Florida residents understand the phrase ‘the calm before the storm’ all too well. With the ever-present risk of hurricanes, preparation is not just smart—it’s essential. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to get prepared for a hurricane and create a comprehensive hurricane prep kit.

1. Understand the Risks

Recognize that hurricanes can result in various hazards, from high winds and heavy rain to tornadoes and storm surges. Understanding these risks can help you prepare your home and family effectively.

2. Secure Your Home

Before the storm arrives, it’s essential to secure your home. This includes trimming trees, securing loose outdoor items, installing storm shutters, and reinforcing garage doors.

3. Prepare a Disaster Plan

Create a disaster plan with your family. Decide on a safe room in your home and an emergency meet-up location. Ensure that every family member understands the plan.

4. Build Your Hurricane Prep Kit

A well-prepared hurricane kit can be a lifesaver during a storm. Here’s what you should include in your hurricane preparation kit:

  • Water and Non-Perishable Food: Stock enough bottled water and non-perishable food to last each family member at least three days. Remember to include a manual can opener for canned food.
  • First-Aid Supplies: Keep a first-aid kit with bandages, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, medical tape, gloves, and over-the-counter pain relievers. Don’t forget personal medications and medical items, such as prescription drugs, inhalers, or epi-pens.
  • Flashlights and Batteries: When power outages occur, flashlights are safer than candles. Ensure you have spare batteries for all devices.
  • Weather Radio: A battery-powered or hand-crank weather radio can keep you updated on the storm’s progress.
  • Portable Chargers: Power outages could last for days, so having portable chargers for your mobile devices is crucial.
  • Cash and Important Documents: Have some cash on hand in case electronic payment methods fail. Keep important documents in a waterproof container. This includes:
    • Identification documents (driver’s license, passport, birth certificates)
    • Property documents (deeds, property insurance policies)
    • Medical information (health insurance cards, doctor’s contact information, prescription lists)
    • Financial records (bank account numbers, credit card information)
  • Hygiene and Sanitary Products: Include items such as toilet paper, feminine supplies, hand sanitizer, and soap.
  • Clothing and Bedding: Pack a change of clothes for everyone and consider adding blankets or sleeping bags.
  • Pet Supplies: Don’t forget food, water, and any necessary items for your pets.

This list covers the basics. Depending on your family’s specific needs, you might want to add items like baby supplies, extra glasses or contact lenses, or items for seniors or disabled family members.

Remember, the key to effective hurricane preparation is not waiting until the last minute. Keep your kit stocked and ready throughout the hurricane season.

5. Stay Informed

Staying updated about a hurricane’s progression is crucial. Here’s how you can stay informed:

  • Local News: Your local news channels and radio stations are your best sources for real-time updates on the storm. They can provide information about evacuation routes, shelter locations, and the storm’s predicted path and severity.
  • Mobile Apps: Weather apps and emergency alert apps can send real-time updates and warnings directly to your phone. Apps like the FEMA app or the American Red Cross’s Emergency app are reliable choices.
  • Social Media: Government organizations and news outlets often post real-time updates on their social media platforms during emergencies. Follow your local government, local National Weather Service, and local news stations on platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
  • Weather Websites: Websites like the National Hurricane Center and provide comprehensive updates on hurricanes, including their speed, direction, and potential impact.
  • Community Resources: Your local community might have specific resources, like text or email alert systems, for disseminating information during emergencies. Check your city or county’s official website to learn about these resources.

Staying informed doesn’t stop once the storm hits. Continue monitoring these sources after the hurricane has passed for information about road conditions, power outages, and recovery resources. Remember, after a hurricane, safety hazards can still exist, like floodwaters, downed power lines, and unstable structures. Your local news and government will have information about when it’s safe to return home and start the cleanup process.

Post-Hurricane Action: The Roof Inspection

After the storm, the first issue requiring immediate attention is your roof. It’s the beginning of protecting your assets and starting the drying-out process. At Hurricane Roofer, we offer free post-storm roof inspections, along with emergency tarping and shrink-wrapping services, to mitigate further damage and preserve your property.

Our team is prepared to mobilize and service all parts of Florida during disasters. With our experienced managers, who’ve provided emergency services during multiple hurricanes, we’re ready to be there for you, no matter where you are!

Storms may be unpredictable, but you don’t have to be caught unprepared. When the winds calm, reach out to us at Hurricane Roofer. We’ll be there, ready to help you restore and protect your property.