In Part One of this story, published Monday, we looked at some unique recommendations designed to bolster a well-stocked hurricane survival kit.
My newspaper recently published its annual 2013 Hurricane Guide, which is a great place to start researching how to assemble your kit.
Here are some more suggestions, which you’re not likely to find in most hurricane guides.
With the potential for 125 mph winds, horizontal rain and other hazards, I strongly recommend good eye protection. I stock my kit with mil-spec eye pro. They’re cheap, easy to find at most gun shows and capable of stopping high-speed spall and ballistic threats, so they are perfect for your hurricane kit.
White lights, like food, are one item you can’t overstock. I prefer Surefire or Streamlights, but my kit contains several different models. If you’ve spent time in the field, you will appreciate the utility of a head-mounted light. My kit has dozens of 3V batteries, which are becoming more common but can still be somewhat tricky to find. Make sure one of your lights has a red filter, as it will not kill your night vision. Remember, it will take 30 minutes or more for your night vision to return after just a brief exposure to a white light. One of the biggest tactical mistakes I’ve seen is the overuse of white light. Use it sparingly, or not at all, if it can be avoided.
After a hurricane, the last thing I plan for me and my family is sleeping outdoors. Either we hunker down and ride it out in our home, or we displace to a shelter or hotel. However, that doesn’t mean we’re not prepared. In addition to several tents, I have stocked four East German shelter halves/ponchos. Those of you old enough to remember the two Germanies will recall the camo pattern. The difference between the East German model and the US shelter half is that the German model can be worn as a poncho. They cost around $5 on the surplus market, and come with stakes, poles and cordage.
One piece of kit I would never leave behind is a sniper veil. It redefines ‘multi-use.’ It can be used as a field-expedient sling, a sweatband, a tourniquet, bandage, belt, sun shade and of course for concealment. Add a few leaves, throw it over your head and you will disappear. British and Portuguese models seem to work the best.
In addition to canned goods, MREs, freeze-dried food and Spam, of course, my hurricane kit contains several bottles of Survival Tabs. One bottle offers an adult enough calories for three days, at 12 tabs per day. The container is small enough to fit in a canteen cover. They cost around $20, and have a 10-year shelf life. The taste isn’t bad, better than most high-cal survival foods.
Body armor is a personal decision, but when you need it, it’s nice to have around. There are two basic types, ceramic plate and flexible, usually made out of Kevlar or Spectra. Ceramic plate armor will stop most rifle rounds. Flexible body armor will stop most handgun rounds. Plate armor is heavy and will beat you to death if your don’t have a good carrier. Flexible body armor is somewhat easier to wear, but not by much. Body armor is hot, sticky and will restrict your breathing. If you wear it for an extended period of time, proper hydration is a must.
I have two criteria for binoculars: small and light. The same rules apply for spotting scopes. Unless I’m going to the range, I leave the large-magnification binos and scope in the safe. I like binoculars which are small enough to fit in a pocket or pouch. Large models are too clunky and always seem to get in the way.
Bleach is one of the most important items for a hurricane kit. Like batteries, you can’t stock too much. A cap full of bleach can purify water for drinking. It can disinfect nearly anything. If you sprinkle bleach on trash or waste, it will keep critters at bay. A bleach solution can be used to treat minor scrapes to ward off infection, which can be lethal during a survival situation.
Here’s to hoping we never need our hurricane kits! Please let me know if there’s anything I left out.