Living on the Gulf Coast means you need to be well prepared for 'weather adventures', and I always like to get ready for anything, especially since we are right in the middle of hurricane season.

There are plenty of reasons to get things assembled for hurricanes, tropical storms, and tropical depressions, and I have my own set of essentials that are ready to go go from June 1 - November 30. We keep these items ready, just in case, and they have proved handy on many occasions. I'm always adding items as I see fit, so please feel free to add your own in, but these are what works for my family.

  • Candles - when all the electricity is out, and you are stuck at home or work, these are lifesavers. During Hurricane Rita, I was working at the radio station, and the only light we had were the candles I use for aromatherapy while I'm on the air
  • Bottled Water - enough is never enough. Trust me on this one.
  • A Pillow and Blanket - if you need to evacuate at the last minute, a pillow and blanket might be last on your list, but you will love having that one little piece of home with you later on. I had to camp out on someone's floor during a hurricane once, and was so happy I had these two items.
  • Extra Phone Charger - don't ever forget this. It could be the difference between your family knowing your safe, and not. If your phone dies, you can't call for help, either.
  • Phone Charger for Your Car - if you don't have one, get one. It might be the only way to charge your phone if electricity is out.
  • Aspirin, Chap Stick, Hand Sanitizer - essentials on any given day, but if you're not at home, these can be really, really helpful to have. You can also include a toothbrush, toothpaste, and small mouthwash with these.
  • Small First Aid Kit - yes, I'm one of those people who cut her foot walking in a flooded yard after a storm. Don't leave home without it. And make sure you bring your medications, too
  • Snacks - anything that can give you energy is good. Granola bars, nuts, dried fruit, chips, rice cakes, beef jerky, cheese and crackers. And because you don't know if your electricity will be out for awhile, a manual can opener is essential for canned tuna, chicken, or even soup, in a pinch
  • Batteries - for the flashlight you don't want to forget either. I also have a a portable AM/FM radio which has gotten me through several hurricanes and tropical storms as well. And yes, it runs on batteries
  • Matches, Lighter - always a good idea to keep these handy.