Hurricane Season Preparations

Living in Florida with our tropical summer weather and warm ocean temperatures means that being organized and ready for a hurricane is a must. We have seen how quickly flooding in some of our low-lying or waterfront areas can occur from an average summer storm so it is easy to imagine how a hurricane can escalate to danger.

Don’t wait until the storm is coming, plan at the beginning of hurricane season as a “just in case” when your head is clear, and you are not under stress. Simply being prepared can make the difference in safety for you and your family should our area experience the force and impact of a major storm. Here are ways you can get prepared now for the hurricane season ahead:

Know your evacuation zone and develop an evacuation plan

Your county website will have information on shelters near your home, evacuation routes, and the danger of flooding based on your home address. The Hillsborough County website has a printable evacuation map that you should have printed and placed with your emergency preparation kit.

Assemble your emergency preparation kit

Having a disaster supply kit ready is important to save you the time of being tied up in long lines at the grocery store and possibly forgetting something that is important. See a list of suggested items here:

  • a flashlight
  • batteries
  • cash
  • first aid supplies
  • jugs of water
  • non-perishable snacks like protein bars
  • copies of your critical information

Discuss an emergency plan with your family

Talk to children, parents, and other family members what you – and they – should do in an emergency. Decide how you would alert each other of your safety- texting a designated person is best. Your plan can also include a designated spot to meet if phone lines and internet lines are down and you are separated. If you must evacuate your home, let friends and family know where you are heading and leave a note behind of your evacuation route. Staying in contact with social media can also be useful.

Maintain your home and car in good condition

Keep your vehicle in good working condition and always have at least half a tank of gas. Gas lines can get long when an emergency strikes so it is better to establish a habit of being prepared. That practice of preparation can extend to your home with simple maintenance. Trim back trees and limbs that are near your home, make sure the roof, windows, and doors are in good condition and have a portable generator available for use during power outages.

The government site, Ready.gov, tells you what you how to be prepared when a hurricane is coming your way. They tell you what you should do 36 hours, 18-36 hours, 6-18, and then 6 hours before a hurricane is expected to arrive in your area.

Be prepared for a hurricane by knowing your evacuation zone and developing an evacuation plan. Assemble disaster supplies and make sure your home is storm ready. Have a plan. Visit your county website for information on shelters, evacuation routes, storm tracking and more.

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