Preparing for Hurricane & Preparedness Checklist Florida 2022

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Local’s Guide and Tips for Hurricane Preparations

This is a guide to help the people of Florida prepare for hurricane season. Included are tips for your family, home, and mental state. Written for those new to Florida and those who have been here for years. It has a hurricane preparedness checklist and other info you need to be ready when the storms come. We have decades of experience in Florida hurricane seasons. This article shares the most important info from local knowledge and past experiences.

Hurricane season in Florida runs from June 1st through November 30th every year. The majority of storms form between the months of August and October. Records show September to be the peak month with the most activity from year to year. The hurricane forecast for 2022 is shaping up to be above average. Forecasters speculate as many as 19 named storms, 11 of which could become hurricanes. This includes 6-7 major hurricanes this year.

Hurricane categories rank from 1 to 5 with a Category 5 being the most powerful. Major hurricanes will carry a Category 3 or higher rank and are the most dangerous.

When a storm starts to approach… It is imperative to follow hurricane tracking services for updates in your area. We use the following resources when tracking live hurricanes:

Below are helpful tips for preparing for a hurricane in Florida. Start as soon as possible with your hurricane preparations.


Gather Supplies Before a Hurricane

Having the right supplies beforehand is very important. Stock up on water and nonperishable foods before the mad rush when a storm threatens your area. FEMA recommends you have enough food and water on hand for each member of your family. When preparing for a hurricane, also consider the time right after the storm. Even after a hurricane has passed, your area may not have power and/or water for days or weeks.

Ready.org suggests the following food and water quantities at the least:

  • One gallon of water per person per day for drinking and sanitation
  • Several-days supply of non-perishable foods for each person

It is also wise to ensure your medications do not get too low during hurricane season. Make sure you have plenty as a precautionary measure so you do not run out.

Purchasing a generator and fuel to supply power to your home in case of an outage should also be considered.

Water Supply for Hurricane photo

Florida’s Hurricane Preparedness Tax Holiday

The state of Florida helps with the expense of preparing for hurricanes. For a limited time you can buy qualifying items sales tax free. The 2022 Florida Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday starts Saturday, May 28th, 2022 and ends Friday, June 10th, 2022.

The Florida Department of Revenue has the following PDF available for more details. 2022 Florida Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday: Frequently Asked Questions for Consumers.


Hurricane Preparedness Checklist

You must get certain items before a storm hits to avoid them selling out. This will help relieve stress once a storm has arrived. Bottled water, plywood (to secure your home), and batteries usually sellout the fastest. Also, make sure at least one vehicle has a full tank of gas in case you need to evacuate.

Use this checklist for hurricane preparedness to check-off the items you have. This will help you keep track of the items you still need.

Hurricane Preparedness Checklist

Safety in Your Home During the Storm

If you choose to stay in your home during a hurricane, identify the safest place to be. Stay away from windows, skylights and glass doors. Do not venture outside during a hurricane. Once the hurricane has past, be aware of fallen debris, moving water, and downed power lines.


Put Together Your Hurricane Evacuation Kit

Preparing for a hurricane includes an evacuation kit. Your hurricane kit is time-saving in case you need to evacuate on short notice. Items like essential documents, medicines, bottled water, and small first aid kit. You should also include blankets, flashlights, and phone charger with cables.

Don’t forget cash in small bills, sentimental items, and anything else your family may need. Everything should be in one area so you don’t have to spent time hunting for them if the worst happens.


Hurricane Evacuation Kit Checklist

Make sure your essentials are convenient to carry in a backpack. Small travel bottles of hygiene products like shampoo, toothpaste, etc. work very well.

This hurricane preparation list is for gathering your evacuation kit. Check-off the items you already have on the list. This will help your keep track of items you need to get.

Evacuation Kit Checklist

Find Hurricane Shelters Near You

Locating a shelter near you is crucial when preparing for a hurricane. One of the most critical decisions made during an emergency is whether to leave or stay in your home. If you plan to evacuate (or mandated to), find out the shelters near you beforehand. You can find this information by calling your County Emergency Directors’ office.


Hurricane Evacuation Route Sign photo

Plan an Evacuation Route

An option to finding a shelter is to evacuate by leaving the area. Evacuating ahead of the storm can be stressful so plan out your route ahead of time. Mapping where you go and how best to get there saves time and stress.

In the past, interstates become parking lots during a hurricane evacuation. So many people on the same road at the same time causes jams. It is smart to get a map and plan out alternative routes to your final destination. This will cut down on the worry of having to out run a hurricane in traffic.


Take Care of Your Elderly Loved Ones

If you have an older person in your life that lives in Florida, there are a few things you can do to prepare them. Whether you live near or far away, you can ensure they have the proper resources.

  1. Make sure they have a written (not an electronic) list of their important contents. Medical information, medication list, ID, birth certificate, passport, deed or lease, and insurance policies.
  2. If they live in a facility, contact the office to ask about their emergency plan for hurricane season.
  3. Ensure that all medicines are in excess. The American Red Cross recommend having at least a 7-day supply. Having extras of their medication also helps stress relief.
  4. Secure their pets in a carrier or on a leash. Encourage your elderly to do this before the storm hits. This way they are not trying to track down a scared animal during the chaos.

Read more about Hurricane Preparation for Your Parents or Elderly Loved Ones.

Elderly Women with Daughter photo

Pets photo

Include a Pet Plan in Your Hurricane Preparations

If you are a pet owner, ensure you have food for them for at least a month. Also, prepare an emergency supply of medications. A one-month supply of medicines like flea, tick and heartworm prevention will do.

In the event of an evacuation, it may be difficult to find shelter for your animals, so plan ahead. Do not wait until disaster strikes to do your research. Many cities are developing shelter plans for animals. Check if your local emergency shelter plan includes pets.


Prepare and Protect Your Property

Preparing your home and property for a hurricane can save you a lot of money. Take a look around your home and remove items that could be a projectile in hurricane force winds. For example, if you have large trees near your home, trim them back. Doing this can help lower the chances of them falling on your home during a storm.

Major hurricanes rank Category 3 or higher. Their wind speeds are well over 100 miles per hour and do the most damage. This hurricane wind scale chart by the NOAA shows wind speeds for each category rating. Make sure you consider this when preparing for a hurricane.

If you have hurricane shutters, inspect them to make sure they are in working order. An alternative is to use plywood to protect your home’s windows and doors. Buy plywood now and store it in your garage to avoid the rush and risk of plywood running out during a storm.

Clear your drains and gutters to keep water away from your home to help lower water damage. Also, consider other hurricane preparations needed for your specific situation.

Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale

CategorySustained Winds
174-95 MPH
296-110 MPH
3 (Major)111-129 MPH
4 (Major)130-156 MPH
5 (Major)157 MPH or higher
National Hurricane Center (www.nhc.noaa.gov)

Check Your Home Insurance When Preparing for a Hurricane

Don’t wait until it is too late to check that the status of your home insurance coverage is active. When a hurricane is coming, your area could get placed under moratorium. During this time, you can not buy a new policy, make changes to your existing policy, or upgrade your coverage.

Did you know Florida homeowners’ insurance does not cover flood damage? This includes water damage caused by a hurricane. Review your homeowners insurance or renters insurance policy for specific flood coverage.

Review your policy with a knowledge insurance agent to protect your home and family. Check your coverage amounts and deductible. Ensure your current coverage is enough to replace your belongings if lost due to a hurricane. You can also get living expenses to help cover food and hotel costs. There is also food spoilage coverage in the event of a wide spread power outage.

Be proactive because flood policies can take up to 30-days to take effect. Keep in mind, flood insurance is not available if there is a tropical storm less than 250 miles off the coast.

Finally, take photos or a video of your belongings to show proof of ownership. This way you can file your claim with tangible proof.

Need help with your home insurance or flood insurance? Caton Hosey agents are here to help with over 70 years of insurance and hurricane experience. Our staff can answer questions and provide valuable insight into home insurance. Contact us for more information or call us at 1-800-767-3161 today.


Preparing Your Mental State for a Hurricane

Dealing with a hurricane can cause strong emotions and stress. These feelings can be even more intense due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Anxiety and loss of control can seem overwhelming at times. It is wise to get help coping with these natural feelings. Seek council from family, friends, and professionals when necessary.

People with pre-existing mental health conditions should continue their treatment and/or medication. Also be aware of new or worsening symptoms during hurricane season. Reach out to a doctor or professional if you feel conditions worsen.


Closing

In closing, our aim is to help with a guide we can follow to prepare for hurricanes. We hope the hurricane preparedness checklists help you organize your items fast. Please feel free to share it with your family and friends. Preparing for a hurricane can be stressful. But, we are confident using this info can better manage the stress of hurricane season.


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