At that time, we had ONE child. We packed some air mattresses and evacuated more so because Michael was asked to be on call and we went with him. Now, with 8 children, several with specific healthcare needs, we have to think through an evacuation much more in depth than we did at that time. Even without an evacuation, just the loss of power for several days or the inability to buy gasoline or to go to the grocery store could be a very difficult situation for our family. Knowing that we have the appropriate things at our home to be able to live for 10 days with no power or running water is a necessity. Things like Pediasure, diapers, and meals that can be made without the need of refrigeration for the multiple different diets our kids are on are all important to think about well in advance. For instance-- 10 days worth of Pediasure, for us, is 5 cases. Do we always just have that "on hand?" Nope!
For our family, we keep two lists. One is what we need to have on hand if we are not evacuated but we may be out of power and water for up to 10 days. That's stuff we just need to keep accessible including flashlights and a non-powered can opener as well as dry cereal, water, and other essentials. The second list is what, in the case of an evacuation, we would need to pack up and take with us. This includes everything for "camp style" living such as pack n plays, essential medications, specific cups that the kids drink out of, and clothing. In that case, we would hope to have access to some stores, since if we're leaving we'd hope to be able to get to somewhere far enough out that we would not be directly affected by the storm threatening this area. Things like a few days' supply of diapers and a few days' supply of food would be good to have, but beyond that we should be able to grocery shop and wash clothing.
In the last 2 weeks, we've had two power outages that have lasted several hours each. That has served as a good reminder that it's important to be prepared for hurricane season BEFORE the first storm is threatening the coast!
I will be posting our 'generic' hurricane kit lists here soon just to share in case anyone else is needing a starting point to go from for your own preparation for either hurricanes or other types of natural disasters that your community may face.