Hurricane Prep: building your own storm kit (and other resources)

Build your own storm kit

The best way to cope with a weather-related emergency is to be prepared. Severe storms might leave you with no power and no water. They could lead to emergency evacuations or make roads impassable, so you can’t get to needed supplies.

You can be prepared by assembling a basic storm kit to carry you through emergency situations at home or in case of quick evacuations. The list below, based on recommendations from the American Red Cross, the South Carolina Emergency Management Division and the Centers for Disease Control, lists items to keep at the ready in case of emergency.

Decide how long a period you want to be prepared for; experts recommend at least three days, but you may wish to stock supplies for up to two weeks. The Red Cross suggests that water and food supplies be enough for three days in case of evacuation or two weeks for use within your home.

Check your emergency supplies every six months to refresh stored water, remove expired food, replace dead batteries and change outgrown kids’ clothes. Items that can spoil or be damaged by water should be kept in airtight bags.

Store your storm kit in a convenient location, and let family members know where to find it. You may also want to keep a smaller emergency kit in your car.


  • At least one gallon per person, per day, for drinking, food preparation, hygiene, pets
  • Store in unbreakable containers


  • Ready-to-eat, non-perishable
  • Canned goods—meats, tuna, fruit, vegetables
  • Dry goods—crackers, cereal, dried fruits, peanut butter, breakfast bars, nuts, candy
  • Baby food and formula


  • Flashlight(s) and extra batteries
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Plastic eating utensils and paper plates
  • Matches
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors

First-aid kit

  • Sterile gauze pads
  • Hypoallergenic adhesive tape
  • Triangular bandages
  • Sterile roller bandages
  • Tweezers
  • Needle
  • Antiseptic
  • Thermometer
  • Tongue blades
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Safety pins
  • Cleansing agent/soap
  • Latex gloves
  • Sunscreen

Personal care

  • Medications
  • Medical supplies (hearing aids with batteries, glasses, contact lenses)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Premoistened towelettes
  • Personal-hygiene items
  • Baby-care items
  • Blankets/sleeping bags
  • Extra clothing, including rain gear and sturdy shoes


  • Battery-operated weather radio and extra batteries
  • Portable power bank to charge cell phones
  • List of emergency contacts, including your local electric co-op

Important papers

  • Birth certificates
  • Passports
  • Insurance policy information
  • Bank account information
  • Medical records
  • Photo ID/driver’s license


  • Cash
  • Pet food/supplies
  • Toys/games/cards/books for entertainment
  • Gas in car
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Garbage bags
  • Road maps
  • Jumper cables
  • Tire-repair kit

Want to download a checklist for your storm kit? 

It is important to keep enough supplies in your home to meet the needs of your family for at least three days. Assemble a Family Emergency Kit with items you may need in an emergency or evacuation. Store these supplies in sturdy, easy-to-carry containers such as suitcases, duffle bags or covered storage containers. CLICK HERE for a downloadable checklist 

Below are additional resources that offer emergency alerts, preparedness tips, weather updates and other helpful information when disaster strikes.

Weather resources

Downloadable information guides

Online resources


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