Prepare for a hurricane

It’s already time for another hurricane season? I swear I just restocked batteries and water. But it’s better to be prepared than scramble at the last minute. 

If you’re new to Florida and starting from scratch, it’s best to start now. Seriously. Publix shelves will be empty as soon as a possible hurricane is headed toward the state. For tried and true Floridians, recheck your medical kit and restock your hurricane non-perishable supplies this weekend.

Check out these essential tips to keep you and your loved ones safe.

Hurricane

Understanding hurricane season

Hurricane season refers to the period when tropical weather is most likely to develop around Florida. Our Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June 1 to November 30. It is important to understand potential threats so you can effectively prepare and respond.

The water in the Atlantic and Gulf is warm. Last I checked it was 86. The warm water temperatures, low wind shear and favorable atmospheric conditions create an environment conducive to hurricanes. The time to prepare is now.

2024 Hurricane name list

Alberto
Beryl
Chris
Debby
Ernesto
Francine
Gordon
Helena
Isaac
Joyce
Kirk
Leslie
Milton
Nadine
Oscar
Patty
Rafael
Sara
Tony
Valerie
William

Emergency plan

Create a family emergency plan

Creating a family emergency plan is crucial to ensure the safety and well-being of your loved ones during hurricane season. Here are some key steps to consider when developing your plan:

  • Identify if you are in an evacuation zone. If you are in an evacuation zone, search for a safe location now where you could go if mandatory evacuations are issued. This could be a friend’s house across town, a hotel in Orlando or even heading out of state.
  • Print a list with your family or friends that includes how to contact each other, where to go and what to do.

Assembling a supply kit

Prepare a supply kit with essentials such as non-perishable food, water, medications, flashlights, batteries, and a first aid kit. Include backup batteries and chargers for your devices (cell phone, CPAP, wheelchair, etc.)

Whether you evacuate or not, you will need these items. I like to stock a Tupperware box of basic supplies in my garage so it is available if needed. These items also come in handy when we lose power after a particularly nasty afternoon thunderstorm.

Remember to regularly check and replenish your disaster supply kit to ensure that all items are up to date and in good condition.

Hurricane prep

Securing your home

Securing your home is eessential to minimize potential damage and ensure the safety of your family during a hurricane. Here are some tips to help you prepare your home:

  • Reinforce windows and doors with storm shutters or plywood to protect against high winds.
  • Trim trees and remove any dead or weak branches that could pose a threat during a storm. This should be done now so debris is collected before a storm arrives.
  • Clear gutters and downspouts to prevent water buildup and potential flooding.
  • Secure outdoor furniture, plants, and other objects that could become projectiles in strong winds.
  • Review your insurance coverage to ensure it is adequate for potential hurricane-related damages.

Taking these precautions can significantly reduce the risk of property damage and protect the well-being of your family.

Staying informed and prepared

Staying informed and prepared is crucial during hurricane season. Here are some ways to stay updated and ready:

  • Monitor weather forecasts and pay attention to any hurricane warnings or watches issued by local authorities. We like to follow the local weather guys – Denis Phillips, Mike’s Weather Page and Paul Dellegatto on social media as they help with preparation and guidance before, during and after a storm.
  • Sign up for emergency alerts and notifications to receive timely information about potential threats. The FEMA app allows you to receive real-time weather and emergency alerts, send notifications to loved ones, locate emergency shelters in your area and more.

By staying informed and prepared, you can effectively respond to hurricane-related emergencies and ensure the safety of yourself and those around you.

My top 5 tips as a life-long Florida who has seen her share of hurricanes:

  • Prepare now for a storm. You and everyone around you will be trying to get bread, canned goods, plywood and gas. Always have a box of emergency supplies on hand and update throughout the year as needed.
  • Make sure your propane tank for your grill is full or you have a back-up (helpful for cooking without power)
  • Fill bathtubs with water before you lose power. This can be used to flush toilets
  • Keep gas tanks half full during hurricane season so you don’t have to wait in long lines if you have to evacuate
  • If you have a generator, make sure you know how to safely use it (outdoors with proper ventilation), test it now to make sure it still woks and have extra gas on hand

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