How to Prepare for Hurricane Season in Florida

Since the days of Hurricane Charley and Katrina rolling through Florida these past few years, an emergency preparedness plan was on everyone’s mind for the seasons ahead. This year might not be as devastating as years past, but there are still some practical tips to consider before enjoying Florida territory this summer. From hail storms to lightning, central Florida and the surrounding areas still get their fair share of turbulent weather. Having an evacuation plan ready and waiting is the first step to preparing well for hurricane season. Here’s what you need to do to save yourself from any dangerous weather:

1. Make the house hurricane ready
You’ll need to board up the windows and ensure that the roof is in good condition. It might be helpful to have an inspector do an assessment to make sure your property is in the best shape it can be. Making sure that all ceilings and flooring are well-sealed will help protect the property from potential water damage.

2. Pack your car with a hurricane emergency survival kit
You’ll need flashlights, fresh drinking water, long-lasting snacks such as granola bars and oatmeal, and a roadmap to the nearest shelter. Better yet, do a practice run to the local shelter so you know exactly how to get there in a state of emergency. An extra set of clothes is another good addition to your survival kit.

3. Create a hurricane survival bag
Organize a small carrying case or bag that will hold your cell phone, batteries, important personal documents, and some extra money. Be sure to have this ready to go so you can fill it within 5-10 minutes. You’ll save precious time after receiving a hurricane warning, and can focus on other priorities.

4. Make your garden hurricane-friendly
It’s a good idea to take down flags, awnings, and large house ornaments that can easily get caught up in the whirlwind and cause excess damage. This might mean rounding up flower pots and arrangements and moving them indoors for a while. The time of season and general forecast will determine if this is necessary, but it’s something to remember as you prepare the rest of the house

5. Secure pool covers
Swimming pool covers need to be locked and sealed as tight as possible if a hurricane is about to hit. Making sure you have one available in the first place is a necessary step!

6. Have unstable trees or brush removed
It might be necessary to hire a professional service to take care of this, but the removal will prevent stray trees from hitting windows, doors, and even people in the middle of a storm. This is a good safety precaution for other violent weather conditions as well.

7. Stock up on downtime activities
Plan on being bored during the waiting period of a moving hurricane. You’ll want some easy-to-transport activities to take along with you to the shelter, as you may be there for extended hours, possibly days. Young children can enjoy crossword puzzles, coloring, and other simple games. Small electronic games, a novel, or some magazines work well too! Just add these to your ‘to go’ bag on your way out the door.

Hurricane season in Florida can provoke some anxiety, but planning ahead with some hurricane preparedness skills can help reduce the risks and threats. If you’re just visiting during prime hurricane season this year, be sure to scope out the nearest shelter and map out an evacuation plan. You never know when a hurricane will hit, and putting you and your family’s safety first will help make your vacation that much more valuable.

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