Florida living is known for year-round sunshine, warmth, and swaying palms, but an unfortunate downside is the yearly threat of hurricane season. However, we’ve put together a checklist of items so that you can make sure you’re ready long before the next storm hits!
Have a plan in place. Make sure you and your family have a plan in case you lose access to basic services such as power and water. The Florida Department of Emergency Management provides an interactive online tool, called Get a Plan!, which helps families and business stay prepared. You can also track the progress of a storm through the National Hurricane Center’s website, which provides the most up-to-date information on weather developments.
Make an emergency kit. It’s important to know what items are essential to your family’s needs in case of an emergency. The Florida Division of Emergency Management recommends that you maintain a well-stocked distaster supply kit to last you and your family for a minimum of seven days. While each individual or family’s kit differs based on personal needs, here are a few suggestions to get you started:
Secure your home. Knowing how to secure your home in preparation for a storm is very helpful and can protect against damaging winds and storm surges. Here are a few suggestions for ways to prepare your home:
Have a place to stay. In case a situation arises where you need to leave your home, it is important to know of a nearby place of safety or shelter. While you may have friends and family that you can stay with during a storm, it is helpful to know of a local shelter just in case. The Florida Division of Emergency Management maintains a list of open shelters on their website. If you have a disability or special needs such as a medical condition, you should register with your local emergency management office.
Follow updates. It is important to stay connected during a severe weather emergency so that you can follow all the latest updates. The State Assistance Information Line (SAIL) is a toll-free hotline that is activated to provide up-to-date information on emergency situations in the state of Florida. The SAIL hotline number is 1-800-342-3557. You can also monitor hurricanes using FEMA’s app which is available for mobile, or follow social hashtags such as #HurricanePrep.
Now that you’re all prepared, it’s time to sit back, relax and keep enjoying that Florida sunshine. Fingers crossed for no hurricanes this season!