If you live along a coastal area, hurricanes are a fact of life. Despite their inevitability, the worst thing you can do is nothing at all.
Preparing in advance for the potential damage and risks will help you cope when emergency strikes. Here are some great tips to ensure you are ready for any eventuality:
Plan your escape route
In the event of an evacuation, you may have to act quickly. storm surges in a hurricane can create a significant rise in water level that can affect coastlines for hundreds of miles around the storm zone. Don’t wait until the last minute, as panic may overtake common sense in an emergency.
Have pets? Plan ahead!
Have a plan for your pets in the event that you have to evacuate. Many shelters have accommodation for pets, but it is good to know in advance where you can and cannot go.
Stock up on supplies
Stock up on supplies like water, batteries, and basic necessities well in advance. It is generally difficult to obtain some of these essentials when a hurricane is imminent, as everybody will be looking for the same items. Keep your hurricane kit in a dry place, sealed in a plastic tub. It should be packed and ready so that you can take it with you to a shelter if needed.
Things to include in your evacuation kit:
- Non-perishable food
- First aid kits
- Battery-powered or crank radio
- Matches or lighter
- Local maps
Make sure your insurance coverage is adequate
Both owners and renters need to have adequate insurance to protect them from loss. Flood insurance is not often part of standard homeowners’ or renters insurance, so check your policy carefully to see what you are and are not covered for.
Move your vehicles to a secure location
Flooding can destroy your vehicles as quickly as your abode. Check your auto insurance policy for flood damage and storm coverage and locate a secure building where you can move your vehicles to if needed.
Keep your most important documents safe
Ownerships, insurance certificates, titles, deeds, and proof of ownership for any type of property you own should be copied and kept in a safe place. Keep copies in your hurricane kit in case you have to prove that you actually own your property.
Inspect your home thoroughly
Any damage to your home may be made worse from the wind and water of a storm. Structural damage should be repaired, including damaged roofs, loose tiles or shingles. Any objects that are not secured in your yard should be put away as they could pose a risk of damage or injury. Purchase plywood to cover windows and ensure doors are secure.
Back up computers and devices
Invest in a cloud backup service to store all your most important data. Devices can be replaced, but your personal data, photos, correspondence, and important documents may not.
Hopefully these tips will help you prepare for hurricane season in South Florida!