Camping & Survival

Hurricane Preparedness Checklist: Katrina—Years Later

Satellite picture of a hurricane

Nine years ago, a Category 3 hurricane made landfall on America’s Gulf Coast, displacing hundreds of thousands of people from Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana. After all was said and done, this hurricane categorized as the third deadliest hurricane in United States history.

Though the majority of people evacuated before Hurricane Katrina hit, close to 120,000 residents of New Orleans, Louisiana did not leave.

By the time the storm made landfall, the city of New Orleans was already water-logged from hours of rain. Due to the city’s geographical location—laying mostly undersea level and being surrounded by water—flooding was inevitable. Katrina’s power was too great for the city’s levees and within a very short time, St. Bernard Parish and The Ninth Ward were underwater.

In the end, Hurricane Katrina killed 2,000 people, affected 90,000 square miles and cost $100 billion in damages. One of Cheaper Than Dirt’s! own spent time deployed to New Orleans to aid in the aftermath. He says, “Finding bodies became commonplace, and we felt relieved when we entered homes and only smelled mold.”

A hurricane is when a large, circulating tropical storm starting in a warm ocean reaches a surface wind speed of 74 miles per hour. The Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1 and goes through November 30. While the Eastern Pacific hurricane season runs from May 15 to November 30. Hurricanes are generally 2,000 times larger than tornadoes and last an average of 10 days. The states most at risk of hurricanes are the coastal areas of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, West Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine and all of Hawaii and Florida.

The safest place to be during a hurricane is away from where it hits. Fortunately, weather experts give us a fair warning of storms. Your best survival plan is to evacuate the area. However, if evacuation is impossible or for preparing to return after evacuation, you will need plenty of food, water and other supplies for your family for at least 10 days. It is most likely city utilities—water, electricity and natural gas—will be unavailable.

Below is a hurricane preparedness checklist of things you will need to help you and your family survive hurricane season.

  • Potable water
  • Non-perishable food
  • Alternative means to heat food
  • Clothing, including rain gear and a good pair of boots
  • First Aid Kit
  • Toys, diapers, etc. for infants and children
  • Pet care kit (food, carrier/leash, immunization records, etc.)
  • Travel toiletry kit
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Battery operated radio with AM/FM and NOAA reception
  • Critical documents in waterproof pouch (banking info, insurance, passports, birth certificates, etc.)
  • Full fuel tanks in all vehicles along with additional spare fuel cans
  • Blankets and pillows
  • Cash, including small bills
  • Portable toolset
  • Fully-charged cell phone, preferably with spare battery
  • Essential medications

To learn more about hurricane preparedness, read the following articles:

Do you live in a hurricane-prone area? What do you do to prepare? Share it with us in the comment section.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (13)

  1. I have my camper ready to leave at a moments notice during the hurricane season. All my weapons leave with me. As a Deputy sheriff I had to ride out hurricanes Hunberto, Rita and Ike. I will nevver ride out another cat 2 or higher storm. As far as supplies the camper has a 50 gallon water tank and twin 30 propane tanks. We have it packed with MRE’s and other non-perishable foods.

  2. I have a Aspect Solar EnergyBar 250 DC Battery Pack and Inverter. It has a very long power storage capacity. And, am quite pleased with it. There’s power when I need it.

  3. Get a Power inverter for your vehicle 12v. d.c. to 110v. ac so you can use and charge all your devices and even run a tv. I have a 12v. dc boat generator/power inverter hooked up to aux. battery with 110v. ac output @ 600 Watts in my 4WD Surburban. Can get one @ a boat supply place. Small and compact w/ one outlet with small food print on fender well.

  4. A battery powered radio? Most people have one of those in your car, built in and ready to go. Not great during a storm, but you are hunkering then. Afterwards, you can use your vehicle to get emergency messages.

    If you have a car charger, you also can keep your phone going (assuming the towers still work).

    1. @ Oakspar.

      What good is battery powered radio in your car, going to do for you if its under six-feet of water. Or, if there’s a twenty-ton tree laying on top of it.

    2. @ Secundius,
      Good point – when Fran came through NC we didn’t have much flooding where I am in central NC, but a truly fantastic number of trees came down, many on top of cars. Floyd, now there was a soaker!

    3. @ Pete in NC.

      Just before I was Drafted into the Army, I was living in Northern Virginia. Just outside Washington, DC. When in June 1972 Hurricane AGNES, Swept Through, The Old Alexandria City Reservoir Dam was EVISCERATED by AGNES and a 12,000-pound School Bus got Picked-Up from a Local High School and just HURLED through the AIR into a Shopping Center more than 1/2-mile away, like Someone was Tossing a Small Stone. ALL WE NEEDED, was “Fire and Brimestone” too finish the job of God’s Wrath…

  5. I think an important little tidbit is to mention guns for protection. They were systematically confiscated by the ‘free’ government of the people of USA, and rape/robbery gangs came right in after them. People wake up: have a plan to give them the guns they want, and have a few more buried (WITH ammo) where they cannot find them.

    1. @ Nathan Lambshead: You beat me to the punch. Commenters get on here antagonizing others to show one single example where the government has outright confiscated guns – well, here it is. And it was done on a large scale, and 100% enforced.

      People were not allowed to pass through distribution and checkpoints, denied food, water, shelter and medical assistance until they submitted to unlawful searches of their bodies and personal effects for any signs of a weapon.

      If they refused and turned to go elsewhere, they were considered suspicious. Lawful gun owners just trying to protect their families were brought to their knees in front of their wife and children, shackled and arrested in violation of the Constitution.

      Teams of National Guardsmen working on the orders of corrupt law enforcement went from house-to-house and unlawfully entered on the premise they were looking for survivors, but instead illegally search and confiscated thousands of firearms.

      Some homeowners unaffected by the floods were ordered and forced to the ground at gunpoint in their own homes while searches were conducted. If anything was found they were arrested in their own homes as lawful gun owners.

      There are still hundreds of pending lawsuits and claims for compensation against their unlawful seizure of guns and other property. Since they called it a state of emergency, no evidence tags or inventory of any kind was in place. Many weapons were fine if left where they were in the homes, but instead became ruined in the rains and water after their illegal removal by the military and law enforcement.

      But no, these idiots think it could never happen… well, it already has… and it will again.

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