Preparing Your Workplace Hurricane Kit

With ample warning and tracking, hurricanes (and tropical storms) should not catch any business owner or manager by surprise. Despite the warning, many businesses choose to stay open as a hurricane or tropical storm moves into the area. For these businesses, a hurricane supply kit can prove to be essential for worker wellness or even survival.

A hurricane supply kit is simply a collection of basic items your workplace may need in the event of an emergency where your employees are stranded at the workplace. It's best to assemble your company's hurricane kit well in advance of an emergency. You will probably not have time to search for the supplies you need or be able to shop for them. Often, supplies may be in limited or short supply if left to the last minute.

It may also be unsafe for employees to leave the workplace or return to their homes in the wake of a hurricane, so in such cases survival may be dependent on the employer's preparedness. Having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours will provide a good base for post-disaster survival situations. Always keep in mind that it may take hours (or days) for local relief workers to be on the scene and provide support to everyone.

Some key items to include in your workplace emergency supplies kit: 

  • Battery – operated radio and extra batteries
  • Non-perishable foods, at least 3 days worth per person
  • Water – at least one gallon per person, per day for at least 3 days
  • Flashlights
  • First aid kit
  • Cell phones
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Solar charger for electronic devices such as cell phones and radios

Your emergency supplies kit can also include many more useful items, including:

  • Local maps
  • Blankets
  • Dust masks
  • Personal hygiene products such as moist towelettes, soap and toothpaste
  • Whistle for emergency distress calls
  • Emergency shelter materials such as plastic tarps, rope and duct tape

Hurricanes can cut off access to power, water, phones and more – often for weeks at a time. There is no such thing as being “too prepared.” Afterall, when it comes to Mother Nature, preparing supplies may be the key to survival for your employees if a natural disaster strikes while at work.