How To Prepare for Florida Hurricane Season

The start of Summer in Florida also means the start of a less-desirable season — Hurricane Season.

While Florida natives will say most hurricanes are no big deal, its those few really bad ones that you must be prepared for. Hurricanes can bring high winds, intense rains and flooding, and power outages.

The official Atlantic Hurricane Season lasts from June 1 to November 30, with the peak being mid-August to mid-October.

Photo courtesy of weather.com
Hurricane Dorian, 2019

If you’ve lived in Florida for a while, you’ve no doubt experienced some little hurricanes, and maybe some of the larger ones too. The good news is that many tropical storms never materialize into hurricanes, or they never make landfall. Hitting land significantly decreases a hurricane’s strength, so they are often weakened by the time they reach you.

Unlike many other types of natural disasters, typically you will have some advance notice of an impending hurricane. But it’s best to be prepared well ahead of time so you have the peace of mind that you have everything you need. Below you’ll find a list of some things you can do to prepare for Hurricane Season in Florida.

  1. Make a hurricane kit in advance. If you wait until 2 days before a big storm is supposed to hit, you’ll most likely have a hard time finding flashlights, batteries, bottled water and radios in stock in local stores. We recommend making your kit at the beginning of the season to have on hand if needed. Some things to keep in your kit include:
    • Non-perishable food to last 3 days
    • Manual can opener
    • Water to last 3 days
    • First aid kit
    • Flashlights/lanterns/candles
    • Extra batteries
    • Lighter
    • Battery-powered radio
    • Battery-powered fan
  2. Prepare your home. Keep trees trimmed, away from the home if possible. Remove any large dead limbs or branches. If you’re in a low-lying area or flood zone, prepare sandbags to barricade doors. Before the storm, bring any unsecured items inside such as patio furniture. Some people also choose to board up or shutter windows.
  3. Before the storm: Freeze as many water bottles as you can. If you lose power, move them to the fridge – this will help keep food cooler for longer. Get a full tank of gas in your car in case you need to evacuate. Again, do this a few days in advance in the event of a big storm, as gas stations will start running out of gas. Fill bath tubs up with water for flushing and washing. Identify a “safe room” in your home with minimal windows, ideally in the interior of your home. Put all your hurricane supplies in this room. Pay attention to weather reports and if called to evacuate, do so immediately.
  4. After the storm: Although the worst is over, you still may be without power for several days. Continue to use stored food and water until it is safe to go out. Local stores may not have power yet either. Check around your home and street for any downed trees or power lines and report them immediately.

Many people choose to have “Hurricane Parties” during storms because there’s not much else to do besides sit around drinking Florida Orange Groves Winery Hurricane Class 5 Wine by candlelight.

For more information and resources visit https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes

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