Every year, Florida runs the risk of destruction caused by the looming hurricane season. Typically fueled by the media, panic can ensue if you find yourself unprepared! As it is with many things, staying ahead of the storm and curve can save you a headache in the future.
So what are you waiting for; together, let’s prepare for the potential of storms in our North Florida area with our 2020 hurricane season guide!
- Have an Evacuation Plan in Place
Regardless of the threat of a looming storm in our area, it is always important to have an evacuation plan in place. Some questions to ask yourself are: Do you know your flood zone, or evacuation zone? Do you live in a place that has only limited access in and out ( example: The Beaches )? Will you have to navigate around potential hazards? To ensure the utmost safety of your family, we suggest evacuating if your evacuation zone is called for evacuation.
- Have An Emergency Grab-And-Go Bag For You & Pets
It is important to have an easy grab-and-go bag prepped and ready to go for you and your family (don’t forget those fur babies). While this type of bag may seem like something a “prepper” would have on hand, it is something recommended by FEMA. Some important non-medical things to include in the bag can include important numbers such as phone numbers (in case your phone dies!) and banking information. Other important items you may not think of are log-ins, cash, or an extra cord-free phone charger.
So what else should go in your grab-and-go bags? This depends on your family. Do you have dogs, cats, or other animals? How about young children? While it may seem like an immediate financial burden if you have to purchase these items as soon as possible, it’s smart to start preparing long before hurricane season strikes. Making essential purchases slowly over time allows for you to be ready when the season strikes, and allows for more time in between shopping trips.
A basic grab-and-go kit could include the following recommended items:
- Water and Food (enough for a three-day supply)
- A hand-crank radio
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- First-aid kit (keep in mind, if traveling with fur-animals to include items for them as well!)
- More than enough masks for your family to have on hand if staying in a shelter
- Local Maps
- Important Documents
- Create a Checklist
When a hurricane is on its way, and news outlets start hyper-covering the storm, you’re likely to get panicked especially if an evacuation order is in place. At this time, it’s probably not the best time to think of everything you need to take along with you and your family. Before panic rises (or even before a storm’s on the horizon) make a checklist of all important items that are unable to go in your grab-and-go bag until it’s go time. It is also smart to include a checklist of items that need to be completed around your home before the storm hits. For example, you will want to ensure that you’ve turned off your gas, secured any items outside that could be a projectile, and unplug all electronic devices.
- Prepare Your Property
It’s vitally important that you prepare your property for a storm. Small items that you do not think about can become projectiles, causing major damage to your home or others. Declutter your drains and your gutters to allow for optimal water flow, bring in all outside furniture or tie together, and walk the surrounding yard to pick up any tree limbs or debris. It could save you a headache of a broken window down the line! If your area anticipates major wind, consider hurricane shutters or boarding of your windows to protect valuables inside.
- Analyze & Copy Your Important Documents
In a situation of disaster, there’s no guaranteeing you will be able to get back into your home to get important documents such as social security cards, birth certificates, passports, insurance paperwork, mortgage or lease documents, etc. Be sure to make copies of these documents before storms strike, and keep them with you if you are to evacuate! It is especially important to have access to your insurance documents if storm-damage is anticipated.
When a storm threatens our area, the unknown can be alarming. By being prepared with our 2020 hurricane season guide, you can ease the anxiety and make your storm plans easier than ever. We hope you find our tips helpful and you’re already feeling the stress of the hurricane season slip away!