Emergency kit essentials for hurricane season

Though the main effects from hurricanes and tropical cyclones are usually seen along the North Carolina coast, impacts can be felt across Central North Carolina as well.

The main issues we see are flash flooding from heavy rain, isolated tornadoes, damaging winds and power outages.

The American Red Cross is one of the first to respond to hurricanes and natural disasters. Barry Porter, Chief Executive Officer of the Eastern North Carolina Red Cross, says that packing an emergency kit can be lifesaving.

"Have a plan, stay informed and then build this kit," Porter said. "Kits are important to us because you may have to evacuate an area and you need to know what you'll need to have on hand to be of help."

The American Red cross recommends packing the following in your emergency kit:

- Water-at least a 3-day supply
- Food-at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food
- Flashlight
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Medications (7-day supply)
- Medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents(medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
- Cell phone with chargers
- Family and emergency contact information
- Extra cash
- Emergency blanket
- Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
- Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
- Extra set of car keys and house keys
- Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
- Rain gear
- Insect repellent and sunscreen
- Camera for photos of damage

Porter says it's also a good idea to fill up your car with gas before a big storm hits, to avoid long lines at the pump. Power from cars can also be used to charge your electronic devices.

CLICK HERE FOR THE RED CROSS HURRICANE SAFETY CHECKLIST (.pdf)
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