Living in Florida has its many benefits from beautiful beaches to bright and sunny weather. However, hurricane season starts June 1st, lasting until November 30th. Keep you and your family safe by learning how to correctly prepare your home for hurricane season.
Observing hurricane forecasts
It will be a lot easier for you to observe hurricane forecasts once you have a firm understanding of basic hurricane terms. Both the National Hurricane Center and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration use six different methods to forecast a hurricane:
- Doppler radar
- Reconnaissance aircraft
These different techniques of hurricane forecasting are important to make sure Floridians are quickly receiving the most up-to-date information.
Coming up with a plan is important to avoiding panic when a hurricane strikes. It is especially important for people living in high-prone areas such as Northwestern Florida to have a plan ready.
Not sure where to start? These tips below will help you form a solid hurricane plan:
Emergency Supply Checklist
Create an emergency supply checklist and stock accordingly before you even hear about a major storm. Take a monthly inventory to see if any items need replacing and adjust if necessary. Having the right supplies on hand can help make tough times easier so make sure your emergency kit contains most of the following:
- Water (for at least 3 days)
- Non-perishable food (for at least 3 days)
- Hygienic items
- Pet and/or baby supplies
Home Security Checklist
Besides having a great supply inventory, it is also critical to secure your home properly. Preparing your home for a hurricane keeps you ahead of the game and helps lessen panic and anxiety. Check to make sure your Florida home has the following before the next storm:
- Reinforce garage doors
- Tether anything that can fly away or bring it inside
- Board up your windows
- Tape up the windows and keep people far from proximity
Prepare for Hurricane Flooding
When preparing for hurricane flooding, the first step is to purchase flood insurance. Elevating your property is a smart way to prepare for flooding if this is an option for you. If you can’t elevate your property, then secure a safe spot beforehand away from the high-risk flooding zone.
According to FEMA, other ways to prepare for hurricane flooding include:
- Swap your carpet flooring for flood-resistant materials such as terrazzo tile.
- Check to see if you are eligible for additional insurance coverage with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
- Protect any important documents by putting them in a waterproof safe in the highest location possible.
- Flood-proof your basement with either the wet or dry method. Dry flood-proofing seals your basement and prevents liquid from seeping in. Wet flood-proofing does not prevent water from coming inside your home, but does make your basement water-resistant.
Prepare for Heavy Rain
Prepare for heavy rain by bringing in any items that could get washed away. Bring in plants if they are transportable and make arrangements for any outside pets. Clean your gutters, drains, and yard to avoid any liabilities.
If you have a basement that tends to flood, locate your sump pump and make sure it works. Draping tarps over your roof can keep water from seeping in.
Prepare for Hurricane Winds
To prep your house for strong hurricane winds, look for straps and ties for extra reinforcement for your roof. Board your windows up with plywood shutters to minimize damage to the glass. Ensure that all exterior doors including your garage are secure and have hinges.
Prepare for Hurricane Outages
Plenty of battery backup is important during a power outage. Solar-powered battery chargers are crucial here as well as other types of battery packs. Stock up on extra batteries for your sump pump as well as gas for your generator.
Find empty coolers before the hurricane and fill them with ice. If you lose power, grab perishables from your refrigerator and save what you can inside the coolers.
The key to preparing your home for a hurricane is to plan everything ahead of time. Do not procrastinate and leave things to the last minute because you can never tell what Mother Nature is going to do next.