Preparing for a Disaster – Hurricane and other Natural Disasters

Update: This is going live today due to Hurricane Matthew which will be threatening South Florida in the next 48 hours.

Living in Florida one thing we got use to growing up was hurricanes. Our family would do one of two things depending on the intensity of the storm; either we would leave the area all together or we would hunker down and wait out the storm.

It is only the end of August and we have already received three threats from tropical storms and one from a hurricane and this weekend are looking at a very potential hit from another one. Now that I am a parent and the one responsible for the majority of maintaining our household there are some things I decided I needed to get in order this year.

While it is not something I like to think about it is very important to be prepared should a storm hit or any disaster to strike. You need to ask yourself what do we need to do in order to make sure that we are as safe as possible especially if you have little ones.

The American Academy of Pediatrics Disaster Preparedness has amazing  posts on the website , which you should visit and browse. They have tons of resources ranging from lists of things you will need to how to talk to your child about disasters should they hit.

Because I love lists and love to provide you with them with very little searching here is just a sample of some of the very important things we will be double checking, making sure we have and doing to prepare ourselves in case of emergency.

Hurricane kit: (I could do an entire post on making one of these alone and maybe I will, but for now here is a brief overview) Things to include:

  • First Aid Kit – FULLY stocked (remember Tylenol and Benedryl)
  • Flashlights
  • Battery operated lantern
  • Extra batteries
  • Lighter or Matches in a waterproof container
  • Candles
  • Spare set of car keys
  • Landline phone (you know the kind you plug into the wall)
  • Cell phone charger (if you have service and power)
  • Crank or battery operated radio
  • Non-Electric can opener
  • Paper plates and disposable utensils
  • Sunscreen, Bug repellant, ponchos
  • Small cooking stove
  • Garbage bags
  • It is also a very smart idea to fill your bathtub with water before the storm. This way should you be without power or plumbing you can take buckets and use it or in emergency drink it.
  • If you have infants or young children – Diapers, Wipes

This list is BASICS, you can add a LOT more things, we do.

One last thing to do to prepare for a hurricane is to get any and all food needs taken care of ahead of time. If the power is out and the stores are closed you will not be able to head to the grocery store to pick up food. Not to mention it might not be safe to leave your home for a couple days during the storm.

List of food related items to have in your home:

  • Water, water, water (the rule is one gallon, per person, per day so prepare properly)
  • Protein Bars (this is something we ALWAYS buy, it is smart and they last a long time)
  • Canned goods (soup, beans, fruits, veggies)
  • Boxed milk (if you have kids this might be a good idea)
  • Granola Bars
  • Bread (in a plastic bag)
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly (Protein!!)
  • Oranges, Bananas, Tomatoes, Avocados, Apples (Any thing fresh that does not need to be refrigerated)
  • If you have infants or young children – Formula, Baby Food

Another very smart thing to prepare is what we call a, “Go-Bag”. This bag contains everything you might need if you need to quickly and efficiently leave your home and hurricane kit behind. Every member of your family should have their own.


  • Three days of clothes (Outfits, underwear, socks!)
  • Three days of toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, sanitizer, contact solution, etc)
  • Three days of light food (protein bars, bottles of water, etc)
  • One week of medications (Remember to label these clearly so children do not accidentally take them)
  • Blankets, sleeping bags
  • One extra set of shoes
  • In a plastic Ziploc bag have copies of – Your identification, photocopies of prescriptions, family photos (in case your get separated), list of important phone numbers
  • Anything your children might need like a specific lovey, toy or book
  • If you have infants or kids under 40lbs make sure their carrier is close by (like the Ergo or the Moby wrap)

This bag should be simple and not too heavy. If you need to leave quickly there is a chance you may need to do so on foot. Keep this in mind and remember that backpacks are perfect for that very reason.

Lastly – If you have pets please remember them when shopping, they also need water, food and a way to leave in case of emergency. Make a smaller bag for them with food in baggies and portable dishes. Put a leash or pet carrier in a place you can easily grab it.

These lists should get you started.

Remember when you have little ones they will want to be entertained and as long as the power is on that won’t be tough. Once it goes out it is time to break out the charades and cards. Tomorrow we will have a post about how to get your kids through the storm and things you can do inside to entertain the entire family.

Please stay safe!


Kristin – The Perfectionist Mom

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