What Do I Need to Know About Hurricane Preparedness?

To a non-native Floridian, an incoming hurricane can be one of the most daunting events they experience when it happens for the first time. While severe hurricanes can be very damaging and life threatening, many hurricanes just put you through some strong wind and rain, and a day (or a few) of power outages.

Hurricane season here in North Florida runs June 1st through November 30th, but hurricanes are most commonly expected around September. If you live in an area that frequently gets hit by hurricanes, and you’re not in an evacuation zone as specified by local news, here are some tips on how to stay safe and comfortable during a hurricane:

1. Pick up documents and electronics from the floor:  If you are in an area that is expecting to flood, move all important things from the first two or so feet of the ground floor. Some things that are important that you may not realize are on the floor are: documents like birth certificates and social security cards in a filing cabinet, computer towers, cable boxes, and gaming consoles. You’ll want these things to stay safe and dry!
2. Get gas, medications, food and cash: All of these things can and will run out if your town is looking at a direct hit! As soon as you know you’ll be experiencing a hurricane, fill the tank in your car, pick up any medication refills, take out some emergency cash, and grab some nonperishable foods.
3. Fill your bathtub and get lots of water: Water is essential to all life, especially clean water. Make sure to pick up bottled water, and if an extended loss of power is expected, fill any bathtubs in the house for an extra water resource.

4. Charge devices, get portable chargers, generator if you really want: When the power goes out, so does your ability to charge any electronics. Make sure everything you need is charged and has extra batteries or a portable charger for when battery gets low. If you or somebody you live with needs electricity for a medical device, consider investing in a generator to keep your lights on even when the city power is out!

5. Get candles and flashlights with extra batteries: If your power is out, it will get really dark as soon as the sun goes down, and it will be difficult to get around or find things that you need. With candles and flashlights, you’ll be able to get around after dark better.

While there are a lot more ways to get prepared for an incoming hurricane, these five tips should at least get you started! Follow the links before for more information on how to be as prepared and safe as possible:

Checklist for pet safety during a hurricane:
https://www.ready.gov/animals

Information on how to get Emergency Alerts on your phone and what they mean:
https://www.ready.gov/alerts

More hurricane preparedness resources:
https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes
https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/ready.php
www.fema.gov


This blog post is written by NHC FL AmeriCorps member, Savannah Harris

Savannah serves at JASMYN as a Care Coordinator