How to Prepare for a Hurricane in Florida

Living in Florida offers an amazing lifestyle and there are countless visitors and new residents coming to the state every day. Those of us who are here year long have the ability to enjoy sunshine, beaches, oceans, rivers and lakes almost non-stop. Until, of course, we are threatened with a hurricane or tropical storm.

For residents who have been in the area for a long time, most are already well educated on how to prepare for a hurricane. But with so many new people coming to the area, we have put together this helpful hurricane prep list.

How to Prepare for a Hurricane in Florida

What Can You Do to Prepare before Hurricane Season starts?

There are many things you can do (and that should be done) before Hurricane Season begins. One of those tasks is to put together a hurricane kit. This kit will include food, water and other devices and things that will make enduring a hurricane or tropical storm much easier.

Hurricane Prep Checklist:

1. Secure windows and doors

All windows and doors that are not hurricane proof windows and doors will need to be accurately and securely covered with hurricane shutters or board panels. This includes garage doors.

2. Trim trees and bushes

Trimming trees and bushes around your home or business will help to limit debris from blowing and damaging your property (and your neighbors).

3. Bring inside all lawn furniture

Garbage cans, recycling bins, barbecue grills, plants, swing sets, toys and any item that has the potential to fly around and cause damage to your property (or your neighbors).

4. Gas up all vehicles

After the storm, fuel trucks may have difficulty making their way into the area. It’s a good idea to get gas as soon as possible. Gas station lines will begin to develop as the storm gets closer. Also, should you need to evacuate, you will want to have plenty of gas to get where you need to go.

5. Secure Your Vehicles

If you have a garage, you will need to keep your vehicles inside during the storm. Do not use car covers! Car covers will end up flying away and could cause problems to others.

6. Secure Your Boat

If possible, boats should be removed from the water and moved to safe locations. However, there are other options if this is not possible. Speak with your local marina.

7. Cash

It’s important to have some cash on hand. As banks make be closed for a while following a storm. And ATMs that rely on power will be unavailable in areas with power outages.

8. Get Your Fridge Ready

Just before a storm hits, you will want to turn down the temperature in your refrigerator to help keep items cold for as long as possible if the power goes out. Keeping ice packs and bottled water in your freezer will also help to use in coolers when necessary. Throw away any old food that has expired before a storm.

9. Prepare a hurricane kit

We have provided a full list of items and suggestions below.

What is in a Hurricane Kit?

  • Non-perishable food – (a minimum of 3 days – but if you have the ability to stock more, it will help in the event of long term power outages). Some non-perishable food suggestions include, canned foods, peanut butter and jelly, crackers, bread, cereal, snack cakes, potato chips, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables that do not need refrigeration, bottled juices, soda or carbonated drinks.
  • Water – This will include drinking water, as well as water available to use for bathing, brushing teeth and for cleaning (i.e. washing dishes, clothing, etc.). And don’t forget about water needed to flush toilets if the power is out; or if you are on a well system. Many will fill bath tubs, buckets and other safe containers to preserve water ahead of the storms.
  • Coolers with ice – It’s a great idea to keep on hand several coolers to keep food items cold that need refrigeration. But having an extra large cooler available is helpful when the power goes out to move frozen items from the freezer; and cold items from the refrigerator after the power goes out (if it does not turn back on within a few hours). Having plenty of ice ready will definitely help to make enduring long term power outages much easier. Many residents have learned to keep ice packs and water bottles in the freezer before the storm to have on hand to move to the coolers when the power goes out.
  • Flashlights Battery operated flashlights will be some of your top priority items. Battery operated candles are also helpful. BUT NO FLAME CANDLES! This could start a fire. And not only could it cause destruction, injuries and fatalities; but during a disaster it is very difficult for emergency responders to help.
  • Camping stove – Propane operated burners and stoves are a wonderful item to have around after a hurricane or tropical storm hits. This allows you to do some cooking even after the power goes out. Having extra propane tanks will also be smart should there be a long term FPL outage.
  • Battery operated radio – If power is out and there is a major destruction, a battery operated emergency radio could be your only way to receive information.
  • Batteries – It’s smart to keep plenty of all size batteries on hand in the event of a storm or power outage for flashlights, candles, radios, and other appliances.
  • Evacuation plan – In the event that you and your family or group should have to leave your home or safe place due to storm surge, you should have an evacuation plan put into place.
  • First-aid kits – Injuries and accidents are all too common during a hurricane or tropical storm. Having medication, band-aids, gauze, antiseptic and other first-aid materials are extremely important. If you or someone in your family or group who require medication regularly, these medications should also be included within your first-aid kit.
  • Pet supplies – Be sure to have plenty of pet food on hand. During a storm, your pet may not be able to go outside. Therefore, you will want to have pet potty pads on hand.
  • Phone Charger – Often times, cell phone services will be limited following a disaster, such as a hurricane or tropical storm. But it’s a good idea to have extra phone chargers available (and charged) if you need them.
  • Propane and Fuel – If you have a safe place to store extra propane, this will be advantageous for your camping cooking stove. Extra fuel for vehicles may come in handy if gas stations are empty for a while. But you should only keep extra propane and fuel if there is a safe place to store it!
  • Things to do – During the storm and after, life will not be the same for a while. Again, there will likely be no power for some time. This is actually a great opportunity to get some reading in or spend time with the family actually doing things together. You will want to be sure to have some books, magazines and other tangible reading materials on-hand. Board games and playing cards are a great way to keep busy. If you have a laptop available with an ability to recharge, you can use DVDs. Although, that will probably be a treat (as your power supply will be limited). You can use this for something to do after dark.

Hurricane Season in Florida is not one of the things that most of us like about living in the Sunshine State. But if you are prepared ahead of the storms, the entire process will be much easier to get through. And by following the suggestions above, you will get through the storms safely.

Be Ready Ahead of the Storms with Hurricane Proof Windows and Doors

With impact windows and doors, hurricane prep is drastically simplified. These amazing products remove the worry about boarding up windows and preparing doors. And it also prevents you from having to live in the dark throughout the storm. They will also significantly reduce the amount of noise that enters into your home or building; and deter intruders. And did we mention the savings? Windows and doors built for hurricanes reduce energy bills and also the cost of your homeowners insurance.

Call Signature Impact Windows & Doors in Miami today for a free consultation at 305-912-7493. You may also request a quote online.