When Hurricane Irma was approaching Florida last year, residents watched as the storm changed potential direction multiple times. Leading up to September 10th, officials and newscasters continually reminded residents to pack their hurricane kits and to make sure they were loaded up on supplies. But, if you’re new to Florida or you feel like last year you weren’t as prepared as you needed to be, then read through our list of tips and items you should have on hand year-round so you’re not a part of the mad rush the few days before the storm makes landfall. With another active Atlantic hurricane season being predicted this year, it’s important to have the home prepared.
Stock up on canned goods and bottled water. You don’t need to have enough to last months, but it is a good idea to have a few days’ worth of food and water on hand. Keep an eye on food sales and when bottled water is on sale, and you won’t have to worry about having to waste gas when the time comes to decide whether you want to evacuate or stay.
Keep all of your important papers in one place. Social security cards, birth certificates, proof of residence, and even prescriptions from doctors should all be kept in a waterproof, lockable, and easily movable case. This will ensure that you not only know where everything is year round, but you also aren’t running around last-minute trying to find these items before a potential emergency situation.
Keep a Hurricane Kit, with only hurricane supplies. This kit should be waterproof. It should have batteries, a weather radio, flashlights, matches, tape, a first aid kit, and any medications. If you don’t have a specific hurricane kit, then keep these emergency supplies in one place and make sure you have a list of all the steps you need to take to prepare your home, such as boarding windows and moving outdoor furniture. This will help you prepare calmly and in an organized manner.
Prepare a “go bag” in case of emergency. If you need to leave quickly because you have stayed behind, then you need to have a bag with a change of clothes, medicine, a first aid kit, and your important information. This is generally an unlikely situation, but it is good to have prepared, especially when a major storm is approaching.
Have a plan and review it with your family. Are you evacuating or staying? Who should everyone check in with before, during, and after the storm? Is there one place we are all meeting after the storm passes? If one person has electricity or a working generator and someone has health issues, is the family welcome? These are important details to review with the family.