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Living in Florida

Hurricane Preparedness Information

There are a lot of great perks of living in Florida—beautful beaches, ample sunshine, warm winters—but with the upsides come a few downsides. No matter where you live, you've got to expect a little seasonal bad weather. In most of the country, that's cold and snow for months of the year, but here in Florida, it's Hurricane Season.

Thinking of buying a home in Florida? Here's what you need to know about being prepared to weather a storm!

What You Need to Know About Hurricanes

In short, hurricanes are massive storms that form over warm waters and move towards land. Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30 with the most active storms in September.

Hurricanes often bring torrential rain and powerful winds, but these are hardly the only threats of the storm. Along with wind and rain come other dangers, such as storm surges and flooding, landslides, and even tornadoes. For those on the water, it can also mean powerful rip currents.

The Best Time to Prepare is NOW

Don't wait until a storm's brewing. The best time to start preparing for incliment weather is long before it happens. Here are some things to do NOW so you're prepared LATER:

  • Sign up for your community's warning system, such as the Emergency Alert System or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Weather Radio.
  • Have plans in place for evacuation or sheltering in a safe location, such as a FEMA safe room, ICC 500 storm shelter, or first-floor windowless room.
  • Become familiar with your evacuation zone, route, and shelter locations.
  • Keep an Emergency Preparedness Kit including food, water, a flashlight and batteries, medications and first aid supplies, and pet needs.
  • Keep important documents in a save place or create password-protected digital copies.
  • Keep your property protected by maintaining gutters and drains, installing check valves in plumbing, reviewing insurance policies, and possibly adding hurricane shutters.

When a Hurricane's on the Horizon...

You're nice and prepared ahead of time... but what happens when a hurricane shows up in the forecast? Here's what you need to do to get ready for the storm.

36 Hours from the Storm

Tune In via TV or radio to stay up-to-date on the latest storm alers.

Restock your emergency preparedness kit for at least three days.

Plan communication with family members or friends if you lose power, including text, email, or social media.

Review evacuation routes and shelter locations in case you need to leave quickly.

Prepare your car with a full tank of gas, emergency supplies, and a change of clothes.

18 - 36 Hours from the Storm

Secure lightweight objects on your lawn or bring them inside so they don't become projectiles.

Trim trees to protect your home from falling branches.

Cover windows with permanent storm shutters or exterior grade plywood boards at least 5/8" thick.

6 - 18 Hours from the Storm

Determine & communicate your evacuation plans (if you will be evacuating) with friends or family.

Tune in to storm updates and communication at least ever 30 mintues.

Charge your cell phone or tablet now.

6 Hours from the Storm

Close storm shutters and keep away from windows to avoid broken glass as wind picks up.

Turn down your refrigerator to its lowest setting and be prepared to only open when necessary if you lose power.

Monitor city/county websites or radio stations receive the latest alerts and news.

Staying Safe During a Storm

DO

  • Evacuate if told to do so
  • Seek the shelter of an interior windowless room or hallway on the lowest floor in times of high winds
  • Climb to the highest level of a building in times of flooding or high waters
  • Listen for emergency instructions or information
  • Use a generator or gas-powered machinery outdoors ONLY
  • Stay off bridges over fast-moving water

DO NOT

  • Walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. Remember, "Turn Around, Don't Drown!"
  • Disregard evacuation warnings
  • Drive around barriers

After the Storm

The storm may have passed, but that doesn't mean the danger has! Always stay alert and tuned in, and listen to authorities for information and special instructions. Remember:

  • Be careful during cleanup. Wear protective clothing and never work alone.
  • Don't touch anything electrical if it's wet or you're standing in water.
  • Avoid wading in flood waters, which can contain dangerous debris like downed power lines.
  • Save phone calls for emergencies to avoid tying up phone lines.
  • Document property damage with photographs

Other Resources for Hurricane Preparedness

Read up on other ways to get prepared and stay prepared during Florida's hurricane season. Here are some handy resources, information, and ideas for weathering the storm.

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