How to shop for a hurricane kit, and just how much it will cost

If you haven’t already put together your hurricane kit, now’s the time to do so.

Hopefully you already have a few or more items around the house. If not, you’ve got some shopping to do.

We went to City Mill Tuesday afternoon to see just how much of your money it will cost to be prepared.

Walk up and down the aisles at any hardware or big box store and you’ll see countless items that might come in handy in the event of a storm and/or power outage.

But with list in hand, we’re going to be disciplined and stick to the basics.

First up, water. The rule of thumb is a gallon per person per day, so for a recommended two weeks supply, you’d need 14 gallons.

Another must have item on the list: a flashlight.

An obvious necessity is a first-aid kit, something you should probably have at home anyway.

The list also suggests you pick up some masks to help in the event of dust or hazardous materials that may be in your home.

There are other items, like a pair of pliers in case you need to turn off a valve that might be stuck.

Zip ties are on the list. They’re great to hold things together or keep items in place.

What’s any home preparedness kit without duct tape? There’s countless uses for that.

A couple more items that you’ll want to have around: heavy-duty trash bags that can be used in multiple ways, and tarps. You see them on a lot of damaged homes after a big storm. Hopefully, you won’t need one, but you never know.

One thing that may not be on your list, but could help: a portable butane stove and gas canisters. If your power goes out, you’ll still be able to heat water and food.

The grand total comes out to $111.69.

The list also calls for a 14-day supply of non-perishable food items. Make sure to stock up on your next grocery shopping trip.

You may have to spend money now, but if you don’t, Souza warns, “you’re going to pay for it later. You’re not going to have what you need to survive three to five days or seven days until somebody comes to help.”

Preparation is key to avoid a last-minute scramble. If you’re too late, you could be looking at empty shelves and an incomplete kit.

“The big secret to this is just be prepared right from the get-go,” said City Mill manager Ron Souza. “Get ready now. Don’t wait for the tip to hit or wait for the warning to say it’s coming.”

Now beyond what we picked out today, there is a secondary list that’s equally important. It includes items such as medications as well as food and supplies for your pets.

Remember, hurricane season lasts through the end of November. It just takes one strong storm to cause a catastrophe.

Click here for a list of what to put in your hurricane kit.

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