We have all seen the images; empty shelves at grocery stores in the predicted path of a hurricane, people scrambling to get enough supplies for their family to wait out the storm. Not preparing your family for a hurricane ahead of time can be a dangerous gamble. This is why the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) says now is the time to prepare your family, not as the hurricane is barreling towards the coast.
To ensure your family's stockpile stays concise and focused, ADPH made a list of essential items needed during and after a hurricane. It's called the Get 10 list.
1. Water- have one gallon per person per day to use for drinking, hygiene and cleaning as needed. Purchased bottled water has an indefinite shelf life as long as the seal has not been broken. ADPH suggests a two week supply. The necessary supply of water for a family of four comes out to about 112 dollars.
2. Food- Have a two week supply of non-perishable food per person: electrolyte drinks, ready-to-eat canned meat, fruit and vegetables, canned or boxed juices, powdered milk and soup, crackers, granola, trail mix. Pay special attention to diets, infants, toddlers and the elderly. Try to pack foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking. This is one of the more expensive parts of the list, coming out to about 500 dollars for a family of 4.
3. Can opener- Consider buying items with a pull-top opening, but have a manual can opener just in case. Can openers can be purchased for eight dollars.
4. Medication- Collect one month's worth of any prescription medicines you are taking. Also include actual written form of any prescriptions for family members. Rotate stockpiled medication to ensure shelf life and note the expiration date so you do not keep anything past their date.
5. First Aid- Include basics, such as antiseptic, gloves, a variety of bandage sizes, thermometer, and protective masks. You can buy a pre-made kit at most pharmacies or grocery stores for ten dollars.
6. Flashlight- Do not use candles! They are a fire hazard and are easy to lose track of when the lights come back on. Remember extra batteries and rotate stockpiled batteries to ensure shelf life currency. Flashlights can be purchased for seven dollars.
7. Radio- Have a battery-powered radio for listening to news and weather. Consider buying a radio with a weather alert feature. Midland Weather Radios run about 30 dollars but can be plugged in or run on battery.
8. Clothing- Collect extra clothing, socks, and shoes per person. Consider packing blankets, rain gear and outerwear in case of inclement weather. This can be collected from items already at home.
9. Personal Care Items- Collect the basics like soap, toilet paper, toothbrush, hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies, bleach, garbage bags and feminine products. These products can all be found at the grocery store or super market. An estimated cost comes out to 36 dollars.
10. Important documents- Collect copies of driver licenses, photo ID, social security cards, birth certificates, deeds, titles, mortgage papers, insurance policies, bank account number and credit cards. You can keep electronic copies of these items as well as photos of your home for insurance purposes on a flash drive/memory stick.