Summertime brings high temperatures to Central Florida along with storm season. When hurricane season arrives, it's crucial to be ready, whether you've lived in the Sunshine State for years or are a newcomer. This is especially true given how unpredictable storms may be. Furthermore, although while hurricanes and other severe storms don't frequently affect Central Florida as severely as they do the coast, they can still inflict significant harm and stress, including power outages, property damage, toppled trees, and floods. Heavy water and winds can still impact property hundreds of miles inland, and there can evastating impacts for not only full blow hurricanes but for tropical storms and tropical depressions as well.
We normally receive a few days' notice before a large storm system makes landfall. It's crucial to utilize that time for planning! Here are our top suggestions for preparing for a hurricane or other significant storm:
Have at least a week’s worth of water and non-perishable food
Have at least 2 weeks of medications on hand
Stock up on batteries and flashlights
Stock up on the other essentials like cash, candles, a first aid kit, paper products, pet care items, an NOAA Weather Radio, books/games/puzzles (especially if you have kids!), back-up chargers, etc.
Store important papers and belongings in a safe, secure, and DRY place
Maintain a list of important phone numbers
Board up your windows (stay away from windows during the storm!)
Fill your car up with gas
Trim the trees and shrubs around your home
Inspect your property for potential for flooding so you can prepare
Don’t use generators, gas grills, or charcoal grills indoors
Don’t drive through moving water, even if it’s low
Create an evacuation plan - include multiple routes in case of road closures
Follow evacuation orders - better safe than sorry!
Consider using sandbags to offer some protection against flooding
Since flood insurance isn’t usually a standard part of home insurance, take a look at FEMA flood and risk maps to determine if flood insurance is something you should add
When the storm is coming, fill your bathtub and several buckets with water
Avoid touching metal fences after a storm since downed power lines can make the metal conduct electricity
Avoid heavily flooded areas which can prove dangerous due to debris, bacteria, and wildlife
Be a good neighbor!!!
Remember, it is far better to be overly prepared for a hurricane or storm that doesn’t come than to risk not being ready if a big storm does hit!