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How to Stock Up for a Hurricane and a Pandemic

May 5, 2020

A pandemic and a hurricane? Yes, it could happen.

Imaging self-isolating at home, and being without power, running water, or access to food for days, if not weeks. It’s a reality we hope never materializes, but one we can’t be certain of. Therefore, attempting to stock up on everyday essentials now will make surviving a storm much easier, and it could possibly save your life.

The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season is only weeks away, and experts say it could be more active than normal. Like most of us recently, mitigation experts are adjusting to a new normal in how we prepare.

“This year, because of the coronavirus, we are focused on things we can do at home, items that are affordable, and tasks that are simple."

Leslie Chapman-Henderson is the CEO and founder of the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH). She was a bit surprised to find out, based on a recent survey, that more people are taking preparation seriously.

“Seven percent more plan to prepare this year over last, likely because they know they might not be able to get what they need if they wait until the last minute,” she added.

Leslies also suggested to sign up for online notifications on items that may be out of stock.

According to the Florida Division of Emergency Management, emergency kits should hold at least seven days worth of food, water and clothing per person. If that seems out of reach for you now, starting with just three days worth can go a long way.

If you’re in a hurry, we’ve provided a few ready-made lists from our various partners below.

The supplies don’t all have to be purchased at once, unless you and everyone else wait until the last minute. And we all know how much stress that can cause. To help you formulate your own list, we’ve outlined things you might want to consider the next time you find yourself at the store or doing some online shopping.

Food and Water

Your Pets

Clothing and Linens

Medical Supplies

Household Items

Important Documents


Hurricane season officially begins June 1 and lasts through November 30. The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) has a newly designed website with many great resources for continuing your storm season preparations. You can also find helpful information in the Florida Storms app under the “Get Ready” section.

Sources include nearest National Weather Service office, National Hurricane Center, and the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (@FloridaStorms).
Sources include nearby emergency management agencies, FEMA, and your local NPR affiliate. 
Sources include the Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Highway Patrol and other nearby traffic information.

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A service of WUFT at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications 

Partners of the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network include: Florida's Division of Emergency Management, WDNA (Miami), WFIT (Melbourne), WMFE (Orlando), WFSU (Tallahassee), WGCU (Fort Myers), WJCT (Jacksonville), WKGC (Panama City), WLRN (Miami), WMNF (Tampa-Sarasota), WQCS (Fort Pierce), WUFT (Gainesville-Ocala), WUSF (Tampa), WUWF (Pensacola) and Florida Public Media.

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