Hurricane preparedness guide: What to put in your emergency kit

Photo of Florida first aid kit

Did you know that from June 1 to June 7, you can purchase disaster preparation items in Florida free of sales tax? This is what Florida Department of Revenue has done to encourage people to prepare for hurricane season.

Among these supplies exempt from sales tax are reusable ice packs, flashlights, batteries and portable generators. (You can find the full list here).  

But before you shop, it’s important to know which items are absolutely necessary and which ones you can do without. 

You would be surprised to learn that some of the most important items – the ones that could save your life – are inexpensive and easy to find. Expensive does not always equal necessary.

Being prepared means having your own food, water, and other supplies for at least 72 hours, according to the Department of Homeland Security. An emergency kit is a collection of the basic items you will need in a disaster.

To help you put that kit together, we’ve compiled must-have lists below, as recommended by Homeland Security.

Basic supplies

Be sure to store these items in airtight plastic bags. Place your entire disaster kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers, such as a duffel bag or plastic bin.

  • 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
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • 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
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

Additional supplies

This list should be considered depending on you and your household’s individual needs.

  • Prescription medications
  • Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
  • Glasses and contact lenses solution
  • Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Cash
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification, and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper to disinfect water
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

A sales tax holiday is not the only way to save money. lets you compare quotes from other Florida insurance companies, and save by snagging the best deals.

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