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June 04, 2024

5 Ways to Prepare Your Home for a Hurricane in Florida

Florida is no stranger to hurricanes, and as a homeowner, it's important to be prepared for the worst. Below are five things you can do to help you prepare your home for a Florida hurricane:

1. Know the Difference Between a Hurricane “Watch” and “Warning”

Knowing the difference between these two alerts can help to inform what additional precautions you should take.

Know the Difference Between a Hurricane “Watch” and “Warning”

A hurricane watch means hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 miles per hour [mph] or higher) are possible in a stated area. Experts announce hurricane watches 48 hours before they expect tropical-storm-force winds (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) to start.

A hurricane warning is much more serious. It means hurricane-force winds are expected in a stated area. Experts issue these warnings 36 hours before tropical-storm-force winds are expected in the area to give people enough time to prepare for the storm. If you hear there is a hurricane warning in your area, be sure to stay updated with the latest information from the National Weather Service or local news sources.

2. Create an Emergency Supply Kit

Create an Emergency Supply Kit

During and after a hurricane, you may face severe challenges such as power outages, limited access to supplies, and even damage to your shelter. Even leading up to the storm, many local stores will have scarce resources, so it's crucial to gather the necessary emergency supplies well beforehand to keep your family safe and healthy. Some essential items to include in your emergency supply kit are:

  • An emergency food and water supply
  • An emergency medicine supply
  • Flashlights with extra batteries
  • Safety and personal items
  • Important documents (e.g., medical documents, wills, passports) in a waterproof bag or box.
  • A fire extinguisher
  • Cash
3. Secure Your Home's Exterior and Interior
3. Secure Your Home's Exterior and Interior

Preparing your home's exterior and interior is vital to minimize damage during a hurricane. It is commonly recommended to take the following steps:

  • Clear your yard of any objects or debris that could become projectiles in high winds.
  • Cover windows and doors with storm shutters or plywood to protect against flying debris and shattered glass.
  • Turn your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings. In the event of a power outage, this will help preserve food for longer.
  • Store important documents and belongings in waterproof containers.
4. Have a Plan

Having a well-thought-out plan in place is crucial for your safety and the safety of your family. Consider the following:

  • Identify your evacuation route and the nearest shelters. If you have pets, pre-identify pet-friendly shelters, hotels, or friends' or relatives' homes where you can take them.
  • Write down emergency phone numbers and keep them easily accessible. Program them into your cell phone as well.
  • Stay informed by listening to National Weather Service alerts on TV, radio, or online.
  • Communicate your plan with your family, so everyone knows what to do in case of an emergency.
5. Get Your Car Ready
Get Your Car Ready

When the storm is in full-effect, you will likely be advised to stay off the roads. It’s vital to make sure your car is prepared before the hurricane even hits. We recommend:

  • Filling your car's gas tank.
  • Parking your car in a safe location like a garage or under cover.
  • Keeping an emergency kit in your car, including necessary items such as flashlights, blankets, and a first aid kit.
  • Knowing your area’s hurricane evacuation route, if needed.

By following these steps to prepare your home for a hurricane, you can help ensure the safety of your family and minimize potential damage. Remember to stay informed, have a plan, and be ready to take necessary actions as advised by local authorities.

Explore more at: www.floridadisaster.org