Urban Survival Kit: Get Your Hurricane Preparedness Pack Ready

Thursday, August 25, 2011


To get prepared for Hurricane Irene, there are items that New Yorkers should have on hand, in anticipation of the rain and wind — and the problems associated with both — that is expected this weekend.

The two that tops all hurricane or emergency preparedness lists are:

Water. This is No. 1 on most lists. The Red Cross suggests a three-day supply or one gallon per person per day.

Food. At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. (Throw in a can opener if your non-perishable food comes in can form.)

But from here the lists can vary. Most recommend you have these items on hand to prepare for a hurricane:

Extra batteries for radios and for flashlightsNOAA even suggests an extra charged battery for your cellphone.  NYC’s Office of Emergency Management went a step further and suggested New Yorkers dust off their old land lines since they don't rely on electricity.

Cash and coins. If power goes out, ATMs and credit card machines may not work. 

A first aid kit and any medication. New York State recommends bandages, gauze pads, aspirin, ointment and a thermometer, among other things.

Personal hygiene items and towelettes.

The Red Cross also suggests having a map of the area, an extra set of car keys and house keys, as well as extra clothing, rain gear and sturdy shoes, ready to go.

• You should also gather up baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food and diaper) and pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier and bowl), if you have either or both.

Ready America recommends a whistle in case you need to signal for help and some tools, like a wrench or pliers to turn off utilities, if necessary.

The Weather Channel, which knows a thing or two about weather-related disasters, suggested gathering together important family documents: telephone numbers, financial and insurance reports and an inventory of valuable household goods.

One thing that didn’t make the Weather Channel list, though, was candles because they can cause a lot of fires after disasters.

Lastly, most lists recommend games, books or toys to help pass the time.

What would you include in your hurricane emergency kit? Let us know below.


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Comments [37]

Tim from New Jersey

Just went through super storm sandy.
Your check list is spot on!

Sep. 25 2013 07:24 PM
Dave from NJ

Here is a template with typical hurricane survival shopping kit

Sep. 30 2011 07:54 PM
Green Living Eco

Good list. If you want to build a hurricane kit, but reduce its impact on the environment, check out our greener hurricane kit:

Sep. 07 2011 07:48 AM
William from Texas

People should really purchase an emergency survival kit for each family member, so then they are not trying to figure it out at the last minute. Also, they should have a plan for what to grab in addition to the survival kit on the way out the door. The survival kits are not too expensive either. You can get a basic 3-day kit for under $50. Check this one out:

Sep. 02 2011 09:22 AM
IdahoMtnBoy from Idaho

Interesting article, thanks for the info!

Definitely some things that I can implement into my own "just in case plan"

Aug. 31 2011 05:09 PM
Marta Torres from Midtown Manhattan


Aug. 28 2011 03:28 AM
UrbanPrepper from California

For those of you who think this is all a big joke, that these events only happen to nameless and faceless people... guess again. This country has spread disparity all around the world for many years has cause many wars, robbed it's native americans of there land who lived here for THOUSANDS of years before irish and germans came to call it there own . What we are about to experience on a grand scale from now on is called "CAUSE AND EFFECT" of overpopulation. The pendulum is swinging back at the whole world. So IF YOU CAN"T SEE ALL THESE NATURAL DISASTERS AND NOTICE COUNTRIES GOING BANKRUPT MAYBE YOU GUYS SHOULD NOT BUY EMERGENCY SUPPLIES .. BUT BUY SOME GLASSES... GOOD LUCK SHEEPLE

Aug. 27 2011 05:06 AM
Deborah from Manhattan

For pets - make sure you've got food (canned with pop open tops) and dry if necessary. Some litter for cats, too, helps. And good sturdy carriers usually does the job.

Today, Chip from Grazin' Angus at the Farmers' Market in Union Square had this great tip. Take all the empty Tupperware you've got, fill it with water and put in the freezer. If you lose power, they will be ice to help food last longer. When it melts, you can drink and use the water. I thought it was brilliant.

Aug. 27 2011 12:39 AM
Mom from NY

Turn settings for both freezer and refrigerator to high (coldest setting), so if the power does go out, your food stays frozen/cold longer. (After Irene, be sure to return the refrigerator to its normal setting, or your milk and lettuce will freeze!) Freeze bottles of water to use in a cooler with perishables. Drink the water as it thaws. Stay calm and in touch.

Aug. 27 2011 12:09 AM
Megan from Manhattan

There is another problem in NYC preparedness I think would be prudent to address.

People are putting their trash out by the curbs, including old furniture. A neighbor has a futon sitting by the curb; another, a chair and old dresser. All up and down our streets, the story is the same, extending to glass recycling. All unsecured trash, but most especially the old furniture, poses a very serious hazard to cars, property. Most importantly, this trash may cause serious human injury once the winds kick up.

Does anyone know the status of garbage collection?.

Aug. 26 2011 11:45 PM
karen from Greenwich Village

According to other sources e.g. NYT, DON'T try to remove your AIR CONDITIONER unless you know what you're doing and are uncommonly strong! The chance of a 100lb air conditioner falling due to a worried householder attempting and failing to remove it is higher than it being blown off, and also there will fewer people below during the storm to be crushed.

Aug. 26 2011 11:17 PM
karen hester from Greenwich Village

According to other sources e.g. NYT, DON'T try to remove your AIR CONDITIONER unless you know what you're doing and are uncommonly strong! The chance of a 100lb air conditioner falling due to a worried householder attempting and failing to remove it is higher than it being blown off, and also there will fewer people below during the storm to be crushed.

If your AC is lightweight, the weight hangs mostly inside and you know how to uninstall correctly, then it's your call, but maybe do it at 4am when no one is walking beneath :)

Aug. 26 2011 11:16 PM
Ellie from Brooklyn

Can someone explain why we need to have bottled water in NYC in a weather-related emergency, unless you happen to live in a high-rise apartment building? I know that electric pumps push water up tall buildings, but what about the millions of us who live below floor six? Won't our taps, toilets, and showers still work?

Aug. 26 2011 05:54 PM
Jasmine from Brooklyn

I can't wait till Monday when we can all look back at this and laugh.

Aug. 26 2011 04:02 PM
Susan from Zone A/B - LES

Tips on preparing for and taking care of your pets

Aug. 26 2011 02:28 PM
LL from Manhattan

Everyone is concerned about AC's. What about screens in windows. They could do damage flying about, but they are tricky to remove.

Aug. 26 2011 02:01 PM
Jack from Washington Heights


Aug. 26 2011 01:27 PM

for those wondering what to do about ac I would recommend that you remove them for several reasons first they leave the windows exposed to the elements meaning you may have flooding at least in the room where they are. if you live high up and i mean above at least 2 floors the wind especially from a hurricane would and could make a hazard as they can become a projectile. also if they become loose they can also become for those living on ground level residence an entry point into your house for thieves. finally just plain sense if flying debris hit them they may get damaged. be safe....

Aug. 26 2011 01:24 PM
John from Jersey City

Shouldn't it be "preparedness," not "preparedness"?

Aug. 26 2011 01:07 PM
Lisa from Miami, FL

Take in lawn/balcony furniture and accessories. They will become airborne in high winds. I would play it safe and take out AC units from windows too.

Aug. 26 2011 12:58 PM
Martha from Park Slope

I'm also wondering about window AC units. What should be done with them?

Aug. 26 2011 12:46 PM
Joey from Gowanus

Back up computers and have a drive ready take with you if worse comes to worse.

Aug. 26 2011 12:13 PM
Amon from Brooklyn

Has anyone thought about Red Hook Brooklyn!?
We are Zone A bigtime.. Battery Park? big deal..
Red Hook would get hit first..

Aug. 26 2011 11:58 AM
veronica from NYC zone B

I would put documents in zip lock bags!
flash light NO candles!!
dried fruits, nuts and granola bar.

Aug. 26 2011 11:57 AM
Andrew from Brooklyn

Would also like to know about AC units. Stay or go?

Aug. 26 2011 11:54 AM
Jennie from Jackson Heights

Fill empty milk or similar containers with water and freeze them now for use later in coolers, and/or just to keep things in the freezer colder longer. Do-it-yourself ice packs!

Aug. 26 2011 11:41 AM
Mauricio from Astoria

Here's the link to check if your NYC address is in an evac zone:

Aug. 26 2011 11:30 AM
Jane from East Village

Move electronics away from windows.

Consider your pets' needs too.

Aug. 26 2011 10:37 AM
Cathy from NY

Fill the bathtub with water to use for flushing and washing. No need to use bottled water for such things.

Aug. 26 2011 10:28 AM
darren from NYC

How about window AC units?

Worth taking out?

Aug. 26 2011 10:26 AM
Brenda Parnes from Park Slope, Bklyn

How do you prepare for protection and care of pets?

Aug. 26 2011 10:21 AM
manhattan di from W. 98 St., Manhattan

From my fourth floor balcony on West 98 Street, I am moving my potted plants indoors.

Aug. 26 2011 10:20 AM
es from new york, ny

Would it be advisable to remove window air conditioners from the window?

Aug. 26 2011 10:20 AM
GBS from Oceanport, NJ

One of those silver blankets )that runners use after marathons) for each person. Porta potty/plastic bags and kitty litter. Camping supplies. Flashlights and radios powered by turning a crank - Brookstone or Sharper Image sometimes have these.

Aug. 26 2011 10:10 AM

from the Weather Channel prep list -

"Do not include candles, which cause more fires after a disaster than anything else."

don't burn your neighborhood, use a flashlight.

Aug. 26 2011 08:59 AM
Scott from Brooklyn

Thank you, this is very concise and helpful. (Please forgive Cyrus who doesn't read very carefully.)

Aug. 26 2011 07:45 AM
cyrus amundson from brooklyn

Glaring ommission: Light, i.e. flashlight, candles, etc. and something to light those candles with.

Aug. 25 2011 10:27 PM

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