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What to Include in a Storm Survival Kit

2024-07-08 19:25

By SERVPRO


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  • Before a storm hits, make sure you have a complete survival kit ready to go so that you are prepared if there is no power for more than a day. Call SERVPRO® before and after the storm for roof tarp and board-up services and storm damage restoration.

    Tornados, severe storms, heavy winds, natural disasters, and hurricanes can knock the power out in your home or business in an instant, and even leave you without shelter for days on end. In some cases, it can take a week or more to restore power after a natural disaster, leaving you and your family without any way to access food, water, cash, or other supplies. Having a well-stocked storm survival kit can not only help you stay safe after a storm or disaster, but it can also help you stay comfortable, clean, and healthy until you can get to safety.  

    What is a Storm Survival Kit?

    A storm survival kit is filled with necessities you and family members may need in an emergency. These kits are known by many different names, but all mean the same thing. In coastal areas, these kits are often referred to as hurricane preparedness kits, while in other areas, they are called disaster preparedness kits. Regardless of their name, each generally contains the same items you should have in stock during any type of severe weather.  

    Decide How Many Storm Survival Kits You Will Need

    The National Weather Service recommends each household keeps a storm survival kit stocked during severe weather season. You’ll need to account for all members of your family, including pets, children, and the elderly, according to Avista Energy. Seniors, babies, pets, and those with specific health issues should be considered as you put together a storm survival kit. 

    Non-Food Storm Survival Kit

    Essentials are necessary in a non-food storm survival kit. Avista Energy points out that most of the items in the essential kit are usually already in your home or business and don’t need to be shopped for. Here’s what you’ll need for a basic storm survival kit:  

    • First aid kit
    • Water (one gallon per person, per day, for three to five days)
    • Toilet paper and bags (for personal hygiene only)
    • Flashlight with extra batteries
    • Candles, matches, disposable lighters
    • Battery-powered radio and batteries
    • Whistle to signal for help
    • Sturdy shoes (per person)
    • Multipurpose tool
    • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
    • One-week supply of medications and medical supplies
    • Hand wipes and hand sanitizer
    • Personal hygiene items (per person, for three to five days)
    • Cell phone with charger
    • Copies of personal documents
    • Emergency contact information
    • Sleeping bags for each person
    • Garbage bags with plastic ties
    • Local map
    • Rain gear (per person, for three to five days)
    • Clothing (per person, for three to five days)
    • Cash (since banks and ATMs may be inaccessible)

    Food Items to Pack in a Storm Survival Kit

    Additionally, you should pack food in your storm survival kit. It only takes four hours for refrigerated food to begin spoiling when the power goes out, according to officials with FoodSafety.gov. They also advise that you never taste food to determine whether it is safe to eat after a power outage. As they note, “When it doubt, throw it out!” 

    Any food you pack in a storm survival kit must be non-perishable, which according to Study.com means foods that do not spoil for prolonged periods of time. Some examples of non-perishable foods are canned goods, dried meats, dried fruits, and nuts. Refer to our companion article about food safety after the power goes out for more information.  

    Additional food-related items that are recommended for your storm survival kit include: 

    • Can opener
    • Cups and utensils
    • Dry pet food and one gallon of water (per pet, for three to five days)
    • Protein or fruit bars
    • Peanut butter
    • Canned juice
    • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables
    • Powdered milk
    • Dry cereal or granola
    • Dehydrated or freeze-dried meals

    Packing a Survival Kit for Babies and Children

    A survival kit for babies and children is much different than that for teenagers and adults. Infantnutrition.org lists must-haves for infants in an emergency situation. They are:  

    • Formula for three to five days
    • Bottled water for three to five days
    • Diapers for three to five days
    • Wipes for three to five days
    • Medication, vitamins, or supplements for three to five days
    • Battery packed cooler for frozen or refrigerated breast milk
    • Disposable or sanitized bottles for three to five days
    • Clothing for three to five days
    • Toys or entertainment for three to five days
    • Wireless phone chargers

    Packing a Survival Kit for Seniors

    According to Avista Energy, a 2012 study found that one in six adults aged 50 and older need help evacuating their homes in an emergency. Further, a 2014 study found that less than 25% of seniors have created an emergency plan for a natural disaster.  

    Some seniors have specific needs, and when considering what to pack in a storm survival kit, these should be considered as well. Some recommended items for seniors include: 

    • Extra glasses, hearing aids, and hearing aid batteries
    • Spare dentures
    • Equipment for monitoring blood sugar and blood pressure
    • Spare oxygen tanks
    • Medication (per person, for three to five days)

    Before or After a Storm, Depend on SERVPRO ®

    SERVPRO locations across North America are staffed with professional technicians Here to Help® with 24-hour emergency services, including holidays and weekends. Whether you need help preparing your property before a storm, or require cleanup, restoration, and construction services after the fact, SERVPRO professionals provide roof tarp and board-up services, storm damage restoration services, and much more. For even more assistance developing a plan, refer to the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Plan for help building a strategy before disaster strikes. 

    If your home or business needs emergency water extraction services and water damage restoration, SERVPRO is the place to call. After reaching out to any of our 2250 SERVPRO locations throughout the United States and Canada, a team of professional technicians will be dispatched to your location. SERVPRO professionals will immediately begin the process of cleaning and assessing the situation to help make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us today to learn more about our complete line of services, including fire damage restoration, residential and commercial rebuilding after property damage, air duct and HVAC cleaning, and even smoke and pet odor removal.  

    For more information, check out our storm damage resources.


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