Home & Outdoors

12 essentials you need to prepare for a hurricane

Stay safe when bad weather hits.

Storms Credit: Photovs/Getty Images

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I never thought storms were scary—until I got stuck in a hurricane at our beach house in North Carolina. I was only 10 at the time and my parents decided to ignore all of the evacuation warnings, stubbornly stating that we could tough it out and that "it wouldn't be that bad."

Well, it was that bad. So bad, in fact, that my parents finally gave in and realized we needed to evacuate (in the middle of the storm, which made things seem that much worse). I remember sheets of rain, wind gusts that felt like they would actually blow me away, and scarily big ocean waves crashing on the beach. And most of all, I remember being huddled in the main room, with one piddly flashlight. Not exactly the ideal situation...

If you're worried about hurricane season—or just want to be prepared for any extreme weather headed your way—here are 12 essentials to buy now before the storms hit.

1. Our favorite flashlight

Flashlight
Credit: Reviewed.com/Jonathan Chan

Electricity off, flashlight on.

Reviews: 180
Rating: 4.4 stars

If you take nothing else away from this list, at least make sure you have a flashlight. In our opinion, the Olight S2 is the best because it's lightweight yet durable and uses a Total Internal Reflection (TIR) lens that is so intense, it can light up a 10-foot radius from 21 feet away. It also has a strong magnet on the bottom so you can use it hands-free if necessary.

Get the Olight S2 Baton for $38.97

2. The best rechargeable batteries

Batteries
Credit: Panasonic

Better batteries? Yes, please.

Reviews: 3,157
Rating: 4.5 stars

No power means no electricity which means you'll definitely need a pack of reliable batteries. Our experts prefer these Panasonic rechargeable ones—especially for an emergency preparedness kit—because they can hold 85 percent of their charge for up to a year at a time and they come fully pre-charged and ready to use.

Get the Panasonic Eneloop Pro AA Rechargeable Batteries for $26.30

3. This long-lasting candle

Candle
Credit: Emergency Essentials

Who knew a candle could burn for so many hours?

Reviews: 334
Rating: 4.1 stars

When the power is out for hours—or even days—on end, your favorite Bath and Body Works candle isn't going to cut it. Instead, you'll want this emergency-ready candle which users say really does provide over 100 hours of light and can be reused infinite times until it burns out. One person even said they've had their candle for over 3 years and it still has half of its fluid left! People also like that it's smoke-free and completely odorless.

Get the 115 Hour Plus Emergency Candle for $11.99

4. This battery-powered radio to get alerts

Radio
Credit: Kaito

Tune into one of 7 NOAA channels by turning the dial.

Reviews: 3,115
Rating: 4.5 stars

Radios may seem old-fashioned, but in the case of an emergency, you'll need one to stay updated on the latest weather warnings, evacuation notices, and other storm updates. This one, which is certified by the National Weather Service, has over 2,000 five-star reviews because it has great sound quality and reception (it picks up AM, FM, and seven NOAA weather stations) and is easy to use (simply turn the dial to one of the pre-programmed channels). Bonus: It also has a built-in USB port so you can use it to charge your devices, too.

Get the Kaito KA500 5-Way NOAA Weather Alert Radio for $49.99

5. This top-rated USB charger

Charger
Credit: Reviewed.com/Michael Desjardin

Dead devices will be a thing of the past.

Reviews: 277
Rating: 4.1 stars

There's never a good time for your phone to die, but during an emergency like a hurricane, it's especially problematic (and even scary). Keep your phone juiced up for as long as possible with our experts' number one portable charger. We love that it has multiple ports—two USBs and one USB-C—so you can charge more than one device at a time and that it has an incredibly high capacity, able to charge a smartphone many times over before the pack itself has to be recharged.

Get the RavPower Turbo Series 20100mAh for $49.99

6. This first aid kit that has everything you'll need

FirstAid
Credit: Swiss Safe

This kit has it all—except the doctor.

Reviews: 2,723
Rating: 4.8 stars

Bandages, alcohol pads, instant ice packs, gauze, safety pins... there isn't much that this 120-piece first aid kit doesn't have. It's a necessity in any home in case something happens when you're housebound and unable to get to a hospital. This kit in particular has received glowing reviews for being small enough to store anywhere but well-stocked enough that you can have peace of mind that you're prepared for any number of injuries or accidents.

Get the Swiss Safe 2-in-1 First Aid Kit for $27.88

7. These clips to protect your windows

Clip
Credit: Pylox

Board, clip, lock, repeat.

Reviews: 111
Rating: 4.7 stars

One of the best ways to keep you and your family safe during a hurricane is by covering your windows. If you're using pieces of plywood (or even storm shutters), secure them in place with these locks, which are the only tension clips of their kind on the market. People who have used them in past storms highly recommend them, noting that they're as easy to use as they are effective. One man said he tried them during Hurricane Irma and despite 115+ mph winds, his window boards—and the clips—never budged an inch.

Get the Pylox Hurricane Window Clips for $29.95

8. This multitool that should be in every survival kit

Tool
Credit: Reviewed.com/Jonathan Chan

Your entire toolbox in one handy gadget.

Reviews: 1,032
Rating: 4.2 stars

Part of what makes extreme weather so frightening is that you never know what's going to happen. A leak in the roof? A burst pipe? A door blown off its hinges? No matter what havoc that heavy winds or torrential rain wreak on your home, this multitool—which we named the best value multitool of the year—will help you take care of it. With everything from screwdrivers to pliers to a knife, it gives you the most bang for your buck.

Get the Gerber MP600 for $35.68

9. These storm-proof matches

Matches
Credit: UCO

These aren't your average flimsy matches.

Reviews: 1,890
Rating: 4.6 stars

You probably already have matches in your home. But you probably don't already have storm-proof matches like these, which have an almost perfect rating on Amazon. Stored in a secure case, the matches are both windproof and waterproof and will burn for up to 15 seconds. The best part? According to users, the matches can get completely soaked and still relight. A.k.a they're a must for hurricane season.

Get the UCO Stormproof Match Kit for $7.75

10. This portable generator that people swear by

Generator
Credit: WEN

No electricity, no problem.

Reviews: 644
Rating: 4.5 stars

Having a generator on standby for when the power goes out is great in theory but they can also be super costly. Instead, keep this lightweight portable generator in your garage to pull out when bad weather hits. One of the top five generators on Amazon, it's praised by users for being very fuel-efficient and for having a variety of port options so you can hook up multiple appliances or devices. According to one person who used it during Hurricane Irma, it kept their family's refrigerator, freezer, TV, and air conditioner running for four straight days.

Get the WEN Portable Inverter Generator for $421.33

11. These wipes to use instead of showering

EpicWipe
Credit: Epic Wipe

Stay clean—no water required.

Reviews: 142
Rating: 4.8 stars

You've been stuck inside for three days and you're starting to feel—and smell—kind of funky. The only problem? Without water, you can't exactly shower. Enter the Epic Wipes, which are biodegradable cleansing wipes for your body. Fans love their large size (each wipe is 19.5 by 30.5 in., which is 16 times larger than other wipes) and the fact that they leave you feeling as clean as if you had taken a shower.

Get the Epic Wipes for $24.99

12. This leak-proof gas can so you can stock up

Gas
Credit: No-Spill

The earlier you stock up on gas, the better.

Reviews: 2,320
Rating: 4.5 stars

The first rule of storm survival: Never be caught without gas. After all, no one can forget the pictures on the news of mile-long gas station lines during the last hurricane season as people frantically tried to fill up to evacuate. Be prepared before the bad weather strikes with this popular gas can, which people rave is easy to pour from and doesn't leak. It also has an automatic shut-off feature, where it will stop pouring once your tank is full so you don't overfill.

Get the No-Spill 2-1/2-Gallon Poly Gas Can for $23.99

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Prices are accurate at the time this article was published, but may change over time.

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