These past few weeks have reminded us all how important it is to be prepared for hurricanes and other natural disasters. When in the potential path of a hurricane, you only have a few days to make evacuation plans, pack your necessities and vital records, and make all the necessary preparations for the oncoming storm. With so much to do in so little time, having a disaster preparedness kit already assembled puts you one step ahead. After all, as we see time and again, stores quickly run out of critical necessities before the onset of the storm. Stocking up on supplies beforehand can help keep your family safe and healthy.
You can find a list of items for your disaster kit at Ready.gov/Build-a-Kit. Your kit will prepare you for a variety of disaster situations, from having to feed your family and light your home without electricity to returning home after a storm unable to use running water.
Being prepared doesn’t have to break the bank. We visited our local Dollar Tree to see how many items we could find for just $1 and we were pleased to find nearly everything on the list.
LED Lights, Batteries, and/or Candles
You should always be prepared to lose electricity at your home in the event of a tropical storm. Even without a direct hit, heavy winds can down trees over powerlines, and heavy rains can delay repairs.
If you have yet to endure a powerless post-hurricane night, trust me, it gets very dark. You will want to be prepared to light the main rooms in your home after the sun goes down.
Traditionally, folks have relied on candles for this purpose. If candles are your preference, you can find shelves packed with tea candles, stick candles, and matches at Dollar Tree for your kit.
You can also find a variety of LED-powered lights that can light your home without a flame. From LED flashlights to electronic candles, Dollar Tree carries a variety of small lights perfect for night-lighting your home for several days, as well as affordable battery options.
You could even clip some of these book lights onto shelves to light up entire rooms. For just $1 each, you may as well stock your kit abundantly so you can safely navigate every room in your home without electricity.
First Aid and Medicine
During and after a natural disaster, you and your family will have limited access to medical services, and many stores will be forced to close until they can be repaired or restocked, or until their employees can safely return to work. It is critical that you have the supplies on hand to treat an illness or first aid situation. Luckily, many of the supplies you need for your kit, from over-the-counter medicines, like painkillers and cold medicines, to first aid supplies, like bandages and antiseptics, can be acquired cheaply at Dollar Tree.
The aftermath of a tropical storm often entails hazardous debris and contaminated stormwater. When returning home, you will want to protect yourself and your family with face masks to avoid inhaling airborne particulates and diseases. You can find face mask options at Dollar Tree in both the hardware aisle and health and wellness section.
When evacuating from a storm, you may not have room for your complete collection of tools. But when returning home, you may need to make some immediate repairs and will be thankful to have a collection of emergency tools by your side. From hammers to wrenches to handsaws to rope to universal screwdrivers, you can find plenty of tools at Dollar Tree for your emergency kit.
Shelf-Stable Foods and Bottled Water
Bottled water always quickly sells out at grocery stores upon news of an oncoming hurricane. Avoid the panic by stocking up on bottled water early in hurricane season. You can find large bottles of spring water in 6-packs at Dollar Tree.
You may endure several days without electricity and need to plan to eat accordingly. It is recommended that you avoid eating food in your refrigerator, leaving it closed to keep the food inside as cold as possible during the outage to avoid spoilage.
You will want enough supplies of shelf-stable foods in your kit to eat at home without electricity. Many people stock canned goods like soups, tuna, and vegetables for these situations, and you can find many such options at Dollar Tree. You can also find manual can openers in the kitchen supplies section. It would be smart to pack a dedicated can opener in your disaster kit for emergency situations.
Another option is to rely on healthy snacks like nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and jerky to subsist during a storm. These foods do not require any dishes and can be eaten without any preparation or heating. You can find several options of foods of this sort at Dollar Tree.
After a storm, local water systems often become damaged, making tap water temporarily unusable. Prepare for the possibility of not being able to wash dishes by stocking up on paper plates, plastic cups, and disposable cutlery. All these supplies can be found at Dollar Tree.
Garbage Bags and Cleaning Supplies
Prepare yourself for inevitable cleanup by stocking up on garbage bags and cleaning supplies. After dangerous storms, stores often remained closed for their own repairs or quickly sell out of essential products. Make sure you have all you need before disaster hits so you can get life back to normal as quickly as possible. You can always find plenty of these supplies at Dollar Tree and stock them in your kit.
We hope you never need to use your disaster kit, but we hope you’ll be prepared if you need it. Stay safe!