Preparing a hurricane survival kit

  • Published
  • By Airman Seth Haddix
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

Hurricanes are a common occurrence in the Gulf Coast during hurricane season starting June 1 through November 30. In hurricane season, there are supplies that should be included when preparing a hurricane survival kit.

A hurricane survival kit is recommended for safeness and preparation and includes water, food, household items and health essentials. If you own a pet, their care items should be packed as well.

“Because of the nature of disasters, we don’t always see them coming,” said Roger Swartz, Keesler Office of Emergency Management planning specialist. “Staying prepared is paramount because once the event happens, you can’t just run to the store. They can occur at any time of day.”

Here is a checklist of items recommended by the Mississippi Department of Transportation for a a survival kit.



  • Drinking water (one gallon per person per day for 14 days)

  • Water for cooking and hygiene (one gallon per person per day)

  • Water for pets


  • Non-perishable packaged or canned food to last 14 days

  • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables

  • Canned or boxed juice

  • Canned or boxed milk

  • Powdered coffee or tea

  • Bread, crackers and cookies

  • Special food for babies and the elderly

  • Cereal

  • Soup

  • Peanut butter and jelly

  • Granola bars

  • Trail mix



  • Cooler for ice and food storage

  • Flashlights with extra batteries or hand-crank

  • Car charger for cell phones

  • Battery operated digital TV with car charger adapter

  • Grill with extra propane, charcoal or Sterno

  • Waterproof matches

  • Paper plates, bowls and cups

  • Napkins, paper towels and toilet paper

  • Water purification tablets

  • Outdoor extension cords

  • Plastic eating utensils

  • Important family documents

  • Diapers

  • Book, games, puzzles, or other activities for children

  • Blanket

  • Towels

  • Cleaning supplies

  • Work gloves

  • Duct tape

  • Multi-tool

  • Waterproof tarps

  • Plastic sheeting

  • Rope

  • Basic tool kit

  • Moist towelettes

  • Extra cash

  • Maps

  • Bicycle helmet

  • Emergency generator



  • Two week supply of prescription drugs

  • Two week supply of vitamins

  • Over the counter pain reliever

  • Toiletries and hygiene items

  • First Aid Kit

  • Sunscreen

  • Mosquito repellent

  • Plastic garbage bags

  • Antibacterial hand soap



  • Non-perishable food

  • Water

  • Medications

  • Documentation and license

  • Crate or pet carrier


Preparing your home can minimize damage and protect you and your family. MDOT recommends gathering materials to secure your property.

This emergency home readiness checklist can help to prepare your home.



  • Be prepared to cover all of your home’s windows by installing permanent storm shutters or plan to board up windows with 5/8” exterior grade or marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install.

Note: Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.

  • Reduce roof damage by installing straps or additional clips to fasten your roof to the frame structure.

  • Trim trees and shrubs so they are more wind resistant.

  • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.

  • Reinforce your garage doors with a counterbalancing kit.

  • Bring in all outdoor furniture, garbage cans and anything not tied down.

  • If you have a boat, determine how and where to secure it.



  • Shut off utilities and propane tanks.

  • Turn your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting and leave the doors closed.

  • Fill a tub with water.

  • Unplug appliances and electronics.

  • Listen closely to advice from local and state emergency officials.

  • Fuel and secure vehicles.

  • Notify neighbors and a family member outside of the warned area of your evacuation plans.

  • Stay with friends, relatives, an inland hotel or as a last resort, go to a designated public shelter outside of the flood zone.

  • Leave mobile homes in any case.


Swartz finds the first step to being prepared is to stay updated.

“It is important to utilize the resources we have,” said Swartz. “If you follow our social media and download the Air Force Connect app you can stay up-to-date.”

Being prepared for a hurricane will help you survive through and thrive after it. It is important to keep everyone safe, and evacuate the area if it is recommended.