Packing Your Hurricane Supply Kit
by: Bill Stamps, June 1, 2011 9:06:00 pm
It’s just another weekday afternoon at the Lowe’s Home Improvement store in the Gulfgate Shopping Center. Manager Marie Robinson is about to head to a meeting and passes by two large boxes labeled hurricane supplies.
"Every year we put these out, usually May."
The supplies are actually just flashlights and batteries. But they’re displayed in the front of the store, near the checkout stands. These are for customers putting together their hurricane supply kits. So what should you pack away?
Experts say the first things to go in the kit should be water, food, first aid supplies and clothes. The food should be nonperishable and enough to last for three days.
Other items recommended are toilet paper, garbage bags and soap.
When it comes to boarding up your house, Robinson says most people wait until the last minute and most of the wood is gone.
"We will traditionally sell through every bit of lumber that we have, plywood. It starts with plywood and as that runs out people get creative and start using other types of lumber to where we sell almost all the lumber we have, as people are boarding up their homes and preparing to leave."
Robinson was the store manager three years ago during Hurricane Ike. She remembers the mad rush of people when forecasters said the storm was coming to Houston.
"The last few days become mayhem."
Her advice — plan ahead.
"If you need a generator for medical reason or comfort reasons, that’s something that you have to plan ahead for if at all possible."
"We had people waiting in a line for twelve hours for a generator that might get here on a truck."
It may be the start of hurricane season, but you wouldn’t know it by the weather. Standing outside it’s hot, not a cloud in the sky, and it hasn’t rained much in Houston in a long time. Still, the experts say stock up on your supplies just in case. They say it’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.
For a checklist, visit the HCOEM Hurricane Preparedness Checklist Webpage.