What to Bring to a Hurricane Shelter: Full Checklist

When a hurricane is approaching, it’s important to have a plan in place. One aspect of that plan includes knowing what to bring to a hurricane shelter. Hurricane shelters are designated locations where people can go to seek refuge from the storm. These shelters are typically located in schools, community centers, or other large buildings.

It’s important to note that not all shelters are the same, and what you should bring may vary depending on the specific shelter you are going to. However, there are some general items that are recommended to bring to any hurricane shelter.

These items include food, water, and clothing. It’s recommended to bring at least 1 gallon of water per person per day for 14 days, non-perishable food in cans or sealed containers, and clothing suitable for the weather conditions. Additionally, it’s important to bring any necessary medications and personal hygiene items. Typically all of these things can be aquired readily and on a budget but if you are just starting out, learn more about how to start prepping on a budget here.

Hurricane Shelters

When a hurricane is approaching, it is essential to understand the different types of hurricane shelters available near you and what to expect when staying in one. Hurricane shelters provide a safe place for people to stay during the storm and offer protection from high winds, storm surges, and flooding.

In Florida, hurricane shelters are typically located in public schools, community centers, and other designated buildings. These shelters are designed to accommodate as many people as possible in a safe and secure environment.

If you live in an evacuation zone or a mobile home, you should plan to evacuate to a hurricane shelter well before the storm arrives (at least many hours beforehand). Mobile homes are not safe during a hurricane, and residents should never stay in them during a storm.

When you arrive at a hurricane shelter, you will be asked to register and provide some basic information. You will also be given a wristband or other identifier to help staff identify you and keep track of who is in the shelter.

It is important to remember that hurricane shelters are not hotels or resorts. They are designed to provide basic necessities such as food, water, and shelter during an emergency. You should bring your own bedding, clothing, and personal hygiene items, as well as any medications you need.

In some cases, hurricane shelters may not have electricity or running water, so it is essential to bring a supply of non-perishable food, water, and other essentials. You should also bring any important documents, such as identification, insurance papers, and medical records.

Overall, hurricane shelters are a crucial resource for those in need during a storm. By understanding what to expect and what to bring, you can help ensure that you and your family stay safe and secure during a hurricane.

Basic Necessities for Survival

When preparing for a hurricane, it’s important to pack the necessary items to ensure your survival in the event of an emergency. This section will cover the three basic necessities for survival: food and water, clothing, and hygiene.

Food and Water

One of the most important things to pack when going to a hurricane shelter is food and water. It’s recommended to bring non-perishable food items that are easy to prepare and can last for a long time. You should also bring at least one gallon of drinking water per person per day. Here are some examples of non-perishable food items to bring:

  • Canned fruits and vegetables
  • Canned meats and fish
  • Peanut butter
  • Crackers
  • Granola bars
  • Trail mix

It’s also a good idea to bring a manual can opener and disposable utensils. Additionally, if you have any dietary restrictions, make sure to pack food items that meet your needs.

Clothing

When packing for a hurricane shelter, it’s important to bring comfortable clothing that will keep you warm and dry. Make sure to pack enough clothing for at least three days. Here are some clothing items to consider:

  • Comfortable pants and shirts
  • A warm jacket or sweater
  • Undergarments and socks
  • Closed-toe shoes
  • Rain gear

Hygiene

Maintaining good hygiene is important for your overall health and well-being. When packing for a hurricane shelter, make sure to bring basic hygiene items. Here are some items to consider:

  • Soap and shampoo
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Wet wipes

It’s important to remember that hurricane shelters may not have all the necessary supplies, so it’s important to pack everything you need to stay clean and healthy.

Important Documents to Bring

When preparing for a hurricane, it’s crucial to bring important documents with you to the shelter. These documents can help you re-establish your life after the hurricane and ensure that you have access to necessary services and resources. Here are some of the essential documents you should bring with you:

Identification and Personal Information

Make sure to bring identification with a photo and current address, such as a driver’s license or passport. Additionally, bring your Social Security card, insurance papers, emergency contacts, and any other valuable papers. These documents can be critical for accessing emergency services and resources, so it’s essential to keep them with you at all times.

Name and Address of Nearest Relatives

In case of an emergency, it’s essential to have the contact information for your nearest relatives. Bring a list of their names and addresses with you to the shelter, so you can contact them if necessary.

Special Dietary Needs

If you have any special dietary needs, bring non-perishable food with you to the shelter. This can include items such as canned goods, protein bars, and other snacks. Be sure to label any food you bring with your name and any dietary restrictions.

Back-up Energy Sources

If you have essential medical equipment that requires electricity, bring back-up energy sources with you to the shelter. This can include batteries, a generator, or other power sources. Make sure to label any equipment or power sources with your name and any necessary instructions.

Overall, bringing important documents with you to the hurricane shelter can help ensure that you have access to necessary services and resources. Be sure to keep these documents with you at all times and label any food or equipment with your name and any necessary instructions.

Medical Supplies and Medications

When it comes to preparing for a hurricane shelter, it is crucial to bring all necessary medical supplies and medications. If you have special needs, you should consider going to a special needs shelter where you can receive the appropriate care and attention. These shelters are equipped with medical staff, medical equipment, and supplies.

It is recommended that you bring at least a two-week supply of your prescription medication with you to the shelter. Make sure to bring all medications in their original containers, and label them with your name, dosage, and frequency. If you are unsure about your medication, consult with your doctor or pharmacist before evacuating.

In addition to prescription medication, you should also bring over-the-counter medications such as pain relievers, antihistamines, and stomach remedies. Make sure to bring a first aid kit with bandages, gauze, antiseptic wipes, and other basic supplies in case of minor injuries.

If you wear eyeglasses, hearing aids, or dentures, make sure to bring them with you to the shelter. It is also recommended that you bring a spare pair of glasses or contacts, as well as extra batteries for your hearing aids.

Overall, it is essential to be prepared and bring all necessary medical supplies and medications to a hurricane shelter. By doing so, you can ensure your health and safety during an emergency situation.

Items for Comfort and Entertainment

When preparing for a hurricane shelter, it’s important to consider not only the essential items but also items that can provide comfort and entertainment during your stay. Here are some items to consider bringing:

Bedding

Blankets, pillows, and sleeping bags are important items to bring to a hurricane shelter. While the shelter may offer some bedding, it’s always better to be prepared and bring your own. A comfortable pillow and warm blanket can make a big difference in getting a good night’s sleep.

If you have space, consider bringing an air mattress or sleeping pad for added comfort. These can also be used as a seating option during the day.

Games and Books

Hurricane shelters can be a stressful and boring place, especially for children. Bringing games and books can help pass the time and provide a distraction from the situation. Playing cards, board games, and puzzles are all great options that can be played with others.

Books are also a great way to pass the time and can be a source of comfort during a stressful situation. Consider bringing a variety of books for different ages and interests.

Remember to keep your entertainment items non-electric, as there may not be access to electricity in the shelter.

In summary, bringing items for comfort and entertainment can help make your stay at a hurricane shelter more bearable. Consider bringing bedding such as blankets, pillows, and sleeping bags, as well as games and books for entertainment.

Items for Babies and Children

When preparing for a hurricane, it is important to pack essential items for your little ones. Babies and young children have unique needs that require special attention. Here are some items to consider when packing for a hurricane shelter:

Diapers and Wipes

Pack enough diapers and wipes to last at least a week. It is better to be over-prepared than under-prepared. You can also consider packing cloth diapers and reusable wipes in case disposable ones run out.

Baby Food and Formula

Bring enough baby food and formula to last for the duration of your stay at the shelter. Pack non-perishable options such as jars of baby food and ready-to-feed formula. Don’t forget to bring bottles, nipples, and a can opener if necessary.

Baby Supplies

Pack extra clothes, blankets, and towels for your baby. Bring any necessary medication, such as infant Tylenol or gas drops. If your baby uses a pacifier, bring a few extras. Don’t forget to pack any necessary medical equipment, such as a nebulizer or feeding tube supplies.

Toys and Comfort Items

Bring along a few of your child’s favorite toys, books, and comfort items such as a blanket or stuffed animal. These items can help your child feel more at ease in a new environment.

Miscellaneous Items

Pack any other items that your child may need, such as a stroller or baby carrier. If your child is potty training, bring a portable potty seat. It is also a good idea to pack a first aid kit with items such as band-aids, antiseptic, and insect repellent.

Remember, when packing for a hurricane shelter, it is important to keep your child’s needs in mind. Bring along enough supplies to keep your child comfortable and safe during your stay.

Items for Pets and Service Animals

If you have pets or service animals, it is important to bring necessary items to the hurricane shelter to ensure their safety and well-being. Here are some essential items to consider:

Food and Water

Make sure to bring enough food and water for your pet or service animal for the duration of the shelter stay. It is recommended to bring at least five to seven days’ worth of food and water. Don’t forget to pack bowls and any necessary utensils.

Medications and Medical Records

If your pet or service animal requires medication, bring enough to last for the duration of the shelter stay. It is also important to bring any necessary medical records and vaccination documents.

Leashes, Carriers, and Identification

Bring a sturdy leash or carrier to keep your pet or service animal secure while in the shelter. Make sure to label the carrier or leash with your contact information and your pet’s name. It is also recommended to bring identification tags or microchips to help reunite you with your pet in case of separation.

Comfort Items

Bring any comfort items that your pet or service animal may need, such as a favorite toy or blanket. These items can help reduce stress and anxiety during the shelter stay.

Waste Disposal

Don’t forget to bring waste disposal bags or litter boxes for your pet or service animal. It is important to keep the shelter clean and sanitary for everyone’s health and safety.

Remember, it is your responsibility to take care of your pet or service animal during the shelter stay. By bringing these essential items, you can ensure their safety and comfort during this stressful time.

Emergency Tools and Equipment

When preparing for a hurricane, it’s essential to pack emergency tools and equipment that can help you in case of an emergency. Here are some of the most important items to consider bringing to a hurricane shelter:

Flashlight and Batteries

A flashlight is an essential tool to have in case of a power outage. Make sure to bring extra batteries to ensure that your flashlight will stay powered for an extended period.

Radio

A battery-powered radio can help you stay informed about the latest weather updates and evacuation orders. It’s also a great way to pass the time while waiting for the storm to pass.

Manual Can Opener and Utensils

If you plan on bringing canned food to the shelter, make sure to pack a manual can opener and utensils. These tools will come in handy if the shelter doesn’t provide any.

First-Aid Kit

A first-aid kit is crucial in case of an emergency. Make sure to pack one that contains bandages, gauze, antiseptic wipes, and other essential items.

Cellphone

A cellphone is an essential tool to have in case of an emergency. Make sure to pack a charger and a power bank to keep your phone charged.

Overall, packing emergency tools and equipment can help you stay safe and comfortable during a hurricane. Make sure to pack the items listed above and any other tools that you think might come in handy.

Registration and Rules at Hurricane Shelters

When you arrive at a hurricane shelter, you will need to register before being allowed to enter. This is to ensure that the shelter staff knows who is inside the shelter and can keep track of the number of people. You will be asked to provide your name, address, and other basic information. You may also be asked to show identification, so it’s a good idea to bring a form of identification with you.

Once you have registered, you will need to follow the rules of the shelter. These rules are in place to ensure the safety and well-being of all shelter residents. Some common rules include no weapons, no smoking, and no alcohol. You may also be asked to turn off all lights at a certain time and to observe quiet time during designated hours.

It’s important to note that hurricane shelters are not hotels or resorts. They are temporary facilities designed to provide basic necessities like food, water, and shelter. You should bring your own bedding, clothing, and personal hygiene items. You should also bring any necessary medications and medical equipment, as well as important documents like insurance papers and identification.

If you have any questions about the rules or registration process, don’t hesitate to ask the shelter staff. They are there to help you and ensure that everyone in the shelter is safe and comfortable.

Packing Tips for Hurricane Shelters

When packing for a hurricane shelter, it’s important to keep in mind that you may be there for a while. Here are some tips to help you pack efficiently and effectively:

Essential Items

  • Water: Bring at least one gallon of water per person per day for drinking and hygiene purposes. It’s also a good idea to bring water purification tablets or a water filter in case you run out of clean water.
  • Non-perishable food: Pack enough non-perishable food for each person for at least three days. Canned goods, sealed containers, and plastic containers are good options.
  • Cash: Bring enough cash to cover expenses such as gas, food, and lodging in case ATMs and credit card machines are not working.
  • Valuable documents: Bring important documents such as identification, insurance policies, and medical records in a waterproof bag or container. It’s also a good idea to bring photocopies of these documents.
  • Medications: Bring enough medication for each person for at least three days.
  • Personal hygiene items: Bring items such as toilet paper, towels, and soap.

Optional Items

  • Ice: If you need to keep perishable items cold, bring ice in a cooler or insulated bag.
  • Alcohol: Alcohol is not allowed in most hurricane shelters, so it’s best to leave it at home.
  • Paper products: Bring paper plates, cups, and utensils for easy cleanup.
  • Individual needs: Consider the individual needs of each person, such as diapers for babies or special dietary needs.
  • Entertainment: Bring books, games, or other forms of entertainment to pass the time.

Remember to pack light and only bring what you need. Space may be limited in the shelter, so it’s important to be considerate of others.

More related topics on hurricanes:

1) While you should go to a hurricane shelter if your home isn’t safe enough to stay in, you may also want to consider checking out this article on how to protect your home from a hurricane.

2) Door flood barriers may also be necessary to install around your home to prevent flooding. Additionally sandbags for hurricanes are also highly recommended.

3) Learn the differences between a tropical storm and hurricane here so you can have a better idea of the potential risks, dangers and what you need to do to get ready for them.

4) Knowing how far inland a hurricane can go and also how fast a hurricane can move is also important for making important decisions on how to act before it reaches your area.

Frequently Asked Questions

What items are allowed in a hurricane shelter?

When going to a hurricane shelter, it is important to bring only essential items. This will ensure that there is enough space for everyone and that the shelter can accommodate as many people as possible. Items that are allowed in a hurricane shelter include:

1) A three-day supply of non-perishable food
2) Bottled water
3) Medications
4) Personal hygiene items such as toothbrush and toothpaste, soap, and hand sanitizer
5) Extra clothing
6) Blankets and pillows
7) Important documents such as identification and insurance papers

Can I bring my pet to a hurricane shelter?

Pets are generally not allowed in hurricane shelters, except for service animals. If you have a pet, you should make arrangements to stay with friends or family outside of the evacuation zone or find a pet-friendly hotel. Be sure to bring enough food, water, and medication for your pet.

What documents should I bring to a hurricane shelter?

It is important to bring important documents with you to a hurricane shelter. These documents include identification, insurance papers, and important medical documents. Make sure to keep these documents in a waterproof container or plastic bag to protect them from water damage.

Do hurricane shelters provide bedding?

Hurricane shelters may provide cots or mats, but they may not provide bedding. It is important to bring your own blankets and pillows to ensure that you are comfortable during your stay at the shelter.

What food and water should I bring to a hurricane shelter?

When packing food for a hurricane shelter, it is important to bring non-perishable items that do not require refrigeration. Examples of non-perishable food items include canned goods, crackers, granola bars, and peanut butter. It is also important to bring enough bottled water for each person in your group.

What should I bring to keep myself entertained in a hurricane shelter?

During a hurricane shelter stay, it is important to have activities to keep yourself and your family entertained. Some ideas include books, board games, playing cards, and puzzles. It is important to remember that electronic devices may not be allowed in the shelter due to limited power sources.