Hurricane Preparation and Tips

Hurricane Preparation and Tips

As hurricane season is upon us and the state of Florida is preparing for Hurricane Idalia this week, here are some essentials to know how to prepare for a hurricane.

Getting Your Home Ready

In the event of a significant storm that necessitates leaving your residence, being aware of your Evacuation Zone is crucial. Regardless of whether an evacuation is ordered or not, ensuring your home is prepared for a tropical storm or hurricane is essential. To start, consider reinforcing your garage doors; retrofit kits can often be found at hardware and home goods stores for this purpose. Additionally, safeguard your windows by using any commercially available window protection or by using exterior plywood. If your home has a Gable End roof (one with two slopes forming a peak), it's advisable to provide extra support to it.

Getting Your Vehicle Ready

During the entire hurricane season, spanning from June 1 to November 30, it's crucial to maintain your car's gas tank at least half full at all times. Since roadside assistance might not be readily available during such times, it's advisable to have an emergency kit in your vehicle. This kit should include essentials like jumper cables, a gas canister, a tool kit, a tire jack, a flashlight with batteries, a battery-powered radio, a blanket, a first aid kit, and motor oil. Additionally, make sure to store items like water and non-perishable food in your car as well.

Using Sandbags

Sandbags can be invaluable in mitigating potential damage. Remember to secure up to 20 sandbags in your vehicle to prevent it from becoming airborne during powerful winds. Note that sandbags will only be accessible once officials have declared an emergency. Additionally, consider placing them on furniture or large machinery outside your home to provide further protection. Putting sandbags outside your home, around doors, or windows to help redirect and soak up some water from getting into your home is also key. 

Ensuring Your Pet's Safety and Others Around You

Remember to prioritize the safety of your beloved pet and neighbors during a tropical storm. Ensure your pets have an adequate supply of food, water, an identification collar, and any necessary medications. It's a good idea to think about having them microchipped for added security. Check on your neighbors or elderly family members. Make sure they have prepared properly and do not need any additional help around the house or need more items like food and water to last them throughout the storm. 

Post-Storm Guidelines

Once the storm has subsided, if you evacuated, await official authorization before returning to the area. Refrain from consuming or using tap water until it has been confirmed safe, and stay vigilant for possible further rainfall even after the storm's passage. If possible, avoid driving, particularly if power lines and traffic signals have been affected. Avoid going outside if the winds are still heavy. Check on your home once the storm has passed and see if any of your neighbors or family members need help cleaning up their property as well.

Essential Guidelines:

  • Avoid driving in flooded areas as submerged streets can harbor hidden risks.
  • Refuse to wade through floodwaters.
  • Keep a safe distance from electrical lines.
  • Stay cautious for unforeseen dangers.
  • Prevent tree-related risks by pruning or removing damaged trees and branches before hurricane season.
  • Stay vigilant for animals like snakes, insects, and loose dogs.
  • Adhere to all evacuation directives.
  • Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts, and clear debris to avert property water damage.
  • Steer clear of electrical lines.
  • Turn off household electricity.
  • Check for gas leaks (if applicable).
  • Consider getting a portable generator or installing one to use during power outages.
  • Remember to keep generators and other power sources outdoors, away from windows and doors, and shielded from moisture. Never attempt to power your home's wiring by plugging a generator into a wall outlet.

Stay safe! 

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