RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Residents across Central Virginia are preparing for the possible impacts Hurricane Florence may bring later this week. 

Florence rapidly strengthened into a potentially catastrophic Category 4 hurricane Monday morning as it closed in on North and South Carolina, carrying winds and water that could wreak havoc over a wide stretch of the eastern United States later this week.

Many have already flocked to gas pumps and grocery stores to stock up on the essentials. At the Kroger in Carytown, some shelves were already empty Monday afternoon.

Emergency management officials have stressed how important it is to have a hurricane survival kit and you don’t have to spend a lot of money to create one.

RELATED: Florence strengthens to Category 4 storm

Before you grab a shopping cart to load up on hurricane survival supplies, open up your cabinets at home. You may have most of what you already need. 

Home Disaster Kit

Water & Food

  • At least one gallon of water per person per day for at least 3-5 day
  • At least a 3-5 day supply of non-perishable food


  • Ready-to-eat canned meat, fruits, vegetables
  • Canned juices, powdered milk, soup
  • Non-perishable high-energy food: nuts, peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars
  • Food for infants and elderly persons

Tools & Supplies

  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Hand-crank or battery-operated radio
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First-aid kit
  • Paper plates, cups and plastic utensils
  • Extra cash or travelers cheques, loose change
  • Manual can opener, utility knife
  • Map of area (for locating shelters or evacuation routes)
  • Matches in waterproof container
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Insect repellent and sunscreen
  • Camera (damage photos)
  • Extra set of car keys and house keys


  • Toilet paper, towelettes, soap, hand sanitizer, liquid detergent, feminine supplies
  • Personal items, plastic garbage bags and disinfectants

Clothing & Bedding

  • Sturdy shoes or work boots
  • Rain gear
  • Hats, work gloves, sunglasses
  • Extra set of clothing
  • Blankets or sleeping bags

Baby Items

  • Formula, diapers, bottles, powdered milk, and medications

Special Items for Adults

  • Prescription and non-prescription medication that are regularly used, denture needs, contact lenses, eye glasses, hearing aid batteries

Important Records

  • Keep copies in a waterproof, portable container
  • Will, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks and bonds
  • Passports, Social Security cards, immunization records
  • Bank accounts and credit card numbers
  • Inventory of valuable household goods
  • Family & emergency contact information
  • Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)

WAVY and the Associated Press contributed to this report.