Storm Prep Checklist
What to have on hand in case disaster strikes

Powerful storms have been occurring more frequently, and it is important for your household to be prepared. Power outages, fallen trees blocking roads, and multiple inches of snow can make it dangerous if not impossible to leave your home during or after a storm hits. This isn’t an excuse to start hoarding (no one wants to repeat the great TP shortage of 2020), but keeping a kit of emergency supplies is also a smart idea. In this article, we’ll share our list of items to have on hand, along with some helpful tips so you can weather the storm.

Sources of Water

The general rule for drinking water is to have at least one gallon per person, per day. Of course, it is impossible to know how long the power will be out for, so use your judgment on how much is an appropriate amount to store. Bottled water that is FDA approved will have a longer shelf life, so can be kept on hand for future use.

Water for food preparation and sanitation will use at least another two quarts per day, per person. This water doesn’t have to be bottled; any potable source will do. If you have enough advanced notice of the storm, you can freeze containers of potable water, which can then be kept in the fridge to help keep food cool.

Storm Prep List: Water Sources

Toiletries and Medication

Along with water, you should have an adequate supply of personal hygiene items on hand including hand soap, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, and hand sanitizer. Dish soap, toilet paper, paper towels, along with towels and washcloths are other items you don’t want to run out of if you’re required to shelter in place.

You should have one week's supply of any required prescription medication, along with non-prescription drugs like antacids, pain and fever relief, or antihistamines. At this time, you should evaluate your first aid kit, and replenish any missing items.

Storm Prep List: Toiletries and Medication

Lighting and Communication

If you have one, dig out your battery-powered or wind-up radio, along with any spare batteries for it. This can serve as both a source of entertainment and a way to get news updates on the situation. Be sure to charge cell phones and electronic devices, but try to use them sparingly, especially if the outage is expected to last a couple of days. Portable battery packs are an extremely useful device that you should have charged and ready to go.

Flashlights and camp lanterns should also be brought out of storage, and spare batteries on hand. If your lantern is fuel-powered, be sure to have an extra supply of fuel. Candles, lighters, and matches are all other sources of light to have in your storm kit.

Storm Prep List: Lighting and Communication

Household Items

If you have a generator, ensure that it is maintained and operating ahead of time. If it needs some work, you can read our article on generator maintenance here. Be sure that you have an adequate fuel supply on hand, but store that fuel separately – not in your generator. Another handy item to have on hand is plastic utility tarps. They have many uses, but some examples are if your roof leaks or a window breaks in a storm, the tarps can provide temporary relief until a full repair can be made.

One of the most important things to have on hand for a power outage is cash. If you do need to purchase items, stores won’t be able to process a debit or credit transaction if there is no power or internet connection. Or if the neighborhood kids come around to clear the snow from driveways, you have a way to compensate them.

Storm Prep List: Household Items

Additional Tips

If you have advance notice of the storm, be sure that your vehicles are fueled up, along with filling an appropriate fuel storage container for your generator, if you own one. If snow is in the forecast, have shovels, salt, scrapers, and brushes ready to go. If you have a wood-burning heat source, ensure that you have an adequate supply of dry firewood. Finally, filling a tub with water gives you an additional water source, along with the ability to flush your toilet as a power outage means no water pump.

Storm Prep List: Additional Tips

Your household may have other items they deem necessary, but we hope this list gives you a good jumping-off point for creating your own storm preparedness checklist. If you need replacement parts for your generator, you can find them by searching for your model number. Be sure to follow our YouTube Channel so you don’t miss any of the action!