Earlier this month, Southwest Florida dodged Hurricane Matthew as it tore through the eastern coast of Florida and ran up the Atlantic seaboard before moving out to sea – causing anywhere from $5 billion to $10 billion worth of damage.
We haven’t taken a direct hit from a hurricane in 11 years, but that doesn’t mean it won’t ever happen again. In fact, it just means we’re overdue for one – and hurricane season isn’t over this year, not for another six weeks.
To get ready, here are three hurricane preparedness tips that can help you and your family stay safe.
Have a Hurricane Evacuation Plan
Every family should have a hurricane evacuation plan ready to go if a storm is approaching.
Included in a plan is:
- Where you’ll retreat to once you leave your home
- How you’ll get there (including the hurricane evacuation routes you’ll follow)
- Preparations for extended stays if your home is uninhabitable if damaged
If you or someone in your family has limited mobility and needs assistance getting around – like with a mobility van – there needs to be a plan to have that taken care of if a storm is approaching.
What isn’t okay is to stay put. If an evacuation order is given, it’s always a good idea to obey.
Prepare a Hurricane Survival Kit
Any hurricane plan needs to include a hurricane survival kit.
This kit stays within reach at all times and contains anything you’ll need while evacuating a hurricane. This can include:
- Enough bottled or stored water for everyone for at least a week
- Non-perishable food
- Medicine (over-the-counter and prescription)
- A radio with batteries
- First aid kit
- Phone chargers
- Road maps
- Matches and candles
- Sleeping bags
- Any other item to make you comfortable or that is necessary for everyday living
Consult this website for more specific information on what to include in your kit.
Make Sure Your Home Is Prepared
Before you leave your home, make sure it’s prepared. If you don’t have hurricane shutters installed, consider doing so as quickly as possible. When evacuating, turn off all your utilities. Turn off propane as well. And make sure your vehicles are fueled up before the storm comes. Gas shortages can easily happen after a hurricane hits.
Follow these hurricane preparedness tips and you can stay safe and as comfortable as possible if a storm hits.