Building a preparedness kit for the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season

Safety in the Storm

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Atlantic Hurricane Season is upon us and it’s important to stay prepared ahead of the storm.

The 2021 Atlantic Hurricane season officially started on June 1. Although the tropics are off to a fairly quiet start, the peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season is mid-August through late October.

“You’ve got to prepare for everybody,” said Trevor Shannon, Battalion Chief of Emergency Management with Roanoke Fire-EMS. “It’s about your whole family.”

It’s important to keep first-aid items in your preparedness kit. However, Shannon says it’s crucial to keep track of your prescription medications, too. Make sure all prescription medications are up-to-date and that you have enough on hand in case a tropical storm heads your way.

If you have infants or young children, Shannon says to make sure you have plenty of diapers and formula in stock.

He also mentions looking after your pets; they’ll need food, as well as food and water bowls.

Ready.gov says a basic emergency supply kit should include the following recommended items:

  • Water (one gallon per person per day for several days, for drinking and sanitation)
  • Food (at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food)
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle (to signal for help)
  • Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
  • Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
  • Manual can opener (for food)
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

Shannon says most of the basic items can be bought at Family Dollar or dollar store.

“There challenging times, there’s tough times for everybody, and not everybody can go out here and buy everything in one shot. But there’s opportunities,” Shannon explained. “If you can buy a few things and put them in that kit — the more prepared we are, the better off we’re going to be.”

Shannon recommends purchasing extra gasoline for power equipment, such as generators and chain saws. He also suggests checking your generator ahead of time to make sure it is functioning properly.

You’ll also want to keep track of important documents. This includes insurance documents and pieces of identification. Store these documents in sealed plastic storage bags to prevent water damage. Make sure to take them with you if you have to leave or evacuate your home.

If your looking for a place to store you kit, Shannon suggests storing the items in a large plastic bucket. This will keep the items in one place, but also protect them from water.

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