Vital supplies to have ready when authorities say it's time to go

If emergency management directors call for an evacuation of your neighborhood, what do you take?

Contents of disaster supply kits vary, depending whether a family has children, pets, or members with disabilities. Generally, everyone's kit should have:

  • Water for drinking and bathing. Have at least one gallon of water per person, per day, for at least seven days

  • Food that does not need refrigeration - canned goods, protein bars, peanut butter, etc. - that can feed your family (and pets) for three to seven days

    • Bring a manual can opener and disposable utensils

  • A two-week supply of medicines. Keep an updated list of family medicines and dosages, along with doctor and pharmacy phone numbers

  • Personal hygiene items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, toilet paper, and, if appropriate, diapers and baby wipes

  • Important papers including driver's license, special medical information, insurance policies, property inventories, and your insurance agent's name and phone number

  • Consider taking irreplaceable items such as select photographs or keepsakes

  • At least one complete change of clothing and footwear, and blankets or sleeping bags if staying at a shelter or place without sleeping accommodations

  • A battery-powered radio and flashlight

  • first-aid kit

  • Cash and coins

Know your evacuation zone, and register for HCFL Alert. After ensuring your family is prepared and safe, ask neighbors how you can help. They, too, should prepare their homes, pack a disaster supply kit, and have an evacuation plan.

If possible, arrange to stay with a relative or friend who lives in a safe, sturdy place outside evacuation zones. Emergency shelters are the locations of last resort.

Only a few Hillsborough County emergency shelters allow pets. At pet-friendly shelters, dogs and cats must be in appropriate crates, and their owners must have proof of a current license and vaccination.

If authorities announce an evacuation of your neighborhood, don't panic. Move at a steady pace, and follow your plan. Don't risk your life by staying home or waiting until it's too late to leave.

When evacuating your home, lock doors and windows; turn off electricity, water, and gas if officials tell you, and tune to local radio and television broadcasts to stay informed.

Last Modified: 12/20/2023, 8:51:45 PM

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