Five Tips to Being Prepared During Hurricane Season
Hey! We love that you're interested in this, but just a heads up, it's for Southwest Florida.
Hurricane season is already here (as of June 1), and being prepared for a hurricane or tropical storm is important. Whether you’ve just recently moved to Southwest Florida or have lived here for years, here are five quick tips on how to be prepared during hurricane season.
1. Look into flood insurance.
Standard insurance policies don’t cover flood damages, so you’ll need to get a separate policy for it. Homeowners and renters alike can get flood insurance, so talk to your agent or find available coverage at the National Flood Insurance Program’s website, floodsmart.gov. Flood insurance requires a 30-day wait time, so prepare ahead of time.
2. Make sure your house is ready for the storm.
The main goal for your home is to minimize any flood or wind damages. Covering the windows and doors, reinforcing the outer walls and roof, waterproofing the basement if you have one, and securing any outdoor objects helps. If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, consider elevating the entire house.
3. Have proper supplies on hand.
Whether you’ll be evacuating (more on that in the next point), or staying in your home during the storm, you need to make sure you have the proper emergency supplies with you. A minimum of a week’s worth of non-perishable food and water, and 30 days’ worth of medications and first aid supplies are recommended for each member of the family. In case the electricity goes out, have a stock of batteries or portable chargers for electronic devices such as phones and radios, and be sure to have some cash on hand because ATMs and credit cards may not work.
4. Evacuate if necessary.
Know the possible evacuation routes in case the authorities in your area issue an evacuation order. Have a place in mind ahead of time where you will be evacuating to, and a plan in place if you need to be away from home for an extended period of time. If your method of evacuation is by car, keep the vehicle in good running condition and fueled up; be sure to keep emergency supplies on hand. Have a plan for how to evacuate any people with disabilities and any animals in your care.
For an easy way to remember what you’ll need to take with you, just remember the Five Ps of Evacuation:
- Personal needs
- Priceless items
5. Know what to do after the storm has passed.
If you waited out the storm in your home, wait until the local authorities have said it is safe to go outside; also, after the eye of the storm passes, the storm will continue, so wait until the storm completely passes. If you did evacuate, do not try to return to the area until the authorities say it is safe to do so.
Be careful in areas that are flooded, or where flood waters have receded; building foundations and roads and bridges may have structural damages that can’t readily be seen. Be aware of any electrical or gas hazards, and avoid wading into floodwaters as they may be contaminated; also, actively check for any hidden dangers in debris.
For more info on how to be prepared for a hurricane, visit these additional resources:
Related Topics:Fort Myers, Hurricanes, Storms Back to all posts
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