Prep your hurricane kit: remember masks and hand sanitizer

In the age of COVID-19, planning for an already active hurricane season can add another layer of stress. Public health and emergency response officials have already urged the public to prepare for the 2021 hurricane season to keep you and your family safe. One important thing to point out is the CDC recommendation to add additional items to prep your hurricane kit this year, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, such as cloth face coverings, soap, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes for surfaces.

Here’s a list of recommended items to prep a basic emergency/hurricane supply kit:

  • Water (one gallon per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation)
  • Minimum three-day supply of non-perishable food (including ready to eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables; high energy foods like peanut butter, jelly, crackers, etc.)
  • Medications (make sure to fill your prescription and have medicine on hand)
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle (to signal for help)
  • Battery-powered radio
  • Flashlights
  • Battery-powered lantern
  • Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
  • Extra cash on hand
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
  • Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
  • Manual can opener
  • Portable crank or solar-powered USB charger for cell phones
  • Portable backup battery
  • Local maps

Additional emergency supplies to pack based on individual needs:

  • Cloth face coverings (for everyone ages 2 and above), soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes to disinfect surfaces
  • Prescription medications
  • Vitamins
  • Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
  • Prescription eyeglasses and contact lens solution
  • Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes and diaper rash cream
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Tape
  • Cash or traveler’s checks
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – Bleach can be used as a disinfectant when diluted nine parts water
    to one part bleach. In an emergency, treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not
    use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners, FEMA says.

Here’s a list of important papers to take with you in a portable, waterproof container, the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness says.

  • Driver’s license or personal identification
  • Social Security card
  • Proof of residence (deed or lease)
  • Insurance policies
  • Birth and marriage certificates
  • Stocks, bonds and other negotiable certificates
  • Wills, deeds, and copies of recent tax returns

Here are links to Ark-La-Tex counties and parishes and their hurricane prep information

Several websites provide loads of information to help residents establish a game plan including,, and NOAA National Hurricane Center, among others.

Related Topic: Keep the kids busy during the storm with these helpful tips.