HOUSTON -- When there's a tropical system in the Gulf, it's time to stay weather aware and prepare in case the storm comes our way.
If you wait too long, you're likely to find long lines and empty shelves at grocery stores and anyplace that sells plywood, flashlights, generators or other storm prep items.
Here are some of the items you'll want to have on hand if a storm comes our way.
- Water: at least 1 gallon daily per person for 3-7 days; also fill bathtub and other containers; Gatorade is good to fend off dehydration
- Food: at least enough for 3-7 days; non-perishable packaged or canned food; juices; foods for infants or elderly family members; snack foods; food for special diets
- Non-electric can opener
- Cooking tools, fuel
- Paper plates and cups, plastic utensils
- Bedding: Blankets, Pillows, etc.
- Rain gear
- Sturdy shoes
- First aid kit, medicines, prescription drugs
- Toilet paper, paper towels, trash bags, plastic gloves
- Toiletries, hand sanitizer, hygiene items, moisture wipes, dry shampoo
- Flashlights, extra batteries, lantern
- Radio: Battery operated and NOAA weather radio
- Telephones: Fully charged cell phone with extra battery; chargers; traditional (not cordless) telephone set
- Cash (with some small bills) and Credit Cards: Banks and ATMs may not be available for extended periods if there's a power outage or heavy flooding.
- Important documents: Place in a waterproof container or watertight resealable plastic bag; Should include insurance; medical records; bank account numbers; Social Security card; prescriptions; list of important phone numbers in case cell phone battery dies
- Tools: Keep a set with you during the storm
- Gas: Fill up your vehicles several days before landfall is expected; Gas stations could lose power during a storm and supply trucks may not be able to reach the area
- Pet care items: Proper identification, immunization records, medications, ample supply of food and water; a carrier or cage; muzzle and/ or leash
- Bleach without lemon or any other additives
- Fire extinguisher
- Mosquito repellent
- Toys, books and games for children
- Duct tape
- Face masks, hand sanitizer
- Generator and fuel
The American Red Cross also has a hurricane safety checklist you can download here to prepare your family from danger.