Getting Prepared: Lists of items to have on hand | Irma | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | September 6, 2017 3:00 pm
Last Updated: September 8, 2017 at 8:05 am
With winds of 180 mph, Hurricane Irma is being called the strongest hurricane in the history of the Atlantic basin, outside of the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, according to the National Hurricane Center. And it could head toward S.C. by the beginning of next week if it follows the forecasted track to turn north.
With that in mind, it’s time to stock up on supplies, whether you plan to stay or evacuate. Otherwise, you might be greeted by empty shelves.
The key to the forecast is exactly when and where Irma makes its northward turn.
The Weather Channel offers three general scenarios:
Scenario A: Sooner Turn Would Resemble a Matthew Path
If Irma’s center turns early relative to the other scenarios, that would raise the threat of an eventual eyewall strike in the Carolinas, with the chance of an eyewall strike along at least parts of Florida’s East Coast, as well.
This would be similar to Hurricane Matthew’s path in October 2016.
Scenario B: Track Over/Near Much of Florida Peninsula
A slightly later turn northward could take Irma’s center over much of the Florida Peninsula.
This would weaken Irma over land, but not enough to avoid widespread wind damage (downed trees, powerlines, some structural damage) even in inland locations of the Florida Peninsula, in addition to storm surge flooding that would occur at the coast.
Scenario C: Late Turn Means Northern Gulf Coast Landfall
This scenario, assuming Irma turns later than the other scenarios, could spare much of the Florida Peninsula (especially southeast Florida) the worst from Irma.
Instead, this track could bring Irma over the eastern Gulf of Mexico, with a landfall somewhere along the north-central or northeast Gulf coast early next week.
This could allow for some restrengthening of Irma, assuming any earlier land interaction in Cuba or Hispañola doesn’t take a toll, leading to a formidable hurricane strike on the northern Gulf Coast.
At this time, all three scenarios are still on the table.
Irma’s Size = Threats Regardless
Irma will be a large hurricane, so, despite the uncertainty in its track, you can expect the following along much of the Southeast and at least eastern Gulf Coasts:
• Increasing high surf along the Southeast coast by Thursday, with some coastal flooding possible near high tide from the Outer Banks south possible as soon as Friday.
• Dangerous, life-threatening storm surge flooding to the north and east of Irma’s path.
Furthermore, a threat of rainfall flooding and strong winds capable of triggering power outages, downing trees and perhaps some structural damage will likely occur to some degree well inland from wherever Irma makes landfall in the Southeast early next week.
Again, exactly where the heaviest rain and strongest winds will occur depends on the uncertain future path of Irma.
Residents from the northeast Gulf Coast to the Carolinas, including all of Florida, should check back with weather.com or any trusted source for weather information to get the latest on Irma, and heed any evacuation notices.
Information will be posted on The Press and Standard’s web page, walterborolive.com, and Facebook as it becomes available.
To prepare for the unknown, each home should have a 72-hour Disaster Survival Kit. You will need to pack some essential items to help you and your family survive, whether you stay at home or leave it during a disaster.
Ensure at least three days (72 hours) supply for each person. Do not forget pets where applicable! The following is a minimum suggested list of Survival Kit supplies:
One gallon per person/per day in unbreakable containers. Avoid using containers that will decompose or break, such as milk cartons or glass bottles. A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day. Hot environments and intense physical activity can double that amount. Children, nursing mothers, and ill people will need more.
Don’t forget to add additional water for mixing formula if you have children and for your pets. Rotate the drinking water each year.
Food preparation and sanitation require another two quarts (minimum) per person daily.
Purchased bottled water that has been sealed is best for storage. It meets FDA guidelines for food and is not as vulnerable to temperature changes as unsealed water.
Tip: Purchase water this year and use it for drinking next year. This allows for rotation on an annual basis and keeps the water fresh. Yes, water can go bad!
Water for sanitation use:
Store extra containers of water to be used for flushing toilets, cleaning, and bathing.
Purchase water purification tablets (Halazone) to be used if you still have running water but are told to boil water before using it. This allows you to fill the bathtub and other containers without purchasing expensive drinking water.
Tip: Keep plastic containers (milk jugs and other containers) and fill them with water when a storm threatens. You can put these items in the freezer to keep food cold longer in the event that the electricity goes out.
Maintain at least 3-7 days of food for each member of the family.
• Small, preferably single-serving cans (should not require cooking or refrigeration). Dried fruit, peanut butter and jelly, coffee, tea, soft drinks and pet foods.
• Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables.
• Canned juices, milk, soup (if powdered, store extra water).
• Staples: sugar, salt, pepper in waterproof containers.
• High energy foods like crackers, granola bars, trail mix.
• Raw vegetables that do not need refrigeration.
• Fresh bread
• Comfort/stress foods: cookies, hard candy, sweetened cereals, lollipops, instant coffee, tea bags.
• Sterno for cooking.
• Food for infants
• Paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils
• Non-electric can opener
• Aluminum foil
• Plastic storage containers
• Lots of ice (you can freeze your water supply)
• Pedialyte (to restore hydration if needed)
Tip: Purchase only items that you like to eat and would eat even without a storm. Rotate these items by using them December-May each year and purchasing new items January-May. This allows you to reduce the cost of buying items for a hurricane kit at one time and keeps the items fresh. Yes, even canned goods have a shelf life!
• Special foods (enough for several days)
• Formula (enough for several days)
• Extra diapers
• Medicines (get a copy of prescription)
• Diaper Rash Ointment
• Baby Wipes
• Favorite toy/blanket
• Medicine dropper
• Diaper-rash ointment
• Toilet paper, towelettes, soap, baby wipes, liquid hand sanitzer
• Liquid detergent
• Feminine supplies
• Personal hygiene items (toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo etc.)
• Plastic garbage bags, ties (for personal sanitation uses)
• Plastic bucket with tight lid
• Household chlorine bleach, disinfectant
• Plenty of absorbent towels
First Aid Kit
• Assemble a first aid kit for your home and one for each car.
• Adhesive bandages various sizes
Sterile gauze pads (various sizes)
• Germicidal hand wipes or waterless alcohol-based hand sanitizer
• Non-latex gloves
• Adhesive tape
• Anti-bacterial ointment
• Antiseptic spray
• Cold packs (non refrigerated type)
• Rubbing alcohol
• CPR breathing barrier, such as a face shield
• Safety pins
• Aspirin or nonaspirin pain reliever, Benadryl, peroxide
• Anti-diarrhea medication, antacid (for stomach upset)
• Syrup of Ipecac (use to induce vomiting if advised by the Poison Control Center)
• Activated charcoal (use if advised by the Poison Control Center)
• Heart and high blood pressure medication
• Insulin (enough for a 30 day supply)
• Hearing Aid and extra batteries
• Prescription drugs
• Denture needs
• Contact lenses and supplies
• Extra eye glasses
Tip: If your insurance will allow, get a 90-day supply of prescriptions and have at least a 30 day supply on hand. Don’t wait until a couple of days before a storm to go to the pharmacy for refills. You may not get your prescription refilled; the lines are long and they run out of supplies very quickly.
Clothing and Bedding
Include at least one complete change of clothing and footwear per person.
• Sturdy shoes or work boots
• Rain gear
• Blankets or sleeping bags
• Hat and gloves
• Lawn chairs
• Games • Books • Cards
• Extra batteries for games
• Coloring books, crayons.
• Wind-up or battery-operated clock
• Paper, pencil
• Needles, thread
• Camping utensils
• Map of the area (for locating shelters) and returning to the area.
• Cash or traveler’s checks
Tip: Have enough cash to sustain you through a 2-week period. Without electricity, most businesses (if open) will not accept credit cards and may not accept traveler’s checks.
• Emergency preparedness manual
• Citronella candles
Tools and Supplies:
• Masking and/or duct tape
• Nails and screws
• Bucket/mop, broom
• Shovel, rake
• Tarps to cover roof
• Utility knife
• Signal flare
• (2-3) Flashlights with extra batteries and bulbs
• Fire extinguisher
• Rope caulk
• Portable a/c unit
• Fire extinguisher: small canister ABC type
• Battery-operated radio with extra batteries
• Matches in a waterproof container
• Razor knife
• Portable generator
• All purpose cleaner
• Plastic sheet/drop cloth
• BBQ grill
• Bug repellant
• Shut-off wrench to turn off household gas and water
• Ax or chain saw
• Extra filled propane tanks
• Tape, duct tape
Not evacuating and staying home?
Ensure you have enough food, water, medications, and other supplies in your survival kit to last at least two weeks.
Turn refrigerator to coldest setting and keep closed.
Turn off propane tanks.
Unplug small appliances.
Fill bathtub and other containers with water for cleaning and flushing. Additional water is stored for drinking.
Cover all windows and other openings with hardened protections. If you do not have manufactured shutters, cut plywood and secure to protect the windows.
Close all interior doors and brace outer doors.
Select an interior room to use as a safe room.
Plan as though you were evacuating and have enough cash on hand to sustain purchasing of gas, food, and other supplies in the days following the storm.
If you have a generator, ensure you have enough gas on hand to sustain usage for several days.
Ensure you have sufficient medications in case you are confined to your home for several days. Post-storm there may not be any electricity and pharmacies will probably closed even with a minor storm.
Plan to cook on a camp stove or grill in the days immediately after the storm passes.