Hurricane season is like half the year for those of us in the Texas Gulf Coast (June - Nov) so we need to make sure that we are properly protected with the right kind of essentials to weather the storm, pretty much all year long. Sometimes the storms aren't as bad and we may lose power or just need some extras for in case we need to shelter in place for a few days. Check this at-home emergency kit essentials list.
Essentials for your at-home emergency kit
When it comes to preparing your home for a hurricane, beyond getting your home prepared, having a properly equipped kit is going to be essential! Here are some of the crucial, must have items that you’ll want to have ready!
7-day supply of bottled water and non-perishable food
You can have juice and other drinks if you want, but definitely ensure that you have a 7-day supply of water for each person in your household. Don’t forget to add some extra portions of water for any furry family members! This is more of a minimum.
Keep in mind that at times, our water supply might be in jeapordy so if you need water to clean dishes with, brush your teeth and etc, you will want to ensure your 7-day supply includes more for things like that too.
You’ll also want 7 days worth of non-perishable food. This means canned fruits and vegetables, but also things like protein bars and other nutritious energizing food. Much the same as above, don’t forget your furry family members!
Since we deal with hurricane season every year for months on end, it is a good idea to use some of these more perishable items after the season is over and then replenish before the next season. Be sure to check the expiration dates for those canned goods and cycle them in and out too.
Flashlights and batteries
Flashlights are worth their weight in gold during a power outage. Have plenty of them, including hands-free lanterns and headlamps that give you the freedom to move around as you need to.
Always have several boxes of batteries (matching each type per flashlight) in case you go through more of them than you planned.
It's never a bad idea to buy all kinds of batteries during tax-free day so you have them all on hand when and if you need them.
Waterproof clothing, warm bedding
Cold, wet clothing can quickly become dangerous if temperatures drop. So, have waterproof clothing and sleeping bags in addition to lots of blankets if the temperatures dip.
On the other hand, make sure you’ve got battery-operated fans if the temperatures soar!
We all know that Texas is usually hot and humid and most of the year is this way, but who knows what can happen later in the year, or during those freak "icemageddons" like we have seen recently in February.
Pliers, wrenches, screwdrivers, etc
You never know when you’re going to need a good handy tool like these. Ideally, have a toolbox full of that kind of thing, but also have a pocketknife or utility tools. Remember, many of us have electric tools or battery operated ones, but without power, those are useless, so some handy tools will work well in a pinch.
A fully-stocked first aid kit
There is no substitute for this kind of thing and this goes without saying, this is necessary for all year round. Always have a fully-stocked first aid kit, and store it in a waterproof container to protect it and make at easier to spot in an emergency. Again, some of the supplies in your kit may expire if you don't use them so be sure to check through them annually to be sure you have what you need, that isn't expired.
Don't forget to equip your vehicles with an emergency kit in case you have to leave. Plus, in general, you never know when you are out and about and may need it.
Fuel for cars and a generator
Fuel may be a rarity before, during, or after a hurricane. So, fuel your cars several days before the hurricane or any named storm just to be on the safe side as we never know what a storm will do to our homes, our streets, our power/lines, etc. Make sure that you’ve got a few containers or cans full of gas for a generator or just for emergencies. Be sure to use containers approved for gasoline and store it safely. This is another thing that is good to use and replace as it could get old.
Don’t forget to get flood insurance
In addition to all of those things in your kit, you’ll also want to have flood insurance so that you know that your home is covered in case of a flood. Remember that floods are not covered under traditional homeowner’s insurance, so you’ll want to make sure that you have this optional, yet essential coverage in case a storm causes your home to flood. You’ll have to have it in place for 30 days before it goes into effect, so act early to ensure that your home is covered!
Want to double-check? Call your agent
If you are feeling a bit apprehensive about your coverage and understanding what it covers and doesn’t cover, one of the best things that you can do is call your agent and ask! They’ll happily walk you through your policy to make sure that you understand what you have coverage for, exceptions, and more. They’ll even walk you through what you can do to increase your coverage if you need to.
One of the best details for peace of mind as you wait out the storm is knowing that, in the worst-case scenario, your home is covered and properly insured so that you can focus on what you need the most — your loved ones and your safety.
Don't forget that we also insure businesses so be sure your business is ready for any storm that comes its way.
Contact Harbour Insurance Services at (281) 520-4090 with any questions about your personal insurance or commercial insurance needs, or get a free quote here.