Disaster Supplies Kit
Listed below are some suggested items to keep in your disaster supplies kit. Start today by gathering things from around your house or purchasing them at a local store.
- Water, one gallon of water per person and pets for at least five days. Extra water is needed for preparing food and personal hygiene.
- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food such as canned meats, canned vegetables, canned fruits, etc.
- Bottled beverages
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio with extra batteries
- Hard-line telephone with jack (not cordless which depends on electricity)
- 2 weeks supply of medication
- Flashlights and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Non-electric can opener
- Local map for evacuating or finding shelters
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket per person
- Extra clothing, sturdy shoes
- Rain gear
- Toilet paper, towelettes, soap, liquid detergent, feminine supplies, personal hygiene items
- Plastic garbage bags and newspapers for pets
- Fire extinguisher
- Waterproof matches
- Paper plates, cups, and utensils
- Extra charged battery for cell phone
- Insect repellent
- Battery-powered fans
- Baby formula, diapers, and food
- Dentures and supplies
- Contact lenses and supplies
- Extra eyeglasses
What To Do - Hurricanes
Before the Storm
- Secure your property.
- Cover all of your home’s windows with plywood or shutters. Remember tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
- Bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans, and anything else that is not tied down.
- Make sure all trees and shrubs are well trimmed.
- Turn the refrigerator and freezer to the coldest settings to help preserve food for as long as possible.
- Fill bathtubs and empty containers with water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets.
- Turn off propane tanks.
- If you have a car, fill the gas tank and check oil levels.
During the Storm
- If you evacuate, bring extra cash and games for children.
- If you stay home, do not go outside during the storm.
- Park your vehicle in a garage or in an area away from trees and poles.
- Turn off all appliances that could be damaged in a power outage, such as a computer.
- Find a safe room in your home and remain there. Stay away from windows and glass doors. A closet, hallway, or small interior room is best.
- Be aware that there may be a sudden lull in the storm as the eye of the hurricane moves over. It is not yet safe to leave your home.
After the Storm
- Stay away from downed powerlines.
Stay out of flood waters. The water may be contaminated or
- Be alert for tornados. If you see a funnel cloud take shelter in an
- If you evacuated for the storm, do not return home until local authorities say it is safe.
- Exercise caution when examining your area for hurricane damage. Roads, buildings, and trees may be unstable.
- After power is restored, check refrigerated food for spoilage. When in doubt, throw it out.
What To Do - Earthquakes
Before the Earthquake
- Identify potential hazards in advance such as cracks in ceilings, loose shelves, and insecure overhead lighting fixtures. Repair these problems as soon as possible.
- Place large, breakable, or heavy objects on lower shelves within your home.
- Keep a flashlight and extra pair of shoes in a bag that is tied to the bottom of each family member’s bed in the event that an earthquake occurs at night.
During the Earthquake
- If you are indoors before an earthquake, find a safe place under a sturdy table or against an inside wall where nothing can drop on you. Stay away from windows. Cover your face with your arms.
- If you are outdoors before an earthquake, find a clear spot away from
buildings, trees, and powerlines. Drop to the ground.
- If you are in a car, slow down and drive to a clear place without buildings, trees, and powerlines. Remain in vehicle.
After the Earthquake
- Expect aftershocks. Each time you feel one, drop, cover, and hold on.
Look for and eliminate small fires. Eliminate fire hazards by turning off the gas.
- Clean up spilled medicines, bleaches, gasoline, or any other flammable liquids immediately.
- If your home is unsafe, then get out.
- If you are in close proximity to the coast, beware of possible tsunamis. Stay away from the beach. If tsunamis were to occur seek higher ground immediately.
- If you are trapped under debris, do not move about. Cover your mouth with clothing if possible. Tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can locate you. Shout only as a last resort. Shouting can cause you to inhale dangerous amounts of dust.
What To Do - Wildfires
Before the Wildfire
- Evacuation is often the best option.
- Shut off all gas.
- Remove combustibles within a 30-foot perimeter. Close outside attics, eaves and basements, windows and doors.
- Wet the outside of the house and leave the pool and any other outside containers filled with water.
- Leave every light in the house on to make more visible in heavy smoke.
- Leave doors and windows closed but unlocked for firefighters to gain quick entry into your home to fight fire. The entire area will be isolated and patrolled by police.
During the Wildfire
- If you find yourself in the midst of a wildfire, stay inside. The fire will pass before your house burns down and you can survive.
- If you are in your car, stay inside. Roll up windows and close air vents. Drive slowly with headlights on. Do not drive through thick smoke.
- If you are outside, lie face down on a road, depression, or ditch. Use anything that will shield you from the fire’s heat. Stay down until after the fire has passed.
After the Wildfire
- After the fire is over, check for any remaining sparks or embers. Remain on fire watch for several hours.
What To Do - Tornados
Before the Tornado
- Determine in advance where you will take shelter in the event of a tornado warning. Storm cellars or basements provide the best protection.
- If you see or hear any of the signs of a tornado, such as a loud roaring noise, take shelter immediately.
During the Tornado
- Stay in your shelter, or a center interior room in the lowest level of the building.
- Stay away from doors, windows, and outside walls. Get under a sturdy desk or table if available and place your arms over your head.
- If you are in a car, get out immediately. Go to the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or storm shelter.
- If you are outside with no shelter, lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands. Do not get under an overpass or bridge; you are safer in a low flat location.
- Never try to outrun the tornado in urban or congested areas in a car.
- Watch out for flying debris. Flying debris causes the most fatalities in a tornado.
After the Tornado
- Leave damaged buildings and steer clear of downed powerlines.
What To Do - Floods
Before the Flood
- Unplug all electrical devices and turn off utilities from main switch.
- Bring in furniture from outside and move all valuables to an upper floor if available.
- If feasible, construct barriers to stop floodwater from entering such as sandbags.
During the Flood
- Evacuate if you have the time, if not seek the highest ground available in your location.
- Do not walk through moving water. Use a stick or object to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
- If you are in a vehicle, do not drive through flood waters. Abandon your vehicle and move to higher ground if you can do so safely.
After a Flood
- Do not drink tap water until authorities determine it is safe.
- Avoid floodwaters, they may be contaminated or electrically charged.
- Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads can be weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.
- Stay away from downed power lines.
- Use extreme caution when entering buildings; there may be hidden damage, particularly in foundations.
- Service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits, and leaching systems as soon as possible to prevent serious health hazards.
- Clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Mud left from floodwaters can contain sewage and chemicals.
Prepare Your Vehicle
With hurricane season here, Shell Oil Products US and Motiva Enterprises LLC are encouraging consumers to prepare for potential evacuations and do their part to maximize fuel supply.
During a hurricane, temporary and sporadic supply interruptions may be unavoidable; however Shell and Motiva have put many systems in place from the offshore rigs to the retail stations to better maintain consistent supply of gasoline for consumers.
There are also steps that consumers can take during a Hurricane Watch to prepare their car, stretch their fuel and help maintain supply during a crisis.
HURRICANE WATCH – Plan for an Evacuation by Preparing your Car
Regulated by the Emergency Alert System, a hurricane watch is issued for a specified coastal area in which a hurricane or a hurricane-related hazard is a possible threat within 36 hours.
An evacuation can be conducted in a well-organized manner by heeding the advice of local officials to leave early and taking proper precautions for your vehicle. Below are a few tips on how to best prepare your vehicle and stretch your fuel before an evacuation.
- Plan Escape Routes. Know the official evacuation route(s). Have a map handy, and tune into your local emergency broadcast radio station.
- Fill up your tank of gas early to help prevent sudden overloads on fuel supply in your area, and conserve the amount of gas used for the next 36 hours by reducing the amount of daily driving. Combine your errands into one outing to avoid multiple trips. Avoid traveling during rush hours if possible.
Replace dirty or clogged air filters. Replacing a dirty or clogged air filter with a clean one can improve gasoline mileage by as much as 10 percent.
- Make sure your tires are at the correct pressure and not over or under inflated. Keeping tires at the correct pressure can improve your gasoline mileage by about three percent.
- Always use the recommended grade of oil in your engine. Following your manufacturer’s motor oil recommendation can improve gasoline mileage by 1 to 2 percent. Look for motor oil that says “Energy Conserving” on the API performance symbol to ensure it contains friction-reducing additives.
- If time allows, visit your regular mechanic for a check up of all key fluids like engine oil, power steering, brake and transmission fluids, windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant. This will better ensure that long periods of travel don’t result in car failure.
HURRICANE WARNING – Leave Early and Stretch your Fuel
Also regulated by the Emergency Alert System, a hurricane warning is issued when a hurricane with sustained winds of 74 mph or higher is expected to make landfall in 24 hours or less.
If the hurricane reaches Category 2 status, most states will order a mandatory coastal evacuation. You should complete your storm preparations and leave when directed. Consider some simple tips when evacuating:
- Leave early. If an evacuation is issued for your area, leave as soon as possible. Driving during the cooler parts of the day will make the trip easier on your vehicle and its riders. Reducing the amount of air conditioning used can increase fuel efficiency by as much as two miles per gallon under certain speed and operating conditions.
- Fuel before you go. Fueling vehicles before setting out on the road can help eliminate unnecessary stops and reduce traffic at stations along the original evacuation routes, allowing oil and gas companies more efficient re-supply of impacted areas.
- Stretch your Fuel. Good driving habits can increase your fuel efficiency significantly.
- Drive smoothly, avoiding heavy acceleration or braking. Speeding, rapid acceleration, and braking can lower your gasoline mileage by 5 percent at lower speeds and by 33 percent at higher highway speeds.
- Use cruise control on major roads and in free-flowing traffic. Maintaining a constant speed can improve gasoline mileage. Gasoline mileage usually decreases when driving at speeds over 60 mph.
- Avoid idling. When you idle, you get 0 miles per gallon although your car is still using fuel. It is better to turn your vehicle off in situations where you are idling for an extended amount of time.
Tips on Fuel Handling
The need to fuel generators, emergency equipment and passenger vehicles has increased in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and Shell would like to remind all consumers across the US that it is important to practice safe fuel handling. Whether refueling a motor vehicle or filling up gasoline storage containers, please take a moment to review these safety tips:
When Filling Portable Containers:
- Only store gasoline in approved containers as required by federal or state authorities. Never store gasoline in glass or any other unapproved container.
- When dispensing gasoline into an approved container, place it on the ground to avoid a possible static electricity ignition of fuel vapors. Containers should never be filled while inside a vehicle or its trunk, the bed of a pickup truck or the floor of a trailer.
- Manually control the nozzle valve throughout the filling process. Fill the container slowly to decrease the chance of static electricity buildup and minimize spilling or splattering. Keep the nozzle in contact with the rim of the container opening while refueling.
- Fill container no more than 95 percent full to allow for gasoline expansion.
- Place cap tightly on the container after filling - do not use containers that do not seal properly.
- If gasoline spills on the container, make sure that it has evaporated before you place the container in your vehicle; and please report spills to the attendant.
- When transporting gasoline in a portable container make sure it is secured against tipping and sliding, and never leave it in direct sunlight or in the trunk of a car.
When Refueling a Motor Vehicle:
- Turn off your vehicle engine. Put your vehicle in park and/or set the emergency brake. Disable or turn off any auxiliary sources of ignition such as a camper or trailer heater, cooking units, or pilot lights.
- Do not smoke, light matches or lighters while refueling at the pump or when using gasoline anywhere else.
- Do not re-enter your vehicle during refueling. If you cannot avoid re-entering your vehicle, discharge any static build-up BEFORE reaching for the nozzle.
- You can discharge static by touching something metal, such as the vehicle door with your bare hand – do not use the pump nozzle for this.
- In the unlikely event a static-caused fire occurs when refueling, leave the nozzle in the fill pipe and back away from the vehicle. Notify the station attendant immediately.
Additional Safety Guidelines:
- Do not overfill or top off your vehicle tank, which can cause gasoline spillage.
- Never allow children under licensed driving age to operate the pump.
- Avoid prolonged breathing of gasoline vapors. Use gasoline only in open areas that get plenty of fresh air.
- Keep your face away from the nozzle or container opening.
- Never siphon gasoline by mouth nor put gasoline in your mouth for any reason. Gasoline can be harmful or fatal if swallowed. If someone swallows gasoline, do not induce vomiting. Contact a doctor or and emergency medical service provider immediately.
- Keep gasoline away from your eyes and skin; it may cause irritation. Remove gasoline-soaked clothing immediately.