Hurricanes usually hit Florida between June and November. A hurricane can be 100+ miles wide with severe rain and destructive winds from 120 to over 250 miles per hour (mph). Even the outer bands of a hurricane, which are weaker, can cause considerable damage.
How do you prepare for such a potentially catastrophic event? Here are some tips on how to keep your family safe. Taking simple steps now can make it easier to get your life back together after a hurricane blows through your area.
As hurricanes develop over the ocean, they can often be predicted one and even two days before landfall. The radio, television and the internet will be buzzing with warnings and advisories. The National Weather Service will issue updates whenever there is a hurricane advisory. Red Cross and FEMA both have apps you can download from either your Google Play or Apple App store on your mobile devices; these are good ways to stay connected. If you live near water, check the National Weather Service Marine forecasts page before going boating and listen to weather reports while on the water.
On the coast, be aware that a storm surge from a hurricane can cause severe flooding. If possible, move inland to higher ground. Be ready to evacuate if officials advise it. Bring a copy of your insurance policy with you including the contact information for your insurance representative.
If you’re at home, do your best to secure your property that might be torn loose or blown around. Every situation is different and may require different strategies. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation offers a Hurricane Season Resources webpage with links to useful information here.
We encourage you to put together an emergency preparedness kit. Your kit should help you get by without electricity for at least 72 hours. It’s simple and easy to assemble. Using a spare backpack, a duffel bag or a simple cardboard box, begin by packing it with these simple items.
Copies of important documents such as your insurance policies, passports, birth certificates, contact information for your insurance representative and any other important documentation
It’s a good idea to make an inventory list, and take photographs too, of everything you hold near and dear. A good home inventory will also include the replacement costs of all your valuable possessions. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has an easy-to-use Home Inventory Checklist that you can use as a template to create your home inventory list.
In the aftermath of a hurricane, do not be a disaster tourist. Let emergency crews do their work. If you must go outside, watch out for downed power lines or other dangerous debris.
The copies of your important documents and your home inventory need to be kept in a safe place, such as a safety deposit box or at a friend’s or relative’s home of someone who lives in a safe zone that is unlikely to be affected by the same major weather event. Keeping copies online will also make them always available.
Lanier Upshaw provides important information on emergency preparedness to help you protect yourself, your loved ones and your property. If you would like more information on how Lanier Upshaw can help you be prepared for a hurricane or other disaster, contact us here.