Author: Melissa Mitchell, University Medical Center Emergency Management Coordinator
Hurricane season begins June 1 and ends November 30. People living around the Atlantic coastline and the Gulf of Mexico should take note of the proper precautions for this hurricane season. Listed below are the top items every household should have ready to go in the event of a hurricane.
1. Personal Identification
Consider including copies of the following items for each family member:
- a driver’s license
- social security card
- birth/marriage certificates
- vehicle registration
- proof of insurance
- will and insurance documents
- property deeds
The best way to keep track of all information is to have it in a waterproof container or a binder, labeled, with a protective sleeve on it. During hurricane season there is always the potential threat of flooding and damaging important papers. The best solution for this problem would be to have all of it packaged and ready to go. And don’t forget to bring cash! ATM’s may not be operating.
2. First Aid-Kit
To be prepared, a first aid kit is a must. It would contain all health-related items and medicines a family may need, especially prescription medications. Each family member should have a list of medications that are prescribed to them and other important health concerns in this kit. Include things like waterless hand cleaners, antibacterial soap, and sunblock.
An emergency pack should always hold any toiletries a person would use daily. It is best to change out these items every hurricane season due to expiration dates. Items like deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, and personal should be included.
4. Bottled Water
Water is a necessity and having it ready and bottled to go is essential. Each person should have one gallon of water per day.
At least 4 days’ worth for each person. It is best to pack the following types of food:
- High Energy Foods: Along with water, high energy foods should be considered as well. High energy foods are foods that do not contain a high amount of water and would fill a person’s stomach up more. The best option to stack up on would be peanut butter, crackers, and protein or energy bars.
- Pre-Packaged, Non-Perishable Food Items: Food items like oatmeal, mac and cheese, fruit snacks, and chips/pretzels are pre-packaged food that last a long time. A family should pack enough to accommodate family size and the pack should be updated and checked every hurricane season.
- Flashlight: Each family member should have their own flashlight. Wind-up flashlights work very well and don’t require batteries.
- Lantern: Even though flashlights are on the list, a lantern would be a good thing to have as well. The lantern would help in larger rooms and are easier to use if a person needs two hands to do a job.
- Radio: The radio should be battery operated and the frequency for the weather channel can be taped to the radio itself.
- Batteries: Batteries are a must have for being prepared for any inclement weather season.
- Cell phone charger, computer cords, and a wind-up or solar powered cell phone charger.
7. Clothes and Shoes
Enough for 4 days per person. Be sure you have:
- Rain jacket
- Protective shoes
- Hat for shade
- Pet food
- Veterinarian info & medications
- Bottle water and bowls
- Carrier or crate
- Tags, collar, and leash
- Plastic refuse bags or litter
With the top items listed above, every family should print and review the Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Guide. This guide will have everything a Louisiana resident should have on hand to be prepared this hurricane season.
For more information on Emergency Preparedness or helpful tips, visit:
For up-to-date emergency alerts, follow your local news and weather channels.