In coastal areas like New Jersey, preparing for hurricane season is paramount to survival, should the storm hit land. If your residence is damaged by the storm and you and your loved ones become trapped, help may arrive anywhere between hours and days. While it can be difficult to maintain calm and know what to do in such a desperate and terrifying situation, a pre-made emergency kit can not only mean the difference between life and death, but can also provide significant peace of mind during the overall season.
A well-stocked hurricane emergency kit will include such key survival items as:
- Enough food and water to last you and your loved ones for 72 hours
- Food should be non-perishable items, like canned and boxed shelf-stable items (don’t forget a can opener!)
- According to Ready.gov, the recommended ratio for water is one gallon per person, per day (some for sanitation)
- A first-aid kit to tend to any wounds until relief workers arrive
- At least one flashlight in case the power fails or you become trapped in a dark area
- A NOAA weather radio and either a battery-powered or hand crank regular radio
- Sufficient batteries for all battery-powered items (radios, flashlights, etc.)
- If your home is outfitted with a backup generator, you may not need to pack batteries, radios or flashlights, as you may be able to maintain your own power throughout the duration of the storm and utilize any power, lighting or radios in your house. However, you may choose to pack those items anyway, in the case that your generator fails to start or is taken out by the severe weather conditions.
- Cell phones with chargers, for communication
- While emergency phone lines may be overrun with calls, the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management suggests following them on social media for updates and signing up for state-run emergency alert and messaging networks Nixle Connect and NJ Alert.
- Any required medications or medical devices
- Because medications break down and expire over time, these may be best packed as needed at the first sign of a coming hurricane. The American Red Cross suggests packing enough medication for 7 days.
- Sanitation items like garbage bags, moist towelettes, toilet paper, etc.
- A small selection of tools (e.g. wrench and pliers) or a multi-tool for use in disconnecting utilities if necessary
- Duct tape and plastic sheeting for covering broken windows or other open, damaged areas
- Maps of your local area
And may include additional hurricane preparation items, like:
- Infant formula and/or pet food
- Sleeping bags or warm blankets
- Fire extinguisher
- Books, games, and/or other entertainment to help pass the time while waiting for help
By preparing for a hurricane well before hurricane season arrives, you and your loved ones will have the security and peace of mind required to weather another stormy New Jersey summer.