If you’re new to New Orleans, or any other area with the potential for hurricanes, you probably haven’t experienced the need to have not just an emergency kit, but an evacuation kit as well.
We’re here to give you our local take on what needs to be in each one.
Your emergency kit is designed to help you survive a few days without power. Remember, hurricane season falls smack in the hottest months of the year in New Orleans, so water is at the top of the list. Right behind a portable generator, if it’s within your budget.
Note: Do not wait to purchase a generator until after a storm moves into the Gulf, because everyone and their grandma will be lined up to buy their own. We can’t quite figure out how so many people need to buy one every year, since you’d think only new residents would need one, but…
- 1 gallon of water, per day, per person. Don’t forget extra water if you have pets.
- Gas (for that generator you stood in line to buy), propane if you have a gas grill and charcoal if you’re going old school with your grill. Fill up your car too, in the event that something chances and evacuation is called for.
- 3 day supply of non-perishable food. Here’s your chance to nosh on pop-tarts and spam, if you’ve been longing for your childhood, but you can also use your grill to heat up canned foods. Don’t forget the manual can opener!
- Formula and diapers
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Radio and extra batteries
- Paper plates, paper towels, plastic utensils
- Moist towelettes or baby wipes
- First aid kit
- Car charger for cell phones
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities if necessary
If you decide, or the city decides for you, that evacuation is called for, there’s a whole different kit that needs to be put together.
Experienced residents will tell you to keep all of these items in a waterproof tote so that you can grab and go.
- Personal documents such as birth certificates, ID, bank records, school records and insurance policies
- Your most treasured personal items such as photos, jewelry and art
- Cash and credit cards
- Clothing for several days
Before you evacuate, have a plan. Where will you go? Where will you stay? Is it pet friendly?
When deciding on what needs to go with you during an evacuation, think about what cannot ever be replaced. Those are the things that need to go with you, not your flip flop collection.