Those of us who have resided in Virginia for some time will undoubtedly remember Hurricane Isabel and the damage it instilled on us in 2003. People were without electricity for weeks, roofs were crushed and streets were impassable. As the weather reports became more severe and warnings were issued around Richmond, hurricane supplies quickly disappeared from the shelves at local stores. Here is a list of ten essential supplies that everyone should have on hand in case of a hurricane.


Bottled water is the number one most important thing you should have on hand in case of a hurricane. Even if your water runs after the hurricane, it could be contaminated. Do not drink it until you receive official word that the water is safe. Purchase a large water cooler refill container at your local home store or purchase several cases of water to ensure you have enough on hand. Plan on having one gallon per person per day on hand and make sure you have at least a three-day supply. Remember to have enough water for any pets you might have as well.


Buy large bags of ice to have on hand in the event of a hurricane. You may need it to keep food cold if you lose power or also for first aid measures if someone is injured as a result of the storm or the ensuing clean-up. Have two separate coolers for the ice – one to keep both ice and food in and one to keep ice alone.

Battery Operated Radio

Battery operated radios will allow you to listen to storm updates in case of a power outage. It will be important to have access to evacuation measures that might be going on around you, find out where shelters are located in your area or just to receive general updates on the storm itself. Make sure the batteries in the radio are new or fully charged and also have plenty of extra batteries on hand.

Rechargeable Lanterns

Rechargeable lanterns are very helpful during a hurricane as the charge lasts for hours so you can read or play games if you lose power at night. Rechargeable lanterns are safer than having a bunch of candles around which can be fire hazards. Make sure you start charging your lantern batteries as soon as you begin receiving warnings that a hurricane is approaching.


Flashlights are a must if you’re trying to find your way around your property in the dark. Have a flashlight for each member of your family and also have a spare one in the house. Make sure all batteries are fully charged and have spare batteries on hand as well.

Nonperishable Food

Have several days supply of canned and MRE food on hand to make sure you stay nourished. Foods like canned tuna or salmon, canned spaghetti or macaroni are good choices that will be safe to eat if you’re unable to heat them. Have a good selection of MREs, in case you can’t set the fire, you will appreciate a warm meal that will boost your morals. You can check XMRE, Eversafe or MRE Star manufactures of MREs and get these meals at a bulk price. Have plenty of snacks on hand especially if you have children. If you have babies, make sure you have adequate food depending on the type of nutrition they are receiving. If you have pets, make sure you have adequate food on hand for them as well.

Manual Can Opener

Purchase a manual can opener at any grocery store so you can open cans during a hurricane.

First Aid Kit

Having a first aid kit is essential in case someone is injured during the storm or during storm clean up. Have an assortment of bandages and antiseptic, cold packs, pain relievers, tweezers, scissors, and antacids. If you or someone in your family takes prescription medication, plan on obtaining a refill before the storm. You won’t want to run out of medication when pharmacies are closed.

Battery operated portable clock

Having a battery operated portable clock will be a big help especially if it has an alarm. You can move it from room to room with you and set it if you need to wake up at a certain time.

Waterproof Tarp and Duct Tape

If you experience a broken window during the storm, you will need to cover the window quickly. Having tarp on hand will allow you to cover the window and protect the interior of the house from the weather. Use duct tape to hold the tarp in place.