Kauai’s hurricane season stretches from the beginning of Summer through the end of Fall (June through November in our hemisphere) so being ready in the event of an emergency isn’t just a good idea, it’s part of responsible safety planning. The following check-list is based upon recommendations by the Kauai Civil Defense Agency to get you through at least 3 days post-natural-disaster. Also, most of these provisions can be stored in an easy to grab-and-go location like the trunk of a car or near the entrance (or exit) of your home or place of employment.
Medication: Extra medications are a good idea, especially if your livelihood depends on it. Examples of this would include heart pills or doses of insulin. Also, consider packing rash-cream for babies and first-aid implements like bandages, aspirin, and Ibuprofen to reduce swelling of injuries.
Food: It’s recommended that you have a minimum of 3-days-worth of food, per-person; If you stock away 7-10 days-worth, even better – especially if you have pets. Think like a camper: pack items that don’t require refrigeration like individually packaged cereals and fruit cups, beef-jerky, nuts, seeds, granola and high-calorie nutrition bars.
Bug Repellent: Kauai is host to a robust variety of tiger mosquito, so pack plenty of bug goop or citronella candles. Also, consider some of the alternatives that are not only healthier for you, but eco-friendly as well.
Personal Toiletries: Consider packing castile soap as part of your toiletry-kit, it is gentle enough for skin, hair and teeth, but may also be used for laundering clothes. Also, avoid common skin conditions by doing like the locals do. Pick up a big bottle of Selsun-Blue and use it at least once a week, to wash hair and skin, to stave off microbial infections.
Water: It’s recommended that 3 quarts be the absolute minimum per person, per day; Aim to cover at least 3-days-worth in your disaster survival kit. But to maximize hydration, drink all-natural coconut water. Mixed with a little salt, it’s proven to hydrate better than many leading sports-drinks.
Cash: Having some cash on hand makes sense, when the power may be out for a while leaving automated access to your funds impossible. Also, after a natural disaster it could be a while before ATM machines and banks in the area reopen for business.
Ice-Chest or Cooler: You may need to keep some stuff cool (think food, medications and compresses used to treat injuries).
Portable Radio and flashlights: A necessity if you are going to stay informed during a disaster and move about safely at night. Just be sure to either bring extra batteries, or invest in solar powered equipment and forgo the batteries.
Clothing: You are going to need at least a couple changes of clothes and a heavy duty rain-poncho, rain-coat, or storm-worthy umbrella. Packing an extra pair of prescription eye glasses would also be wise. Also, consider packing tabis for the family for tramping through mud and muck. They’re easy to keep clean; just rinse with water and air dry.
Valuable papers and Identification: Be sure to bring any important documentation you may need such as proof of house insurance, deeds to your house and personal identification.
Special needs plan: This comes into play when you must consider people that are elderly with limited mobility, handicapped in some way, or if you’ve a newborn at home. Making plans in advance will go a long way in reducing the likelihood that you’ll unwittingly put loved ones in harm’s way.
Water Purification Kits or tablets: After a natural disaster, such as that inflicted by a Hurricane, access to clean drinking water could be at a premium. So make things easier and healthier, should you need to purify what water you do have access to.
And remember, that even the busiest person can prepare a disaster preparation kit. Just break it down into manageable steps. For instance, every payday, you could add another item like extra batteries and water purification tablets. You could designate different days of the week to put together copies of your important documents and consolidate all of your medical prescriptions into one easy-to-grab bag. Most supplies will fit into a single backpack or two if you plan and pack carefully. So make a list and check it regularly to see if there is something else you may need in the event of an emergency.