Do a little bit of shopping each week

Buy a little bit extra each week and set it aside as your hurricane supplies.

Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone had an all-inclusive hurricane box ready to go when hurricane season is at its peak?

While it may seem like a daunting — and expensive — proposition to put one of these together, it’s a lot better if you do it one step at a time. 

To help residents complete a hurricane kit with minimal economic impact, the Charlotte County Emergency Management Office suggests methodically stocking up on the things you’ll need in a major weather emergency by shopping for a few things week by week.

Every week, buy a few of these items until you have everything you need. (The closer you are to the peak of hurricane season, the more you may have to purchase at one time.)


• 1 gallon of water per person per day (at least two weeks worth)

• Bottles of juice

• Cans of meat

• Jars of peanut butter

• Crackers

• Dry cereal

• Cans of fruit

• Cans vegetables

• Cans of soups

• Snack bars, energy snacks (granola bars, raisins)

• Instant coffee, tea, powdered drink

• Pet food, baby food (if needed)

• Food for special diets (if needed)

• Sandwich bread (freeze until needed)


• Liquid dish soap

• Unscented liquid bleach

• Mosquito repellent

• At least one large tube toothpaste

• At least one box of sanitizing wipes/ hand sanitizer

• Plastic containers/lids

• Safety pins

• Hand-cranked can opener

• Wooden matches

• Rolls of toilet paper

• Rolls of paper towels

• Large bottle of shampoo

• Personal products

• Flashlight/batteries

• Hammers

• Nails, wood screws

• Smoke detector/battery

• Heavy work gloves

• Duct tape

• At least one of disposable dust masks

• Screwdriver

• Plastic safety goggles

• Handsaw and/or chainsaw, fuel 

• One package paper plates

• One package eating utensils

• One package paper/plastic cups

• Large plastic bags for food

• Plastic wrap

• Aluminum foil

• Battery-powered camping lantern

• Generator and extra fuel

• Broom, mop, bucket

• Waterproof container for important papers

• Portable radio (batteries or hand crank)

• Blankets or sleeping bag for each person

• Portable camp stove or grill

• Stove fuel, charcoal, lighter fluid

• Whistle

• ABC fire extinguisher

• Pliers

• Vice grips

• Leash or pet carrier (if needed)

• Tarps for temporary roof repair

• Crowbar

• Hatchet

• Camping or utility knife

• Local and state road maps

• Window covers and fasteners

• ice chest

• Double-sided tape, zip ties, bungee cords

• Masking tape

First aid items:

• Aspirin or acetaminophen

• Extra prescription medication

• Extra hearing aid batteries

• Rolls of gauze or bandage

• First-aid tape

• Adhesive bandages

• Anti-diarrhea medicine

• Rubbing alcohol

• 2 pair latex gloves

• Hydrogen peroxide

• Petroleum jelly

• Scissors

• Tweezers

• Antiseptic

• Thermometer

• Spare eyeglasses, contact lens supplies

• Items for denture care (if needed)

A big plastic storage bin will work as a container, or use a cooler wrapped with a couple of bungee cords. The bungee cords also may come in handy.

If you get through the season without using the supplies, there is a lot of practical stuff here that you won’t need to buy next year.

And you can always count your blessings and donate the food to a local pantry.


Here's a eight-week shopping list to help you plan:

— Source: Punta Gorda Hurricane Preparedness Brochure (with modifications) and Charlotte County 


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