Living on the Gulf Coast, one thing that’s inherently always at the back of our minds: hurricane season. And while as I write this post, we’re still a few weeks away from the latest season, I suppose I consider myself one of those people that sometimes prepares for the worst case scenario. But perhaps also watching Hurricane Harvey, and the ensuing tropical storm, play out in our backyard, I’ve become hyper-sensitive about being prepared for a hurricane.
Let’s just say, after the wild winter storm we had in February of 2021, the hurricane emergency kit can double as an anytime emergency kit too. While I’m sure we all have important documents stored away, the question remains: how many of us have copies, or everything you might need in case of an emergency, in one place that can quickly be grabbed? That’s why my emergency kit is so important – it’s a grab and go bin filled with everything our family might need during an emergency.
Trust me, the peace of mind an emergency kit brings, is well worth the hassle of finding everything you need to fill it with. Now that I’ve got a regular hurricane emergency kit put together, it simply sits on an easily accessible shelf in our garage, just in case. I take it down once a year to toss expired items and replenish with new batteries, updated documents, etc. The peace of mind is well worth it!
Houston Hurricane Emergency Kit
So what do I keep in my Hurricane emergency kit? Let me outline the items I constantly have in my kit, along with a few other necessities that accompany it. I’m sure there’s always additional items I could have on hand, but it’s definitely on a case by case basis.
Back in 2017, I wrote this blog post detailing our experience during Harvey, and what I’d keep on hand in case of an emergency. I re-read it recently and everything is still super applicable!
The City of Houston has a great PDF guide detailing how to disaster prep. This is the first document I reviewed upon creating my emergency kit. I then modified based on our personal family needs. Every family will have different needs, so just adapt your kit accordingly. Also make sure to have a plan for preparing, potential evacuation or staying and finally post-storm plans.
The Hurricane Emergency kit essentials
I keep copies of important documents such as our passports, drivers licenses, a recent utility bill, home owners insurance and copies of Sadie’s most recent vet records. Now that we have Olivia, I’ll also be making copies of our social security cards to have on hand as well. All of these go into doubled-up Ziploc bags to stay dry.
Chargers & cords
This goes without saying. In our electronic-fueled lives, we need all the chargers and cords. I keep a portable charging brick, a few smaller portable chargers and all the cords we need for our phones and iPad. I pull all my chargers out and juice them up prior to an impending storm, and keep them on standby. I also recently came across this portable charging gadget that allows you to pull power from your vehicle.
Batteries, Candles & lighting
Obvious additions to a hurricane emergency kit. I keep plenty of batteries, stored in a waterproof container, along with battery operated candles, a few wicked emergency candles and a variety of flashlights in our emergency kit. I also have this camping tent light and portable lantern on hand (they were perfect for earlier this year when we lost power for over 24 hours from the winter storm).
I recently added this battery-operated radio to our emergency kit. During Hurricane Harvey, we never lost power or tv reception, so we didn’t need a radio. However, Rick has ridden out a hurricane previously, and has told me how access to the radio (when the power was out), was critical during those evening hours.
Personal hygiene necessities
Another no-brainer addition to an emergency kit. Along with deodorant, toothbrushes and toothpaste, plus a roll of toilet paper, I now keep a pack of these cleansing washcloths in our emergency kit. If you have any daily medications, pop these in your emergency kit as well – stored in a waterproof or airtight container.
Water, snacks and dog food
I keep two 24-packs of bottled water in our garage at all times. This was extremely helpful earlier this year when Houston went on a boil water notice. I also keep two large gallons of water stored above our fridge in the garage, too. We can’t forget our furry friends, so make sure you have fresh dog food and treats stored in your emergency kit. I also keep this portable dog bowl inside as well.
Outside of these emergency kit items, I always keep about $150-200 cash on hand at all times. We also keep spare keys to our house and cars on a specific hook in our laundry room, so if we ever needed to leave in an emergency, we can grab these.
I’ve got to reevaluate this kit however, now that we have a baby! I feel like I should just create a separate emergency kit that just pertains to items for Olivia. Fortunately she’s now eating solids, but we definitely will need a waterproof bag filled with diapers, wipes, some extra clothes and more. I plan to put this together soon!
I’m sure I may be missing a few key items, but the above list has worked well for us thus far. Do you have anything in your kit that I need to add? Tell me in the comments below!