FL Hurricane Safety Tips- 14 Things to Do Now!
June 1st marks the official beginning of hurricane season and whether you're new to Florida or not, you need to be prepared. We've already had Beryl, a tropical storm so who knows what this year will bring. The National Weather Service is calling for a "near normal" season and while that's good news and while technology gets even more sophisticated, there are still areas for improvement, for example pinpointing the intensity of the hurricane when it makes landfall.
And for those of us in South Florida, 2012 marks the 20th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew. If you were here then you will remember not only the hurricane but the after effects of that hurricane. We had houses in Delray Beach as well as Orlando and after putting on our hurricane shutters in driving rain, we left for Orlando. Our normally 3 hour drive took 6.
Don't take the hurricane season for granted. It is never too early to be prepared. (Part 1)
1. Get information! Your local paper has complete hurricane guides with information about shelters,what to pack, what to do with your pets and your boats.
2. Once Florida is under a hurricane warning or watch,many insurance companies will not write any new policies. If you have insurance, go over the policy to know what is and may not be covered.
3. Put together a Go kit that you can grab.
4. Know where your important papers are.
- Gather your insurance information including contact information and premium numbers.
- Make sure you have current contact information on family members,friends, and medical doctors.
- Draft a family plan...for young children this can include what might happen if you have to evacuate and what they can take. Doing this before a hurricane comes can alleviate some fears.
5. Know your evacuation routes.
6. Most shelters will not accept your pets! Don't wait until a hurricane is coming to find out what to do with your pets. Do not just leave them behind.
7. Learn what to do with your boat. Don't forget that at some point the bridges will not open for boat traffic. If you plan to head for a pre-arranged safety harbor, find out when the bridges become fixed. If you plan to leave it at your dock, buy enough rope so you can leave enough slack to handle a rising tide. Meet with your neighbors to see how a joint effort can speed up securing the boats. If you don't know how or which electronic equipment can be removed...now is the time to learn.
8. While you are probably already doing this, make sure you are diligent about backing up your computers. Have your charging cords,extra batteries etc handy.
9. To avoid last minute frantic rushing and hoarding, start to buy water each week (1 gallon per person per day) and batteries.
10. If you have hurricane shutters, check them out and learn how to use them. If you are not able to install them on your own, make arrangements for a friend or service to put them up.
11.If you do not know how to text..learn now. Text messages are usually able to get through when phone calls can't.
12. If you have a generator, learn how to use it (yes, some of you probably bought one and have no idea how to use it). Check to make sure it works and that you have fuel for it. DO NOT use it indoors!
13. Make sure your cars have been maintained. You may have to rely on them if you have to evacuate.
14. Make sure your trees and shrubs are trimmed now. Pay attention to branches that could be a threat to power lines and your house. City utility and waste disposal crews will not be able to pick up your cut timber just before a hurricane and you don’t want them sitting around outside.
Part 2- What to Pack To Go
Part 3- A hurricane is coming..now what do you do?