Hurricanes in Florida: What to Expect & How to Prepare
One of the top concerns for future Floridians is hurricane season, especially if you’ve never experienced one first-hand!
We’re here to break down everything you need to know. The most important thing to remember when you’re expecting a hurricane is preparation not panic. As a native Floridian, we never really know how these things are going to go. Nature is unpredictable. Sometimes the storm ends being better or worse than expected.
Hurricanes are unique because they are the only natural disaster you can plan and prepare for up to a week in advance.
Preparing Your Home & Household
Here are some key things to add to your storm preparation list:
- Food, snacks, & plenty of water: When preparing for a hurricane, my family and I try to purchase non-perishable food and snacks (there is always that unfortunate chance of losing power). You want to make sure you’ll have enough to sustain you and your family until power is restored or you’re able to get back out to the grocery stores. If you do have or need food that does require refrigeration, I always recommend having a large cooler and bags of ice on deck. If you lose power, you can toss the bags of ice from the freezer into the cooler along with food & drinks to buy you some time to preserve those food items.
- Flashlights, Batteries & Radios: A little old school, but with power outages we lose access to TV and internet news. It’s important to still have some sort of way to be updated on the storm and its impact on your city. Be sure to have extra batteries on hand for flashlights, radios, and any other battery powered electronics that may be useful to you during the storm.
- Have all medications easily accessible: Should you need to leave your home, be sure to keep any necessary medications nearby. It’s best to keep them in whichever room you are spending your nights in.
- Purchase a generator if necessary: Due to some medical conditions, it is important for some families to have access to power at all times. You can purchase a generator to sustain your power, however–ALWAYS be sure you are operating a generator according to its safety directions and NEVER have a generator running inside your home or garage. You want it to be outside of the home where there is plenty of ventilation. We have unfortunately seen accidents occur during hurricane season due to improper generator use. If it is being used safely and responsibly, it can be a great safety net during a power outage.
- Store all outdoor furniture and decor: Another very important safety measure. Be sure to store all outdoor furniture, decor, toys, anything that could potentially become flying debris, either in a garage, shed, or inside of your home. This measure protects your home and your neighbor’s home from any potential damage caused by loose, flying objects during the storm. I’ve seen neighbors store their heavy plastic patio furniture inside the pool. (essentially sinking their pool furniture, it works! Just be sure not to sink wood furniture or anything hazardous)
- If you have the room, park your cars in the garage: If you have the room, it’s not a bad idea to park your cars in some sort of covered area or your garage. This will keep them safe from any flying branches or other debris caused by the storm.
- Fill a tub or any extra large containers with water: Sounds a little funny, but should you lose access to water for bathing, you’ll have some extra water on hand.
*An extra tip*You can also use this water to pour into your toilet tanks, this will allow you to continue to flush toilets in your home.
- Board up your windows: If you have older windows, it is typically recommended to head out to your local hardware store to pick up some plywood to use as material to board your windows in order to protect them from the storm wind pressures or again, any flying debris.
Most homes with newer, vinyl double pane windows protect against wind and debris from storms. Storm winds are slower in Orlando compared to directly on the coast.
- Grab yourself some old fashioned entertainment: With hurricanes come school closures, and some may be required to stay home from work- and we never know for how long. Grab yourself some puzzles, books, games as entertainment should you lose power.
- Relax: If you’ve taken all measures to protect your home and family from the storm, there is no need to panic. Stay updated on the news and latest path of the storm (some counties will put curfews into place where no one is to be out driving on the roads), stay indoors in a safe room, and most importantly relax. It will pass in time, as storms always do.
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