Though the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season officially got off to an early start, there hasn’t been a lot of cyclonic activity…so far…However, hurricane predictors have increased their original estimates how many tropical storms/hurricanes will occur this 2019 hurricane season. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts 2 to 4 “major” hurricanes this season.
The Atlantic hurricane season (technically) begins June 1 and runs through Nov. 30, but hurricanes can form any time, as evidenced by Hurricane Andrea which formed on May 20, 2019.
There have only been four storms this season, with the fifth, Dorian, reaching hurricane status as this article is being typed. If the predictions are correct, the worst is yet to come.
Those who live in coastal areas are probably already hurricane prepared but it is never too late to take stock of what you have and replace and add to your emergency supplies, especially since peak hurricane season usually hits in September. If you are new to or live in a hurricane-prone area and haven’t gotten an emergency supply kit together, we suggest doing it now.
Most natural disasters strike without warning. Fortunately, hurricanes are spotted before landfall, giving people time to get ready or evacuate if necessary. Disaster and first response organizations recommend being fully prepared for landfall 32 hours ahead of time. This means filling your car’s gas tank, having your bug-out bag packed and easily accessible and boarding up your house.
For more on how to prepare for a hurricane, read our favorite camping blog, 12 Survivors “How Do You Prepare for a Hurricane?
Depending on whether you stay or go, you will want to have emergency supplies packed in your car and in a secure but easily accessible location in your home. Pack both disaster survival kits with enough supplies to last at least three days.
Ready.Gov, a national public service campaign to encourage all Americans to be prepared for disasters and emergencies, has put together an emergency supplies kit list. This list works well for most emergencies; however, is not all-inclusive. Don’t forget about the individual needs of your family and accommodate special dietary and medical requirements as necessary.
According to Ready.Gov, this is what you need in your emergency kits:
- Battery-powered or hand-crank weather-alert radio
- First aid kit
- Signal whistle
- Dust mask
- Hygiene and sanitation items
- Manual can opener
- Cellphone charger and backup battery
- Prescription and over-the-counter medications
- Infant formula, food, diapers and other necessities
- Pet food, water, crate and bedding
- Cash or traveler’s checks
- Copies of important documents stored on a flash drive and sealed in a waterproof container
- Sleeping bag or blankets
- Appropriate change of clothing/rain gear and sturdy shoes
- Bleach or another chemical water purifier
- Fire extinguisher
- Waterproof matches/fire starter
- Mess kit—pots, pans, cups, plates, utensils
Many companies make camping and survival gear in varying degrees of quality and affordability. The editors at Best In Bunch test them all, as we recognize and understand the wide range in budget our readers work with. Reliable gear that works doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive. On the other hand, we’ve found that spending a little more on certain things really does pay off. After all, this is a list of survival supplies—we need many of these things to literally stay alive.
The following list is our favorite emergency supplies.
Mountain House food rivals any frozen food entrée made by well-known companies but doesn’t need to be refrigerated or put in the freezer. Easily prepared by pouring boiling water directly into the bag and simply stirring, Mountain House freeze-dried foods heat up quickly and are edible straight out of the package, eliminating the need for plates. With a shelf life of 30 years, the investment in a case of emergency food supplies is worth it, especially when it tastes this good.
Freeze-drying food helps retain its nutritional value and natural flavor, color and texture. Just use water to rehydrate and food smells, looks and tastes like it was fresh! Mountain House makes comforting fully flavored dishes the whole family enjoys and provides many different choices, even meatless ones.
Coleman makes an incredibly trusty product. This two-in-one camp stove plus grill allows you to grill on one side and heat up sides on the other. Each flame is individually adjustable and produces up to 10,000 BTUs. The stove part fits a 10-inch pan and the grill has 130 square inches of cooking space. Fold-down the wind blockers if you need more space.
Coleman’s stoves burn evenly and consistently. It takes 16-ounce propane tanks. Each tank lasts about two hours. We typically get a full three-day camping trip out of one tank. This camp stove is an invaluable addition to our camping gear and doubles as a survival stove for when there are no utilities.
Adventure Medical Kits make a variety of first aid kits from professional grade to treating your dog. All include basic supplies to treat minor wounds and burns. Depending on your level of need, you’ll find a kit for your situation. In case of a hurricane, you’ll want a step up from basic band-aids and ointments. The Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight/Watertight Pro kit was made for and is used by the Yosemite Mountain Guides. It is lightweight and includes a watertight bag.
Though not as organized as other kits with multiple pockets, the Adventure Medical Kits are a favorite because their first aid supplies are top quality and this kit includes not only a variety of bandages but a CPR face mask, EMT shears, wound care/cleaning, an emergency blanket, as well as a C-Splint to help set a sprain or fracture.
It is very important to have alternative power during times of natural disaster. The 12 Survivors SolarFlare solar panel does exactly what it says it will and provides a full charge to your cell phone in about an hour. It is compact and easily transportable. To use it, lay it out flat in the sun or hook to your backpack or tent. it will even charge on cloudy days. The SolarFlare will charge any USB device.
We tested cell phones, tablets, radios, flashlights, an iPad and even a laptop. The bigger the device, the longer it takes to charge…naturally. One of our favorite features, besides providing as many amps and watts as it claims, is the automatic-on feature. It starts charging as soon as it hits sunlight. Foldable and measuring 10.1 x 13 inches open, the 12 Survivors solar panel 16 only weighs about one pound.
This innovative lighter does not use fuel or a flame but instead a consistent electric arc. Wind and weatherproof, the arc will light any tinder so you can start a fire. Powered by an internal rechargeable battery, just simply charge your TekFire arc lighter through any USB.
A battery indicator light lets you know when the lighter is fully charged, and it has a 10-second time out safety feature.
Everyone’s favorite manual can opener—the military P-38! Obviously used to open cans, the P-38 can also cut things and be dual purpose in a pinch. Measuring 1-1/2″ x 5/8″ and foldable to lay flat, the P-38 will fit in your pocket, on your keyring, or virtually anywhere else!
We like these particular G.I. can openers because they come in a pack of 5 and are made in the U.S.A. by the same company that supplies them to the military, so they are the real deal.
Out of the many emergency crank lights and radios out there, this one by Kaito is truly a nearly do-all. Along with NOAA weather alerts, it has a solar panel for power and a crank and uses back-up 3 AA batteries or the built-in rechargeable batteries. A standard USB port will charge cell phones, GPS and other devices. There are two lights, one of them with a red LED mode.
After cranking a couple of minutes, you can charge your phone, listen to the radio and have the light on for about 40 minutes, which is an amazing run time on crank power. A 14.5″ antenna means the stations come through loud and clear without static. It is set-up for weather alerts. This radio makes the ultimate survival/emergency radio.
Leatherman carries a variety of multitools in all different sizes and specialties. The Juice is a pocket-sized tool with 15 useful tools including two blades, scissors, pliers and a bottle opener.
The Leatherman Juice CS4 has 420HC stainless steel blades and tools and a textured aluminum handle.
The Juice CS4 is 3.25 inches long and weighs only 5.6 ounces.
Tools included are:
- Needle nose pliers
- Regular pliers
- Hard-wire cutters
- Wire cutters
- Saw blade
- Spring-action scissors
- Can and bottle openers
- Corkscrew with assist
This, of course, is not the only items you need to survive a natural disaster, they are just a few of our favorites.