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Don't procrastinate: Get your hurricane disaster kit together now

Posted at 5:44 AM, May 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-07 05:53:36-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. -- The recent storms may be a wake up call that the start of hurricane season is just around the corner.

That means it's time to get prepared!

The National Weather Service says you need to get your disaster supplies in order because this week is Hurricane Preparedness Week.

RELATED: WPTV Hurricane Guide

Disaster Supply Checklist (Courtesy of the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes)

  • Cash -- Banks and ATMs may not be open or available for extended periods
  • Water -- at least one gallon per person per day for three to seven days, plus water for pets
  • Food -- at least enough for three to seven days, including: Non-perishable packaged or canned food and juices, food for infants and the elderly, snack food, non-electric can opener, vitamins, paper plates, plastic utensils
  • Blankets, pillows etc.
  • First Aid Kit -- plus medicines, prescription drugs
  • Special items -- for babies and the elderly
  • Toiletries -- hygiene items, moisture wipes, sanitizer
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Keys
  • Toys, books, games
  • Pet care items, proper identification, immunization records, ample food and water, medicine, a carrier or cage, leash

Important documents

Store important documents in a fire and water proof container. The following are examples of what you need to protect:

  • Insurance papers
  • Medical records
  • Bank account numbers
  • Social Security cards
  • Deeds or mortgages
  • Birth and marriage certificates
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Recent tax returns

Keep Your Kit Fresh

Remember to replace stored food and water every six months, keep a supply of fresh batteries on hand and keep your most important, up-to-date family papers in a fire-proof and water-proof container.

The Importance of Water

Stocking an emergency water supply should be one of your top priorities, so you will have enough water on hand for yourself and your family.

While individual needs will vary depending on age, physical condition, activity, diet and climate, a normally active person needs at least two quarts of drinking water daily. Children, nursing mothers and people who are ill need more water.

Very hot temperatures can also double the amount of water needed. Because you will also need water for sanitary purposes, and possibly for cooking, you should store at least one gallon of water per person per day.

When storing water, use thoroughly-washed plastic, fiberglass or enamel-lined containers. Don't use containers that can break, such as glass bottles. Never use a container that has held toxic substances. Camping supply stores offer a variety of appropriate containers.

Plastic containers, like soda bottles, are best. Seal your water containers tightly, label them and store them in a cool, dark place. It is important to change stored water every six months.

For those who need to stock up on disaster supplies like a generator, batteries or tarps, the 2019 tax "holiday" is from May 31 to midnight June 6.