Sarasota, Bradenton, Venice, Tampa, Florida Suncoast-June is here! That middle child of the calendar year, where we celebrate graduations and deserving dads. We carve our watermelons and barbecue our briskets in celebration of the long days that June will bestow upon us. Our kids will sleep in until the wee hours of the afternoons, celebrating their freedom and ability to break up the monotonous school-day routine. You are a beauty and a beast, dear June, as not only the conduit for beachy afternoons with family and friends, but also as a beacon to prepare for what may come, whether we are ready or not. Let’s be ready, friends, for Hurricane Season 2018.
Given we had a named tropical storm in May, and with Irma in our not-so-distant rearview mirrors it is the perfect, and necessary time to make sure our preparations for hurricane season are a top-notch priority. If you are a perpetual survivalist for the apocalypse, zombie takeover, life, etc., or just a together and organized individual, then I join you in admonishing my lateness for what should always be within arm’s reach: A Hurricane Survival Kit.
I think, for many, Hurricane Irma was a wakeup call that waiting until the last minute will leave you without options to provide the necessities for your family when a Hurricane is barreling your way. As Floridians, we all know the pains of panic that ensue while watching the weather updates showing Florida being smaller than the storm that is coming. You look at your hurricane-shuttered windows and stocked pantry with cases of water ceiling-high and enough Campbells soup to feed the National Guard should they need to come through your town and still you question your decision to stay put with your loved ones. Should I stay, or should I go is a game we play as we calculate the trajectory of the storm versus roads closing or worse, being so full of travelers that you are stuck on an interstate when the big one blows through.
We are fortunate to have a wealth of information to guide us through this unique season of hurricanes we will face together. The humanity and neighborly attitude we have toward each other during emergencies is always a bragging point for Floridians. I hope we can carry that spirit ahead whether we encounter hurricanes or not this summer. We hope all of you enjoy this summer, and, perhaps will consider kicking off your June with time spent making sure your Hurricane Kit is stocked and tucked away, close at hand but hopefully not necessary to use. It’s a great time to stock up on water and other canned goods, now, while the need is not there. Sadly, all the preservatives in today’s food will mean that your minimal investment in emergency food will last through the next few hurricane seasons so waste is not a concern. Below, please find the NOAA’s (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) recommendations for a basic survival kit in the event of an emergency, such as a hurricane. There are additional considerations for seniors, pets, infants, those disabled and businesses. For information on these, and other hurricane preparedness tips, please visit their website at www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/ready.php
Recommended Items to Include in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit:
Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three 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 and extra batteries for both
Flashlight and extra batteries, first aid kit, whistle to signal for help
Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and 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
Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
Photos courtesy of Hurricane Season 2018 Facebook page.