A Southern transplant’s guide to hurricane kits

WSAV Hurricane Central

FEMA

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – With Dorian quickly approaching and gaining strength, everyone in the southeast is remembering to start their hurricane preparations.

For me, I have absolutely no clue what that means.

Everywhere I look, people jump into action — performing what seems like ritualistic tasks to get everything together. Meanwhile, I stand on the sidelines figuring out where exactly to start.

I just moved to the Coastal Empire from New Jersey a little over a month ago. The only real hurricanes I have had to prepare for were Hurricane Irene in 2011 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Still, hurricane preparations were a rare occurrence growing up.

That being said, I get a little lost and anxious with every new headline and state of emergency that is declared.

Thursday, I decided to go out and see just how easy it was to put together a kit. I went to Home Depot, Target, Walmart, Kroger and Publix all around Savannah with a checklist composed by Storm Team 3. You can download a copy of that list in our Hurricane Guide here.

Key takeaways

If you want to do this right, you will have to visit multiple stores. Most stores in our area are not a one-stop-shop for everything on the list. Places like Walmart and Target, however, do cover most of the shopping.

A lot of these supplies, like batteries and flashlights, are put right at the entrance of the store.

Most of these stores also are aware of why you’re typically flocking there right now. Many of the stores had key items like first-aid kits, batteries, bottled water, coolers and nonperishable food at the front of the store.

The earlier you go for your shopping, the better. Many of these supplies are already on sale and there are still plenty of supplies to go around.

These first-aid items at Walmart are on sale and right there when you walk into the building.

Home Depot, obviously, has a lot of the items needed to secure your homes like lumber, tarps, and other hardware.

Grocery stores, like Publix and Kroger, are great to stock up on non-perishable food as well as cleaning supplies for you and your family.

The hardest supplies to find at most of these stores were iodine or water purification tablets and waterproof matches. For example, water purification tablets were in the camping section when I went to Walmart and not by water purifiers.

Something that may be overlooked is a portable charger for your electronic devices. A phone can substitute a camera, computer, flashlight, GPS, radio, clock and television as well. But you’ll want to make sure there is always a way for you to power up your electronic “Swiss army knife.”

All in all, it really was not as stressful as I expected. It just takes some time, a proper list and some careful planning to build the perfect hurricane kit.

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