As someone who lives in the South and deals with hurricanes on a regular basis, I decided to put together a list of emergency gear you should keep on hand.
On top of being prepared for hurricanes, I have watched the unprecedented arctic weather come through so I am also going to include items that could be useful in the event of such weather as well. If you have other suggestions for this list, please share them so I can update my list!
to discuss putting your item on here.
Jump ahead to these items:
Generators and Power Gear
If you can afford it, get a generator
. This is a game-changer and means the difference between having some source of electricity when the power goes out or not.
Depending on which one you get, you may be able to power your refrigerator to keep food from spoiling (especially with hot weather when it is hurricane season) or run a window unit to keep cool. Gas generators are the most popular, however, even better so you don’t have to worry about having gas or saving your gas is investing in a solar generator
As always, be sure to read the safety information as you will want to run your generator away from your home to prevent the fumes from killing you. Yes, those fumes will kill so put it outdoors – never inside – and as far back from your home that you are able for your safety.
For a bit of a safer, and cheaper option you can get smaller power generators that are good for charging your phone, USB items, maybe small appliances, depending on what you get, such as the Loskii Portable Power Station
Batteries and Solar Chargers
Of course, you will want to have a nice stockpile of batteries
. I recommend having a variety of sizes because you just never know when you will need them.
However, if you want to get more, you will have to pay more. For the Power Station Solar Generator Lighting Kit
you get a reusable solar generator that is equipped with a USB charging cable so you can charge your electronic products easily with the built-in large-capacity battery. It even comes with LED lights!
You can take it a step further and go for this XMUND XD-PS6 155Wh Camping Solar Power Generator
. This mini generator portable can fully charge recharge a phone 20 times and your laptop 3-4 times, CPAP machine about 4 hours, led lights 40+ hours, and a mini-refrigerator.
Solar and Battery Lighting
Definitely add lighting of some sort! During the day, you can always open your blinds and such to let natural sunlight in, but sometimes it’s not sunny, or some rooms do not provide good lighting.
If you can’t afford a solar lighting setup, outdoor garden solar lights
can be a great substitute. They may not be as bright, but they are still lighting that does not require going through batteries or electricity.
Of course, while these are great, I still suggest keeping your regular flashlights
as well. Not to mention some 9-day candles
– whether for lighting or in the event you need some heat!
In the event you are without power during winter weather, you need supplies to ensure you are warm. Even if it’s not the best temperature, at least a survivable temperature. Although, a comfortable warmth would be best.
While candles will definitely add a small heat source, make sure to have some emergency blankets
on hand in case the temperatures really drop. Be sure to have at least one per person. You may still huddle together under one blanket but having extras can go a long way. If you want something that is more durable and probably longer-lasting, maybe grab some Arcturus All-Weather Outdoor Survival Blankets
as well, or in replacement of the other style. I may even go as far as saying to have an Emergency Sleeping Bag
for each person in your home as well. This Ultralight Portable Emergency Sleeping
even comes with a storage bag and whistle!
On the topic of staying warm, you will want to invest in some firestarters
. You never know if your surroundings will be wet. So if the weather calms and your wood or burning materials are wet, you will not be able to burn them. Get some firestarter to help get your first going! Whether to stay warm or to cook on, this is a definite must-have! I would even toss in a Magnesium Fire Starter
in the event you don’t have a lighter
Speaking of lighters, I also suggest waterproof matches
. As in, if they get wet, you can still use them and they’re not ruined!
If you are unable to go outdoors, I have seen quite a few recommendations from northers to use terracotta pots
, and candles
to make a small heating source. Basically, you surround the area with the bricks, place the pot on top, place the candle under the pot and this setup will make a small space a bit warmer. In order to make it the most efficient you need to use 2-3 nesting size pots & a bolt with several nuts & washers. The basic purpose of this heater is to capture the heat given off the candle flame & concentrate it into a steel & ceramic radiator assembly. After a while, the ceramic surface will act as a thermal mass & begin to radiate the captured thermal energy into your room.
Of course, if your emergency happens during the summer, you will want to have ways to stay cool if you have no electricity. I would suggest seeing if you are able to get a solar-powered fan
. Again, this way you don’t need to use up your batteries or gas.
I would also invest in some cooling towels
. These won’t stay cool too long after they are away from the freezer, but they are nice to have on hand. If you have a generator hooked up, you will be able to keep your towels cool for use.
Next up is figuring out how to cook when you have no electricity. Sure, building a fire is great, but sometimes the weather conditions do not permit you to go outside. Or maybe everything is wet so you cannot use what nature gave you. Regardless, here are some emergency supplies I recommend for cooking with when you have no electricity.
Of course, if your grill gets damaged during the weather, then you would be grateful you had this saved away with your emergency gear.
Now, one thing I would suggest investing in is this Fusion Solar and Battery Powered Oven - Fuel Free Hybrid Outdoor Grill
. Why? The Fusion is the first portable, solar plus electric oven to work off-grid. This versatile cooker is 5 x more efficient than a traditional electric oven. This solar oven integrates a 150-Watt heating element (equivalent power draw of an incandescent lightbulb) below the stainless steel Cook Tray, allowing for cooking anytime, combining reliability and portability that has never been possible with solar or electric ovens.
Besides having a way to cook food, you will also want to stockpile on nonperishable foods as well as water. Buy gallons, buy cases – have enough for every person and pet in your household. Some people even stock up on emergency food kits
, which usually have a 25-year shelf life. This may vary depending on the brand, but it’s much longer than a can you may purchase from your local store. Some people even get emergency food rations
as well to be on the safe side.
For me, I like the idea of having an insulated food jar
to help keep your food warm for a longer period of time after you cook it.
Don’t forget about needing clean drinking water. Grab a couple of Lifestraws
for everyone in your household. These are portable and purify ANY water. So you will always have access to clean water.
Regardless of the supplies you have, make sure to fill storage containers, like the AquaBrick Food and Water Storage Container
, with extra water. You never know if you’re going to need to clean something, drink, bathe, - anything!
This is a bit of a long-term need – a solar or portable shower
. Not only is it good for getting in a quick bath, but also being able to clean maybe dishes, clothing, etc. You tend to get rather creative when it is necessary. Just get a clothesline
if you choose to wash your clothes this way. Of course, in that case, you may find a Folding Bathtub
more suitable for your needs. Or just go ahead and get both and you can be a bit more prepared based on your and your family's needs.
I’m sure you have plenty of soap on hand, but you can also get this paper soap
as well as an emergency stash for camping or in your car. I would even say keep some in your purse in the event you are out and about and don't have soap to wash your hands.
I would also suggest getting compressed mini towels
. Again, you probably already have towels or could stock up, however, these are prepackaged so if wet while in their packaging, they will not get ruined. Plus, once you have gone through your towels, if you are unable to wash them, these could come in handy. I would even go as far as adding baby wipes
to my stash as well. Easy and safe cleaning!
Emergency Pet Supplies
Don’t forget to think about your pet! Depending on the type of pet you have will depend on what you will want to have on hand. A stockpile of your pet food is important, as well as having enough water for them and any medication they may be on. Basically, the same as you would do for yourself and other family members.
However, think ahead. If it’s cold weather, maybe you want to get a waterproof dog sleeping bag
. While it says for dogs, this could help keep cats and other similar-sized pets warm if they needed it.
is a great source for warm bedding for your pets, or even yourself, if you need it!
Additionally, you will want to make sure you have a pet emergency kit
on hand as well, for obvious reasons.
You may not live in a flood zone, but you never know when that weather will take a turn for the worse. Grab some gear to help keep your property safe in the event of a sudden flood.
One item to consider is a hydra barrier
. The Hydra Barrier is a reusable sandbag alternative. Hydra Barriers can be used to divert water.
They also have things called quick dams
which are for flood protection as well. Protect your home or property in times of flooding with Quick Dam sandless sandbags. They are ready to use. Just lie in place and let the water do the rest. Quick Dams expand and activate on contact with water. Growing in size to absorb, contain and divert problem water. Some people even go as far as getting a door flood barrier
! These are expensive, but may very well be worth it.
Other Emergency Gear
As far as additional emergency gear goes – you never know what could happen. Personally, I like the idea of having a few premade emergency kits
or survival gear kits
around for those just in case
Additionally, I would keep some masks
around. There are a variety of masks on the market depending on what you need, but make sure you have at least one for every member of your house. This could be because something got in the air – you just never know. Again, it’s a better safe than sorry type situation.
You will, of course, want to have an emergency radio
. Don’t think you will get much from your cell phone. It’s great if you a signal, but if you have cell towers down, getting up to date information or being in contact with anyone is near impossible. During Hurricane Zeta the signal was spotty for days and when I could get a signal I would have to try and reach someone elsewhere to get information. Otherwise, I’d have to use my emergency radio. So it’s a MUST
Something else to consider is a way to protect your documents. They have waterproof and fireproof document bags
that are meant for this purpose. If you want to keep your documents safe, invest in one (or as many as you need). In addition, they also make dry bags
to keep other valuables safe from water.
There are a ton of supplies on the market that would be of use in an emergency. Don’t wait until it’s too late to prepare.