Survival kit for staying home

PINELLAS COUNTY — If you are staying home during a hurricane, here’s a list of items to consider for your survival kit. Keep items in airtight plastic bags or containers. Replace stored water every six months and double check battery expiration dates.

One of the most important things to include in your emergency survival kit is your prescription medications. But, what happens when an emergency is declared and your insurance company claims it is too early for you to get a refill?

In 2006, the Legislature passed the Emergency Prescription Refill bill (Florida Statute 252.358 and 462.0275). This law requires all insurers and managed-care organizations to suspend refill-too-soon restrictions when a patient seeks a refill in a county:

  • Currently under a hurricane warning issued by the National Weather Service
  • Declared to be under a state of emergency in an executive order issued by the Governor
  • Has activated its Emergency Operations Center and its emergency management plan

This law also allows patients outside of these areas to get an emergency 72-hour refill if the pharmacist is unable to readily obtain refill authorization from the doctor. Please talk with your doctor and pharmacist now about how this new law can affect your prescriptions.

In addition to having a supply of your medications on hand, keep a list of each one you take, including the name of the doctor who wrote the prescription, the name of the drug, dosage instructions and the name of the pharmacy where you had it filled.

Suggested items for a “Stay Kit”

  • One-week supply of food that requires no cooking and fluids to drink
  • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables
  • Nuts, beef jerky and trail mix
  • Raisins, peanut butter and granola bars
  • Formula or baby food
  • Canned juices or sports drinks
  • One gallon of water per person per day
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Utility knife
  • Cups, plates and plastic utensils
  • Cooler and ice
  • Pet food

First aid supplies

  • Adhesive bandages, gauze pads and tape
  • Soap and anti-bacterial hand gel
  • Antiseptic
  • Latex gloves, scissors and tweezers
  • Thermometer
  • Sunscreen
  • Over-the-counter pain reliever
  • Anti-diarrhea medicine and laxative
  • Anti-itch cream

Tools and emergency supplies

  • Flashlight and lanterns
  • Battery-operated radio
  • Extra batteries
  • Matches or lighter in a waterproof container
  • Compass and local maps with shelter locations
  • A shut-off wrench and other tools
  • Paper and pencil
  • Plastic sheeting and tarps
  • Elastic cords or rope
  • Tarps and plastic sheeting


  • Portable toilet (5-gallon bucket, heavy trash bags, chlorine bleach)
  • Toilet paper and moist towelettes
  • Feminine supplies
  • Personal hygiene items

Clothing and bedding

  • One complete change of clothing and shoes per person
  • Sturdy shoes or work boots
  • Rain gear
  • Blankets and sleeping bags
  • Sunglasses

Kids and entertainment

  • Favorite nonperishable snacks
  • Powdered milk
  • Stuffed animal or favorite toy
  • Blanket and pacifier
  • Diapers and wipes
  • Card and board games
  • Books for all ages

For more information, visit

Pinellas County Emergency Operations Center Department of Emergency Management – 727-464-3800

During an emergency activation, call the Citizen Information Center at (727) 464-4333.

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