit
  • Garbage bags, plastic sheeting (for garbage and covering broken windows)
  • Insect repellent, insect candles
  • Long-handle squeegees for scraping mud out of a flooded home
  • Laser pointer, to attract help in the dark (aiming one at an aircraft is a federal crime)
  • Laundry detergent, bucket for washing clothes
  • NOAA Weather Radio, battery or hand-crank
  • Pandemic masks (N95 or KN95 masks; do not rely on cloth or surgical masks)
  • Paper cups, plates and plastic utensils
  • Paper towels (better than sponges if there’s no water)
  • Personal wipes (antibacterial)
  • Portable air-conditioner that can run off a generator
  • Portable camping stove
  • Portable generator (never operate one indoors; beware carbon monoxide poisoning)
  • Portable power banks for smartphones and tablets
  • Powerful flashlight
  • Rags, sponges, mops for cleanup
  • Safety work gloves
  • Spray paint (to paint address, insurance carrier on house)
  • Surge protectors or power strips
  • Tarps (for damaged roofs, walls and windows)
  • Termite bait and ant poison
  • Toilet paper
  • Tool kit
  • Toothbrushing pads (when water is in short supply)
  • Wrench or pliers, to turn utilities on and off
• • •

Vehicle Hurricane Kit

In an emergency, your vehicle may be the safest place you can stay after a storm. So make sure it has what your family needs.

  • Car shovel/pick
  • Cash (tow trucks, repair shops may not take electronic payment)
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Duct tape
  • Emergency blankets
  • Fire extinguisher
  • First-aid kit
  • Fuse kit
  • Garbage bags, plastic sheeting (for garbage and covering broken windows)
  • Jumper cables
  • Maps, map books (physical, not digital; must be up-to-date)
  • Multi-tool
  • Personal wipes (antibacterial)
  • Phone cables
  • Pocket knife
  • Portable air compressor
  • Portable jump starter
  • Power inverter, for charging devices
  • Safety work gloves
  • Spare tire (that actually works)
  • Tire jack
  • Tire sealant, puncture repair kit
  • Vehicle registration, proof of insurance
  • Water repellant
  • Wipes
• • •

Children’s Hurricane Kit

Whether evacuating or staying, children need a hurricane kit, too. Their needs vary by age, and remember to get 30 days’ worth of their prescription medications in advance, too. If you’re breastfeeding, experts say to keep a week’s worth of powdered formula on hand, just in case.

  • Baby food
  • Baby wipes
  • Blankets, pillows
  • Books, games, playing cards, puzzles (do not rely on tablets to entertain children)
  • Child’s insurance ID
  • Clean bottles
  • Diapers
  • Drawing paper; crayons, markers, pens
  • Dry, extra clothing and underwear
  • Formula
  • Kid-friendly canned goods
  • Medical alert bracelet (if needed)
  • Non-prescription medication (anti-diarrheal, pain relievers, etc.)
  • Personal wipes (antibacterial)
  • Sturdy shoes, rubber boots
  • Toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss
  • Toys (that can be damaged or lost)
• • •

Pet Hurricane Kit

If you’re staying home, make your life easier and get your pet’s hurricane kit ready now. Getting your pet microchipped will help ensure you’ll be reunited with your pet if you’re separated. Keep your microchip contact information up to date. Also, make sure your pet is wearing a tag with your current contact information. Some shelters do accept pets, but you’ll still need to pack up their gear. The CDC has a pet emergency kit checklist at cdc.gov/cpr/readywrigley/documents/pet_emergency_kit_checklist.pdf.

  • Blanket
  • Cat litter, newspaper, even paper towels
  • Crate or sturdy carrier
  • Disposable litter trays for cats
  • Disposable bags for pet clean-up
  • Extra collar with updated pet tag, contact information
  • Extra leashes
  • Medications, 30-day supply
  • Medical records
  • Muzzle
  • Pet first-aid kit
  • Pet food, seven-day supply
  • Pet microchip (keep updated)
  • Pet toys
  • Pet wipes
  • Portable food and water bowls
  • Puppy pads
  • Recent photos of pets (in case you’re separated)
  • Service animal supplies
  • Treats
• • •

First-Aid Kit

You can buy a ready-made first-aid kit or build a robust one yourself.

  • Allergy medication
  • Aloe
  • Antacid
  • Anti-diarrheal medication
  • Antihistamine cream
  • Antiseptic agent
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Aspirin, pain-relievers
  • Burn relief spray
  • Cotton balls/swabs
  • Eyewash
  • First-aid manual
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Hypoallergenic adhesive tape
  • Instant cold compress
  • Latex gloves
  • Laxative
  • Moistened towelettes
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Safety pins
  • Sewing needle
  • Scissors
  • Soap
  • Splint
  • Sterile adhesive bandages (all sizes)
  • Sterile gauze pads
  • Sunscreen
  • Triangular bandages
  • Thermometer
  • Tweezers

• • •

2022 Tampa Bay Times Hurricane Guide

IT’S HURRICANE SEASON: Get ready and stay informed at tampabay.com/hurricane

RISING THREAT: Tampa Bay will flood. Here’s how to get ready.

DOUBLE-CHECK: Checklists for building all kinds of hurricane kits

PHONE IT IN: Use your smartphone to protect your data, documents and photos

SELF-CARE: Protect your mental health during a hurricane

• • •

Rising Threat: A special report on flood risk and climate change

PART 1: The Tampa Bay Times partnered with the National Hurricane Center for a revealing look at future storms.

PART 2: Even weak hurricanes can cause huge storm surges. Experts say people don’t understand the risk.

PART 3: Tampa Bay has huge flood risk. What should we do about it?

INTERACTIVE MAP: Search your Tampa Bay neighborhood to see the hurricane flood risk

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