When it comes to securing your home for a hurricane, Floridians already know a thing or two about what to do. However, hurricane preparation is a serious topic and shouldn’t be left to do at the very last minute. Be prepared now.
Here are some tips for hurricane preparedness to give you peace of mind when the next hurricane or tropical storm hits.
- Clear your yard. Make sure there’s nothing that could blow around during the storm and damage your home. Move bikes, patio furniture, grills, propane tanks, and building material inside or under shelter.
- Cover up windows and doors. Use storm shutters or secure your windows with plywood. This can help keep you safe from pieces of shattered glass.
- Be ready to turn off your power. If you see flooding, downed power lines, or you have to leave your home, switch your power off.
- Fill clean water containers with drinking water. You’ll want to do this in case you lose your water supply during the storm. You can also fill up your sinks and bathtubs with water for washing.
- Check your carbon monoxide (CO) detector’s battery to prevent CO poisoning
When inspecting your property, be sure to trim trees and bushes. If there is loose gravel or rocks on your property – pick them up. Also, if you have rain gutters be sure they are free of debris and secure.
Prepare hurricane kits to take with you if you are forced to evacuate. These kits can also be helpful if you decide to stay in your home. If you are in a mandatory evacuation area be sure to follow the instructions given by the proper authorities.
Recommended items to include are:
- Non-perishable food (enough to last at least 3 days)
- Water (enough to last at least 3 days)
- First-aid kit (include any prescription medication you may need)
- Personal hygiene items and sanitation items
- Flashlights (have extra batteries on hand)
- Battery operated radio (again, have extra batteries)
- Waterproof container with cash and important documents
- Manual can opener
- Lighter or matches
- Books, magazines, games for recreation
- Special needs items: pet supplies and baby supplies if applicable
- Cooler and ice packs
- A plan for evacuation and for if family members are separated
- Fill up your gas tank in your vehicle as soon as possible to ensure that you can evacuate if necessary
Also, consider helping your neighbors that may need assistance in securing their homes or that may need help obtaining supplies.
When a community is affected by a tropical system, local emergency management organizations will designate evacuation shelters for individuals that need to leave their residence. The locations for these shelters are chosen for their increased protection from high winds and relatively low chance of flooding. It is a good idea to know where your local emergency shelters are, in case you need to quickly evacuate your location.
Be safe this hurricane season, friends!