Make your emergency kit now

Published 5:14 pm Tuesday, July 20, 2021

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This time of year, the hurricane preparedness message always bears repeating.

With our area threatened by its first tropical system — Elsa, which will be moving through on Thursday and bringing the potential for heavy rain and tornadoes — it is never a bad time to think about preparedness, if not for this system, then maybe for the next one.

A little over a month ago, we addressed hurricane preparedness in this space and urged you to download the FEMA app to receive real-time alerts from the National Weather Service; to enable Wireless Emergency Alerts on your smartphone or use a NOAA Weather Radio; to purchase flood insurance, for which you can find more information on; and to know your zone, for which you can find more information on

Here, we will talk specifically about what should be in your emergency kit, which can help you not only in a hurricane but also in any number of other emergencies. Here are some of the most vital items for your kit:

An out-of-town contact to help your household reconnect

At least a 3-day supply of water and non-perishable food

Infant supplies such as formula, diapers, baby wipes, etc.

Medications for at least one week and copies of prescriptions

Medical equipment, assistive technology and backup batteries

First aid kit and antibiotic ointment

Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers and antacids

Prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses and solution

Medical alert tags/bracelets

Flashlight and extra batteries

Multipurpose tool and can opener

Fire extinguisher

Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)

Paper cups, paper plates and plastic utensils

Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert

Cell phone, charger and a backup battery

Cloth face coverings (for everyone ages 2 and above)

Warm clothing and sturdy shoes

Blankets or sleeping bags

Emergency cash funds to sustain your family several days. Credit or debit cards may not work if networks are down.

Waterproof storage bag or container for critical paperwork. Consider storing a password-protected backup of your records on a virtual cloud service.

Driver’s licenses and passports

Vehicle registrations and proof of insurance

Medical and vaccination records

Prescription medicine labels

Birth certificates

Social Security cards

Marriage certificates and wills

Proof of residence (deed or lease)

Business and personal tax records

Bank account records

Household inventory (photo or video)

Antibacterial soap

Hand sanitizer

Moist towelettes

Garbage bags and plastic ties

Paper towels

Toilet paper

Surface disinfectants and wipes

Bleach and rubbing alcohol

Toothbrush and toothpaste

Menstrual supplies

Books, games, puzzles, favorite stuffed toys and sensory items for children

Photo albums

Valuables and jewelry

Place ID tags on collars and micro-chip pets

Description and current photos of pets

Immunization and medical records

1.5 gallons of water and sufficient food and medicine for at least three days per pet

Pet medication, copy of feeding and medication schedule for caregiver, shelter or boarding staff 

Serving bowls

Collar, leash and carrier

Pet toys and bedding