Yes, the approach of a hurricane can be daunting, and often overwhelming. That's why being prepared is paramount. And, while the list of things to do can feel endless, it's important to focus on the essentials - food, water, safety and protection. Then, we highly recommend letting the rest go. 

Here's a quick list of what we've found to be "essential" through the years, having experienced a couple of East Coast hurricanes ourselves. 


1. Don't underestimate the power of preparation. No matter the category, time of day, or whether or not the eye plants itself over our sweet coastal town, hurricane force winds can be destructive. First and foremost, make sure that all potential projectiles are securely stored and keep yourself and your family away from windows during the height of the storm. 

2. Food and Water

  • Dry goods, such as granola and/or granola bars, snacks, dried fruit, and nuts are essential. Have canned goods and a manual can opener available. 
  • Have on hand a minimum of a gallon of water per person, per day for at least five days. 
  • Bags of ice and a cooler are recommended for refrigerated items that are worth keeping around for at least a day or so. 

3. Safety 

  • Prepare an emergency plan and share it with the rest of the family. Be sure to include the safest area of the house so that all members know where to meet in the event of an emergency. 
  • Make a list of emergency phone numbers.
  • Keep a tool kit handy, including a multi-tool if possible. 
  • Have a first aid kit on hand in the event of emergency. 

4. Protection

  • Double-check with insurance companies that all is well. 
  • Make sure vehicles are properly fueled and parked in a no-flood zone.
  • Be equipped with the proper clothing: rain coat, boots and/or utilitarian shoes, warm clothing, full-coverage socks, and work gloves. 
  • Have cleaning supplies ready: bleach, white vinegar, baking soda, etc. 
  • Keep sanitizers and soap on hand. 

There are numerous other steps that can be taken to ensure a more idyllic hurricane experience, but these are the must-haves. So, if you're one of many of us stuck between "should I stay" and "should I go" checking these few items off the list (most of which are already in your home) will allow you to be ready regardless of when, where and what you choose.