August 28, 2019

Be Prepared for a Tropical Storm or Hurricane

Hurricane season in Florida is June 1 through Nov 30 every year.  Since those months are the most popular times to visit the gulf shores, our Florida visitors should always know how to react if a tropical storm or hurricane is in the forecast.

36-48 Hours Before Arrival

  • Build or Re-stock your emergency preparedness kit.
    Include a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
  • Plan how to communicate with family members if you lose power.
    For example, you can use phone, text, social media, or email.  Please let them know that cell towers may be out during the storm, but where to look for your communications as soon as you are able to report safe.  If you plan to evacuate, call at least one person out of state to let them know your plans prior to your departure.
  • Create an evacuation plan with your family.
    You may have to leave quickly.
  • If you are staying in a rental property, have your travel insurance claim information available.
    If you have a mandatory evacuation, you may be able to receive a refund for all or part of your stay if you have purchased the travel insurance.

12-36 Hours Before Arrival

  • Bring in outdoor furniture and other items that could blow away.  If it's not attached, bring it inside.
    Items not secured may become a safety hazard.
  • Bookmark your local government's website.
    This gives you quick access to storm updates and emergency instructions.
  • Stock up with food and water supplies to last at least 3 days.
    In case of flooding, you will not want to go out.  Consider canned goods and snacks that do not require cooking or refrigeration.  Don't forget your can opener!
  • FILL your gas tanks and get cash from the ATM.
    When electricity is out, gas stations cannot dispense gas, merchants cannot process credit cards, and supplies run low.
  • Take a shower/bath, do your laundry, and wash the dishes.
    If you're without water, having everything clean to begin is helpful.

6-12 Hours Before Arrival

  • Turn on your TV/radio, or check your local government's website frequently.
    You'll get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • Charge your laptops, cell phones, and any power banks you have.
    You'll have extra battery power if electricity is unavailable.

6 Hour Before Storm Arrival

  • Close storm shutters if you have them, and draperies. Stay away from windows.
    Flying glass from broken windows could injure you.
  • Turn your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest setting and open only when necessary.
    If you lose power, food will last longer.
  • If your car is parked in underground parking, or on ground level, consider moving it to a higher elevation.
    Although you may not want to drive during the bad weather, this will minimize any flood damage to your vehicle.

During the Tropical Storm or Hurricane

  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters.
    Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and fast-moving water can sweep your vehicle away.  You never know how deep the water will be, or what is under the water.
  • Be extra careful when walking outside.
    Storm damage such as downed power lines and fallen debris could injure you.

It's important to be cautious and prepared in situations such as hurricanes and tropical storms.  Make sure you and your family have a plan to keep yourselves safe during hurricane season.