The “Emergency Kit” section of Charleston County’s Hurricane Preparedness Guide is five pages long, but let’s face it. You live in a coastal town. You’ve probably been through this before, and you probably have a tub of batteries, flashlights, and canned food tucked away in a closet somewhere. But just in case, we’ve decided to highlight some of the most essential essentials, plus a few necessities we know we can’t do without during a storm. To see Charleston County’s full list of recommendations, visit

Water, one gallon per person per day.
Canned meats, fruits, and vegetables. Might as well eat that can of peas before it expires.
Canned juices, milk, and soup. Do they still make those giant cans of Juicy Juice that I remember from my childhood? They were the best.
Staples like spices and sugar.
High-energy foods. Peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars, trail mix.
Vitamins. It might be a while before we see the sun again, so some extra Vitamin D couldn’t hurt.
Comfort foods. Yeah. That’s on the official list. Because when that Toblerone craving kicks in mid-storm, you need to be ready.
Foods and supplements for infants, elderly persons, or persons on special diets. And don’t forget medications either. Get those prescriptions refilled ASAP.
A can opener. And no, not an electric one. Work those arm muscles.
Utensils. Now’s your chance to break out that Swiss Army knife.
Pet supplies. That means dry and canned food, plus an extra collar and leash. And maybe a pet poncho for when Fido inevitably has to poop in middle of the storm.
Cash. ATMs might not work, banks probably won’t be open, and until we come up with a new universal barter system, you’re going to want that paper.
Batteries. Because when the electricity goes out, you’ll still be able to use
Flashlights, candles, other sources of light. And don’t forget the waterproof matches to light the candles, or the extra batteries for the flashlights. Otherwise, what was the point?
First Aid Kit. Obviously.
Baby stuff, but only if you have a baby.
Board games. This isn’t a necessity, but who doesn’t like playing Monopoly by candlelight? Even if the electricity is on?
Booze. OK, that’s not on the official list. But maybe it counts as a “comfort food.” Let’s make up a Tropical Storm Andrea drinking game. Every time you see a TV reporter in a poncho, take a shot!

And this is really the tip of the iceberg. Download the City of Charleston’s guide for the full list.