Get ahead of the crowds and stock up on these useful items before a pending disaster.
You’ve seen all the prepping lists: non-perishable food, water, flashlights, generator, fuel, and a first aid kit. That’s a good start.
You can do better. Here’s a list of things beyond the basics that will fly off shelves in the days before and after a major storm. Get them early and you’ll be able to avoid the lines and focus on prepping your house and then on cleaning up after the storm has passed.
- Headband mounted lights and extra batteries – much more convenient than carrying around a hand-held light.
- Walkie talkies – you can get a decent set for under $75. They’ll come in handy should you be out helping neighbors, looking for dogs, etc., especially if cell phone service is unavailable.
- Solar-powered lights that go in your yard – you can bring them indoors if you run out of fuel for your generator or don’t have a generator.
- Trash bags – a must have for cleanup post storm.
- Bleach – good for killing mold and purifying drinking water. You can also pour it in standing water to fend off mosquitos.
- Plywood – if you’re in a hurricane zone you should have this on hand year-round. Get it now and prep it to fit over your windows.
- Electric fans – you’ll want them to dry stuff out post-storm and provide much needed air flow should you not have working air conditioning in your home.
- Secondary, battery powered sump pump – battery back-ups will kick on automatically and are a safety net in case your primary pump fails or you run out of fuel for your backup generator.
- Tarps – After series of back-to-back hurricanes in 2017, tarps were on backorder for weeks. You can use them to cover your home air conditioning unit during the storm and cover up damage post-storm, etc.
- Ropes / bungee cords – good for securing your tarps and anything else that could blow away.
- Oil (for your generator) – if you have a new generator, you’ll need to change the oil after the first 20 hours and then every 100 hrs thereafter. Remember, NEVER operate a generator indoors or in confined spaces and connection to your home must ALWAYS be made by qualified personnel. Carbon monoxide and electrical connection hazards can be deadly.
- Cash – you’ll need cash if credit card systems and ATMs are out of commission.
- Ax – keep it in your attic.
- Chainsaw, oil, extra chains – even if you don’t have downed trees on your property, you’re almost certain to know someone who will.
- Work gloves – picking up debris, tree limbs, and garbage can be hazardous. Gloves will protect your hands from… well, a lot of stuff.
- Whistle – should you find yourself in a situation where you need to be rescued, a whistle will be key to getting rescue teams’ attention.
- Glow sticks – perfect to hang from your dog’s collar so you can keep track of him at night.
- Dust masks – you’ll want these for post storm clean-up. Trust us.
- Duct tape – good for sealing things up, holding things down. It’s duct tape – need we say more.
- Fire extinguisher – you should have one of these in your home anyway, but if you don’t, get one.
- Good walking shoes – post storm, you may find yourself walking quite a bit, whether it’s to check on neighbors, evacuate your home, or search for your pets. Wear good shoes because you never know how long you’ll be in them.
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