In Florida, you can survive a hurricane if you plan for it before it even happens. It may be impossible to wrap your head around that if you have never experienced a hurricane, but with a simple checklist, you can be prepared.
There are things that you can do ahead of time in stages. Here we will provide a hurricane preparation checklist for things you can do two months, one month and three to five days before a hurricane strikes.
Before even starting our hurricane preparation checklist, you will want to make sure you stay informed about the weather in your area. It is imperative to receive emergency notification alerts. This will allow you to evacuate the area if need be.
Two months before a hurricane is set to strike, you should create an emergency evacuation plan with your family. You will want to first decide where you will go. Do you have any relatives or friends that do not live in an area that will be evacuated? If so, you need to contact them to set up a plan with them to ensure they know that you are coming.
If you do not have anyone to stay with, consider a shelter. However, you will want to contact the shelter before hand, as most do not accept pets.
When a place is evacuated, you may have warning or it could be immediately. You will want to plan with your family how you will get from one place to another. Make sure you have a means of transportation, but also plan a few routes to go in case one route is impassible.
Everyone in your family should also have a copy of contact numbers and emails. Set up a way to communicate with each other so everyone knows how to get a hold of each other.
Go over this information at least once per year to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
One month before a hurricane strikes, you should plan on building a 3 day survivor disaster kit. You will want to allow yourself ample time to get all the supplies ready. Do not wait until last minute or you will be scrambling to find things you need.
In your hurricane preparation kit, you should consider placing the following items in it:
- 3 days worth of water that is clean for each member of your family, including any pets you have
- Cash in case there is a power shortage as ATMs will not work
- A battery powered radio
- Prescription medications supply
- Extra batteries
- A whistle to signal if you need help
- Waterproof matches
- A flashlight
- Blankets or sleeping bags
- A generator
- Can Opener
- Canned Food
- Local maps
- Phone chargers with extra batteries
- Sanitary wipes/products
- Personal hygiene items
- Tools so you can turn off any utilities
- Important documents you may need, such as birth or marriage certificates, SSN card, personal ID, insurance information)
Now in our hurricane preparation checklist comes the part where your home will need to be secured. This should be done three to five days before the hurricane is set to strike. You want to ensure you do this so there is less damage to your home.
First check any trees and shrubs to see if they need to be trimmed. Clean out your rain gutters as well. This will help to keep debris at a minimum, which can limit the amount of damage done to a home.
Next, you will want bring any items that the wind could pick up inside. This includes any garden decorations, patio furniture, or trash cans.
You will also want to make sure your electrical system is well protected. You can do this by turning off gas lines, unplugging electrical appliances, elevating anything that will rust or corrode, and turning off the main circuit switch.
You will also want to secure your air conditioner with hurricane straps. This will ensure that it stays in place during the high winds of a storm. You can also cover it with a tarp to better protect it. Just make sure it is turned off first.
Cover your windows so they do not break. Use a piece of plywood that is 5/8 thick. If you do not have a deadbolt on your doors, install them to better protect your doors from high winds.
Make sure your generator is full. Keep extra gas on hand too because gas stations could run out of gas before a hurricane strikes. Generators come in very handy when any storm hits and electricity is lost.
By following this hurricane preparation checklist, you can ensure that you are ready for the worst. The best piece of advise is to make sure you do have a generator available. If you are interested in purchasing one, consider Mid Florida Diesel. This company will be able to guide you in which one is best for your needs.
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