Whether you just moved to Florida or have been living in the Sunshine State for your entire life, you know that hurricanes can cause catastrophic damage, and they are a significant part of Florida living. While there’s nothing you can do to stop this force of nature, you can learn more about hurricane preparation and what you can do to be prepared in the event of a storm. 

As you begin to prepare for hurricane season, be sure to create a hurricane checklist and pack your hurricane preparedness go bag ASAP. Whatever you do, just don’t forget that when those hurricane warnings and watches begin showing up on the news, your opportunity to plan for an emergency correctly has passed. So, don’t sit around and wait until it’s too late – the sooner you start, the better. 

So, today, we will discuss the essential items you should pack in your hurricane preparedness go bag. And if this is your first year in Florida, you’re going to want to pay attention and start sooner, as these items fly off the shelves at even the slightest mention of the storm coming your direction!

Recommended all-in-one hurricane go bag: Rescue Guard – First Aid Kit, Hurricane Kit, Disaster Kit or Earthquake Kit

Essential Items to Pack in Your Hurricane Preparedness Go Bag

Aside from the obvious things such as cash, non-perishable foods, and fuel for your vehicles and generators, there are several other items that many people fail to consider before it’s too late. So, we’ve compiled a list to help that’s broken down into categories: 

Food & Water

You should have a three-day supply per person on hand when it comes to water and food. So, in terms of water, that means you need at least one gallon of water per day for each person. You’ll also need three days’ worth of canned and other foods that are non-perishable, and don’t forget a manual can opener! Great options here include crackers, snack cakes, canned foods, cereal, nuts, etc. 

Power, Lights, and Communication

In Florida, it’s not unheard of to be without power for a few weeks or months following a major hurricane, but in most cases, it’s at least one or two days. So, here are some items to have on hand for power, lights, and communication:

  • Phone charger and fully charged cell phone, with a battery bank if possible
  • Hand-crank or battery-powered radio
  • Lanterns, flashlights, and plenty of batteries

Recommended Emergency Radio: Solar Crank CR1009 – Radio/Flashlight Combo

Hygiene and Medication

When it comes to your health and well-being, you’ll want to be sure to include the appropriate products in your hurricane preparedness go bag. First, be sure to have a fully stocked first-aid kit and a full seven days of any medication that you are prescribed. Then, you’ll need to include other essential items such as eyeglasses, cane, hearing aids, etc. 

Finally, throw in plenty of personal hygiene items for the family; after all, you don’t know when full showers will be possible. So, stock up on extra toothbrushes, toothpaste, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, deodorant, feminine products, and over-the-counter pain medicine. 

Blankets and Clothing

While these are less important than some things on the list, you should grab at least a few blankets and extra pieces of clothing for your hurricane preparedness go bag. Additional items can include rain gear, a hat, and sturdy shoes. 

Money and Transportation

As we mentioned, if you’re expecting a hurricane in your area, you should get to an ATM as soon as possible and withdraw enough cash to last for about a week or so. You should also include a map and an extra set of keys for both your home and vehicle. Just be sure to have a current, updated insurance card in your car at all times! 

If you have yet to be threatened by a hurricane in Florida, then you have yet to fully understand the level of chaos that occurs. One of the first things you’ll notice is that lines grow longer at the fuel pumps. So, fill up with fuel as soon as you suspect the storm may hit. 

Hurricane Preparedness for Kids

The most important thing to remember is that if you are stuck in a hurricane with your children, they will be scared. So, be sure they have any comfort items they’ll need before the storm really picks up. Also, keep plenty of diapers, baby wipes, formula, clean bottles, baby food, and other items as needed. 

The key here is to have plenty of entertainment items on hand that don’t require electricity to curb boredom if you are without power for days. Choose things like cards, board games, and books. 

Hurricane Preparedness for Pets

In the midst of preparing for the entire family, just don’t overlook your pets. They will surely be scared and need care during the storm as well. Consider investing in pet carriers in case you have to evacuate, but at the very least, be sure to have a leash and collar for each animal. Other items you should put in your hurricane preparedness go bag include pet food, treats, food and water bowls, medication, registration papers, vaccination proof, etc. 

Miscellaneous Items to Include in Your Hurricane Preparedness Bag

Let’s face it, there are a million other products that we don’t think we can live without, but the truth is – we can. Aside from the essentials we listed above, different items you should consider are ice packs, coolers, matches, lighter, and waterproof canisters to store cash and important documents. 

And speaking of essential documents, be sure to locate copies of everyone’s legal forms such as birth certificates, driver’s licenses, immunization records, home insurance, car insurance, etc. It’s also a great idea to formulate a plan for evacuation and what happens if your family is separated. 

Just remember – prepare for the worst and hope for the best! So, even if you don’t end up needing all the items you packed, it’s better to be over-prepared than underprepared. 

How To Prepare for Florida Hurricane Season by Chris Igoe

Hurricane Preparation FAQs

How can you prepare for a hurricane to survive?

The best way to survive a hurricane is to plan ahead of time and follow all safety precautions. This means staying away from all windows, glass doors, and skylights. You should designate a safe area of your home, such as an interior bathroom, room, or closet. And most importantly, never leave the safety of your shelter or home until you have confirmation that the storm has passed. 

How do homeowners prepare for hurricanes?

There are many ways that homeowners can prepare for hurricanes. One part of hurricane preparation takes place outdoors, where you secure all lawn chairs, tables, grills, toys, trampolines, etc. It’s also a great idea to get a tree service to come out yearly to prep your landscaping against flying dangers. The other part is packing a hurricane preparedness bag and making appropriate plans for during the storm. 

What’s it like to ride out a hurricane?

At first, a hurricane begins much like a regular rainstorm, so expect lots of wind and rain. However, you’ll notice that the wind will continue to build and start howling louder. If you were outside during the storm, you’d witness trees bent over, branches flying off, trees coming up out of the ground, and a great deal of flying debris. It’s essential to remember that this debris can be thrown into homes and vehicles – so stay safe and indoors!

Is it calm before a hurricane?

In the time leading up to the hurricane, you’ll begin to notice air that’s moving away from the parietal vacuum is pulled back, so, yes, the area just in front of the hurricane is calm. And this is one way hurricanes differ from typical thunderstorms; regular storms don’t begin with a calm, as they are usually clusters of storms with extremely complex wind patterns. 

What does it feel like to be in the eye of a hurricane?

If you are unlucky enough to be in the eye of a hurricane, you’ll notice the skies above are clear, and the wind is relatively light. This is the absolute calmest part of every hurricane. The eye is calm because the strong surface winds that converge towards the center never make it.