How Can I Protect Myself During Hurricane Season in Florida?
In the aftermath of powerful Hurricane Irma, citizens of Miami puzzle about how to better protect themselves in the face of a natural disaster. Hurricanes have always been a risk of living in Florida. With flooding, evacuations, and property damage still fresh from the recent storm, however, there is no better time to brush up on safety precautions. Follow these tips to maximize your family’s safety and protection during Florida’s hurricane season.
Keep Up With Hurricane News
One of the only good things about a hurricane compared to other natural disasters is that they are predictable well in advance of making landfall. Bookmark the National Hurricane Center to stay up to date on the latest hurricane information throughout the season. Here you’ll see the latest data, hurricane trackers, tropical storm advisories, and more. Listen to local news stations to understand the potential impact your area might experience during a hurricane. Always take warnings and evacuation commands seriously.
Plan Ahead For Hurricanes
As many recently realized during Hurricane Irma, waiting on the news that a hurricane is on its way is too late for adequate preparation. By this time, store shelves may be empty and gas will be scarce. Instead, keep your pantry stocked with hurricane preparedness foods well in advance. These may include fresh water, canned soups, powdered milk, and other items that won’t easily spoil. Keep an emergency go bag handy as well. This should contain:
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Bottled water
- Local maps
- Battery-operated radio
The more prepared you are for a hurricane, the easier it will be if one actually comes your way. Emergency preparedness can save your life during a natural disaster. If the hurricane leaves you stranded without food or water, you’ll have your backup stores to survive on until help arrives. Be sure to include medications and copies of critical information as necessary, and a generator in the likely event that you lose power. Know ahead of time where the nearest evacuation shelter is, as well as the nearest hospital.
Prepare Your Home to Handle a Hurricane
Home prep is critical during a hurricane or tropical storm. Safeguarding your home can increase the protection of your family, and potentially reduce the amount of storm damage. Trim any limbs or remove any trees that appear dead or hang over your home before hurricane season begins. Clear your gutters and downspouts to prevent clogs and flooding around the base of your home. Reinforce the roof and consider investing in storm doors and windows.
If your home is in the path of a hurricane, protect it from flooding using sandbags around the exterior of your home. Place wooden panels over all windows to prevent them from shattering. Close storm shutters and stay away from windows. Sign up for a local text or email alert to get constant updates about the storm’s movements. Watch the news as much as possible before you lose power. If you are in an optional or mandatory evacuation area, heed the warnings and get out as soon as possible. You are better off waiting out the storm in a safe location.