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FL-DOH encourages "start gathering supplies now": Hurricane Emergency Supply Kit 101


From the Florida Department of Health in Orange County

Hurricane Season is here and there have already been a few formed Tropical Storms. The Florida Department of Health in Orange County wants to make sure you and your family are prepared. We encourage you to start gathering your supplies now.

To assist you, here are some tips:


An emergency supply kit for your home or an evacuation should include items from seven basic areas: (1) water, (2) food, (3) first aid supplies and medications, (4) clothing and bedding, (5) tools and emergency supplies, and (6) important family documents. New this year is (7) COVID-19 supplies.

You will need a supply kit if you must stay at home. It is important to assemble your kit well in advance of an emergency. It is also valuable if you evacuate to a place other than a general public shelter or if you’re unsure of the shelter supplies. If possible, make arrangements to stay with a friend or relative who resides closest to your home and who will not have to evacuate. If a hotel or motel is your final intended destination during an evacuation, make reservations before you leave.

Tips for Making Your Kit

Keep loose items in airtight plastic bags.

Gather the kit’s items in easy-to-carry containers or duffle bags. Put kit within reach of your most regularly used exit.

Check and update your kit and family needs at least once a year.

Tips for Water & Food Supplies

A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts of water daily. Heat and intense activity can double this amount. Children, nursing mothers and those with special needs may require more.

Food preparation and sanitation require another two quarts (minimum) per person daily.

Purchased bottled water that has been sealed is best for storage. It meets FDA guidelines for food, is not as vulnerable to temperature changes as unsealed water and has no shelf life. (Some bottles do have expiration dates, but this is mainly for inventory control.) If for any reason you must disinfect water, use unscented bleach in the ratio of 8 drops per gallon, about 1/8 teaspoon, and let the mixture sit 30 minutes before use.

Choose compact, lightweight foods that do not require refrigeration, cooking or preparation and foods that use little or no water.

Hand washing with soap and water is extremely important. However, in the event water for hand washing is unavailable, use alcohol-based sanitizer.

DOH recommends at least a seven-day supply of food and water in your kit, including:

One gallon of water per person per day

Ready-to-eat canned foods, fruits and vegetables

Staples (salt, sugar, pepper, spices, etc.)

Powdered milk and canned juices

High-energy snacks, non-perishables (protein or fruit bars, nuts, crackers, whole grains)

Food for infants and individuals with special needs

Comfort/stress foods

Pedialyte (to restore hydration if needed)

Mess kits or paper cups, plates and plastic utensils

Non-electric can opener, cooking tools, utility knife

Pet food and extra water for your pet

For tools and emergency supplies, DOH recommends:

Cash or traveler’s checks, coins

Map of the area for locating shelters, local maps

Extra set of car keys and house keys

Battery-operated radio and flashlight, extra batteries

Cell phone with chargers

Fire extinguisher

Pliers or wrench to turn off household water and/or gas

Compass, signal flare, whistle and tube tent

Plastic sheeting, storage containers and bucket with tight lid

garbage bags and plastic ties for sanitation

Tape (duct, masking)

Candles and Matches in a waterproof container

Paper, pencil

Needles, thread

Medicine dropper

Aluminum foil

Toilet paper, moistened towelettes and towels

Soap, liquid detergent, disinfectant and unscented household chlorine bleach

Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items

Infant supplies (diapers, bottles and pacifiers)

For clothing and bedding supplies, DOH recommends:

At least one complete change of clothing and footwear per person

Sturdy shoes, work boots, hats and gloves

A sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person

Rain gear

DOH recommends having first aid kits for your home and cars, including:

A three-day supply of each person’s vital medications

Prescription drugs in original packaging (bottles)

Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes

2-inch and 4-inch sterile gauze pads (4–6)

2-inch and 3-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)

Triangular bandages (3)

Latex gloves (at least 2 pairs)

Cleansing agent, soap and moistened towelettes

Antiseptic and antibiotic ointment

Petroleum jelly or other lubricant

Assorted sizes of safety pins

Scissors, tweezers, needle and thermometer

Tongue depressors (2)

Non-prescription drugs

Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever

Anti-diarrhea medication, antacid and laxative


Mosquito repellent, with DEET when appropriate

Extra prescription glasses, sunglasses and/or contact lenses

Hearing aid and batteries

Personal items required to perform basic daily functions

DOH recommends copies of the following important family documents are kept in a waterproof, portable container within kits:

Insurance policies

Contracts and deeds

Stocks and bonds

Social Security cards and passports

Immunization records and prescriptions

Bank account numbers

Credit card account numbers and company names and telephone numbers

Inventory of valuable household goods

Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates) and wills

Current photographs of family members

COVID-19 Supplies:

Face masks

Disinfectant wipes

Hand sanitizer

For further information on preparing for emergencies, please visit: http://www.floridahealth.gov/index.html for the Florida Emergency Preparedness Guide or https://www.floridadisaster.org/.

The Florida Department of Health is nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts.

Emergency Kit, Florida Department of Health in Orange County, Hurricane Season, tips


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