Although native and longtime Floridians tend to brush off hurricanes, these storms kill hundreds every year. A lack of preparation can mean the difference between life and death, and a little preparation goes a long way when it comes to surviving hurricane season in Florida. Hurricane season isn’t over until November 30, so it’s not too late to prepare for the worst. You might be wondering what to stock up on for hurricanes on the horizon.
Living in Florida should mean that everyone is ready for hurricane season, but all too often when it comes to hurricane preparedness Florida has a reputation to be woefully unprepared. First of all, be sure to subscribe to text and email emergency notification updates. Read on for our helpful guide on how to prepare and what to stock up on for a hurricane.
Florida Hurricane Preparedness List
Prepare A Basic Emergency Home Kit
You should stock up on non-perishable food items and bottled water year-round because those are the first things to sell out before a hurricane. Be sure to plan for the entire family, including babies, those with dietary restrictions and pets. Other important supplies: cash, blankets, manual can opener, flashlight, first aid kit, battery-operated radio and portable phone charger (with batteries). Plan for supplies for each person for at least a week. Organizations like the Red Cross offer valuable resources and checklists to help.
Make A Family Plan (and practice it)
Be sure that your family knows what to do if a storm hits and you aren’t all together. Do you know your home’s flood zone and evacuation zone? Do your kids’ schools or daycares have an emergency plan or alternate pickup site? Make sure you know where to go if you need to evacuate, such as a family or friend’s house on higher ground or public shelter.
Do Your Homework
Many Florida nonprofits, as well as ready.gov, offer in-depth guides about what to do before, during and after a hurricane. These lists can offer peace of mind and help you know what to expect during a hurricane. Also, be sure to double-check your homeowner’s or renters’ insurance policy. Flood insurance may also be necessary. For many policies, there is a one month waiting period before taking effect. If you do need to leave, take photos of your home and any valuables in it for insurance purposes later.
Make A Packing List
In the event you need to evacuate, having a packing list in advance will make the process smoother. Be sure to include a few changes of clothes (per family member), several days of necessary medications and a comfort item from home (for each child). Also include any items for pet care, photos for homeowners insurance, a first aid kit and important phone numbers.
Hurricane-proof Your Home
Whether you are staying or going, be sure your home is structurally prepared well in advance. Consider updating or making improvements to your home such as a new roof or impact windows well in advance of an impending storm.
Consider Family Members Such As Special Needs Individuals Or The Elderly
Florida offers a special needs registry which helps first responders make informed decisions on how to help you in an emergency.
If a hurricane is approaching, remember to save your local area’s non-emergency number for updates. In many areas, that number is 211 or 311. Statewide in Florida, the toll-free State Assistance Information line can be reached at 1-(800) 342-3557.
If you’re in the process of hurricane-proofing your home and would like information on cost-efficient and reliable impact windows or doors, please contact us today.