Tips to Help Prepare Your Family, Home, and Mental State for the Hurricane Season
Hurricane Season is upon us, and we have learned these storms can wreak havoc in our lives and communities. If you are new to Florida or if you have been here for years, a thorough hurricane preparation list is helpful. NOW is the right time to make sure you are prepared. Insurance companies are great at preparing people for the unexpected. Here are some great, easy, and practical tips to help you prepare your family, your home, and your mental state during the Hurricane Season of 2021.
Prepare Your Family and Pets:
- Decide where your family and pets will ride out the storm. Get information about local evacuations and shelters. If you have pets, decide beforehand where they will go. Know if the shelters in your area take in pets as well.
- Fill all needed prescriptions for you, your family members, and your pets. Make sure you have enough to last 2-4 weeks. Some states have emergency prescription refill laws that allow pharmacies to dispense early refills of certain medications when under an emergency declaration. Contact your pharmacy or talk to your pharmacist to learn more about it.
- If you are a pet owner, prepare an emergency supply of medications and a one-month (or larger) supply of flea, tick, and heartworm prevention medicines as well as food for a month.
Prepare Your Documents:
- Keep a copy of your insurance policy and other important documents with you if possible. Take a photo of these documents on your phone or another device. You will be able to have quick access to those photos without internet access. If you must evacuate, take copies of key papers with you, including birth certificates, marriage records, passports, property deeds, etc.
- Understand your insurance policy coverage. If something isn’t clear to you, contact your agent and get an explanation of exactly what your policy will provide for you. Ask what your hurricane deductible is and if you have flood coverage.
- Keep a home inventory. Take cellphone photos/videos of each room, as well as the outside of your home, including your roof if possible. This can help if you need to file an insurance claim later.
Prepare Your Supplies and Equipment:
- Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers, etc.…)
- Battery-powered radio
- Cell phone and chargers
- Emergency blankets
- Extra batteries
- Extra cash
- Extra clothing, hats, and sturdy shoes
- Extra medications; over the counter meds
- First aid kit
- Fuel for generators and vehicles
- Insect repellant and sunscreen
- Multipurpose tool (like a Swiss Army Knife)
- Nonperishable foods: enough for three days
- Pet supplies (leashes, collar with ID, food carrier, bowl, and food)
- Sanitary or personal hygiene products
- Tools and supplies for securing the home
- Water: one gallon, per person, per day, for three days
Prepare Your Property:
- Clean out your gutters, downspouts, and street drains by removing leaves and other debris. This should help keep water flowing freely and could prevent flooding and water backing up into your yard or home.
- Clear your yard of potential flying debris. Bring all lawn furniture, potted plants, bicycles, trash cans, or other loose items inside.
- Protect your windows and glass doors with custom shutters or plywood coverings that cover the whole window or door.
- Move boats and recreational vehicles inside or to higher ground. Move business and construction vehicles to higher ground or a different location. Keeping vehicles and other movable property out of harm’s way can protect your home as well as your investments. If your street is prone to flooding, considering parking your vehicle within a legal and safe, walking distance.
- Be able to locate your emergency shutoff valves in the event of damage.
- Test your generator or battery backups. Be prepared for an extended power outage. Store extra fuel safely and only in approved containers. Do not operate portable gas generators indoors or in enclosed spaces where it could lead to poisoning.
- Charge your cell phones and any extra batteries. Store emergency phone numbers in your contacts, including family members, your doctor, your insurance agent, and your insurance company’s claims phone number. Keep a paper copy of those numbers in case you lose power.
Prepare Your Safety:
- If you are choosing to stay in your home, identify the safest place in your home. Stay away from windows, skylights, and glass doors.
- Do not venture outside during the hurricane. Once the hurricane has passed, be aware of moving water, fallen debris, and downed power lines as they can still harm you.
Prepare Your Mental State:
- Dealing with natural disasters can and do cause strong emotions and may be very stressful. Feelings of anxiety and loss of control can seem overwhelming. It is a wise choice to get help to cope with these very natural feelings from family, friends, and professionals when necessary.
- People with pre-existing mental health conditions should continue with their treatment/medication and be aware of new or worsening symptoms. Reach out to a doctor or professional if you feel the conditions worsening.
We may not be able to predict what this hurricane season will look like, but we can prepare for it. Remember to “Just Ask” us if you have questions or need more information to be prepared. We are here for you.