25 Hurricane & Disaster
Preparation Tips


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WARNING!! If you think the government is going to rescue you the day after a hurricane or any disaster, THINK AGAIN!!

Be prepared to sustain yourself for up to 2 weeks in the event of a disaster. It will take the government at least a week to get anything going before they will come to your aid.

It is your responsibility to stock up and supply yourself with survival items.


FIRST SURVIVAL TIP: Never tell anyone that you are stocking up for a disaster. When trouble comes, all the people that did not prepare will be looking at you as a source for supplies. Trouble and violence can be the result when people panic and kick into survival mode. Keep your stock pile quiet and you won't have to deal with defending your family, property and supplies!

SECURE BUILDING: Install hurricane panels. Visit the DIY Hurricane Shutters and Garage Door Support links at the top of this page.

FIRST AID KIT: For injuries.

WATER: Buy large 5 gallon collapsible water jugs. Fill them up before the storm. They fold rather small for storage when empty.

  • Toilet: The water in the toilets holding tank (not the bowl) is drinkable only if there is no cleaning chemicals added to the holding tank water.
  • Bath tub: Close the drain and place a bead of silicone around the drain, let it dry then fill the bath tub with water before the storm.
  • Your hot water heater is a good source for water. Close the water intake valve to prevent contaminated water from the city water supply entering the water heater. However, if you're on a well system you can leave the intake valve open. Open the drain valve and strain the water through nylon panty hose (a few times) to remove sediments. WARNING - if the water shows signs of rust or contamination, DO NOT USE!
  • Water from lakes, streams or canals should only be used to flush toilets and cleaning up. Do not use this water for drinking, cooking or cleaning dishes and cookware, it could be contaminated with pesticides and fertilizers and not safe to ingest. If you have allergies or health issues, don't use this water for anything.

    ICE: Freeze water in empty 1 gallon milk bottles or 2 liter soda bottles. Place them in the freezer and refrigerator. They will help keep things cold when the power goes out. They are also a source for water when they thaw. Remember to fill your coolers.

    FOOD: Have at least a 2 weeks supply. Buy foods that don't spoil like canned foods, rice, pasta, pasta sauce and dehydrated food. NOTE - with pasta sauce, use it up in one meal, don't attempt to store it after it's open, bacteria builds fast with tomato based foods. I like Ramen noodles, they're cheap, dehydrated, small and cook with only 2 cups of hot water.

  • First eat the contents of the refrigerator
  • Then eat the contents of the freezer
  • Followed by eating your can goods
  • Last eat dry stock i.e. dehydrated foods, rice and pasta

    FIRE: Lighter and matches. It's a good idea to know how to start fires without matches. Visit our Fire Starting Videos for instructions.

    MEDICINE: Stock up on your medicines.

    PETS: Don't forget food, medicine and supplies (i.e. cat litter) for your pets.

    CUTTING: Can opener and sharp knife.

    TOOLS: Hand saw, screw drivers, hammer, wire cutters, set of wrenches and any other items you may need. Don't forget a box of nails and wood screws. Always have a few rolls of Duct Tape.

    TOWELS: To clean up.

    SLEEPING: Air mattress or camping sleeping pads and blankets.


  • Buy a small propane stove, they run on 1 pound disposable propane bottles.
  • Coleman makes a small multi-fuel stove that runs on unleaded gas or camp fuel.
  • Vist www.TrailGear.org and build your own alcohol or wood burning stoves.

    POWER: Make life easy and use one type of battery. I use "AA" batteries to power all my survival equipment like TV, Radio, Flash lights and Fans. Another good power source is a portable battery pack used to jump start cars. The power pack has a 12 volt outlet that can be used with a 100 to 350 watt power inverter to power low watt 120 volt equipment. These power packs will last up to 8 hours and can be purchased at auto supply or home improvement stores.

  • Buy a generator. Warning! never, never use it inside a building. Carbon monoxide is a odorless, colorless gas and it is deadly!
  • Use the generator (outside) in 1/2 to one hour intervals and three hours off to conserve fuel. Keep the refrigerator closed and only open it when nessessary!
  • Never attempt to back feed or wire the generator into your house electrical system, this is unsafe and could cause injury or death by electrocution, and it's a fire waiting to happen! Back feeding the generator into your house will also endanger the electric company technician's that will be working on the power lines. Never, ever do this!!!

    LIGHTING: Have flash lights. Candles are a fire risk, I suggest using flash lights instead. Try using solar powered garden lights. They charge up during the day and run up to 9 hours at night. These are great, they have a 4 watt bulb and give off the same light as a small candle.

    COMMUNICATIONS: Have an AM/FM/SW radio, I like the "CC SWPocket" radio from C.CRAIN. Have your cell phone ready with it's battery fully charged. It's a good idea to have extra cell phone batteries charged and ready to go. Get a few walkie talkies and give one to your neighbor, stay in touch during the storm. If your home is damaged (and the cell phone networks are down) you may need communicate and scramble to your neighbors for safety.

  • Just a note about cell phone usage. Use it sparingly and turn it off when not in use. Don't be a "Chatty Kathy" and use up your battery! You can check your voice mails every so often to keep in touch. Change your greeting message to "I'm in a hurricane/disaster and I'll check my voice mail every hour, please leave a message". However, if you have an emergency situation, you should keep the cell phone turned on, but keep your talk times to a minimum.

    TOILET PAPER: You know why.

    PORT-A-POTTY: After the storm the sewers may back up making flushing a toilet impossible. Get a toilet seat that fits on top of a 5 gallon bucket. The toilet seat can be found at camping supply stores. They come with instructions for sanitary disposal of the waste.

    HYGIENE PRODUCTS: Soap bar and liquid, tooth paste ...

    TARPS: For emergency shelter or roof repairs.

    MONEY: Withdraw cash from your bank account. Remember, after the storm power will be interrupted, no power, no ATM's or banking.

    GAS: Fill all your cars with gas. Load up on extra fuel in gas cans and store in a well ventilated area.

    SIPHON: Get a siphoning hose. Cars are a source for gas in an emergency.

    FLOODED CARS: If your car is sitting in shallow water deep enough for the oil pan and transmission to be submerged. After the storm, it's a good idea to have the oil and transmission fluid changed ASAP.

    PROTECTION: I'm not endorsing the use of guns BUT in a crisis situation, chaos and lawlessness can occur. Learn the lessons from Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. Be prepared to protect your family!!!

    Visit us at ... www.TrailGear.org - Quality Backpacking & Survival Gear You Build Yourself!

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