Some people find that living in hurricane-zone Florida is normal just like anywhere else where natural disasters come and go, season per season. Coping with life every hurricane season is just a matter of adjusting and ‘dealing with it‘—an attitude that most Floridians have understood and coped with to enjoy the Floridian lifestyle.
However, if you are new to Florida and haven’t had any experience with hurricanes, read on to help keep you and your family safe should a hurricane strike.
Create a ready-made anti-hurricane program plan.
- Preparation with knowledge is the key to surviving hurricanes in Florida. Advanced knowledge can help a lot and give you a sense of confidence and courage in tackling a disaster that is about to come.
- Most residents prepare their families, especially their children, about what to do and how to do it. It is important to properly communicate the plan to all members of the family so that each is aware of their own function during the actual disaster. You can find informative learning guides for your kids here.
- Do research on community programs for hurricane preparedness to find out how workplace and school groups handle hurricane situations.
- Know your emergency alerts and warnings.
- If you’re new to Florida, ask your neighbors if your area is hurricane-prone since they are more knowledgeable about it.
- Make a well-detailed list or questionnaire so that you’ll know what to do in advance, involving basic questions about basic necessities—food, water, shelter, security, and others. Ready.gov has a comprehensive and updated disaster plan guide; read it here.
- Know the evacuation center’s location, when to go and how to get there, and keep a list of contact persons.
- Make sure you have the contact information of ServiceMaster by PWF if you have a flood or hurricane event to deal with.
Ready your property inside and out.
- Strengthen and build more structural supports for parts of the house that are the weakest and the most susceptible to hurricane damage, like windows, doors, garages, and most importantly, rooftops.
- Trim and clean surrounding shrubs and trees to prevent damages due to them breaking or falling.
- Clean your gutters to ensure steady water flow away from the house. A clogged gutter can lead to seepage and cause ceiling or drywall water damage.
- Inside the house, check if radios are battery-ready, if water bottles are filled with drinking water, and if sanitary water is readily available for bathtubs.
Assemble and prepare a hurricane emergency box.
- Include basic emergency medical supplies and equipment, such as first aid kits and medicine, especially maintenance medicine (the hurricane might take weeks); and blankets and pillows with water-resistant pillowcases (at least). Due to the crisis we are currently facing, you may have to include items that would keep your health safe. You can find more information about building emergency kits here.
Make a reinforced safe room in your house with a three-to-seven-day list of items/goods.
- Store food and water, kitchen accessories, hygienic items, flashlights and batteries, tools, and a ‘grab bag’ which includes cash, camera, keys, mobile phones with chargers, and your most important documents.
What should I do before a hurricane strikes?
- The key is to remain vigilant. Always stay alert and be ready to put your plan in action. If there is still time, make sure to review it.
- Double-check everything, from your house preparation to your anti-hurricane items.
- Stay updated with the latest news and obey advisories for evacuation.
- Be on the lookout for emergency alerts and warnings.
What should I do during a hurricane?
- When a hurricane finally strikes, stay inside your safe room and stay away from windows and doors.
- Monitor the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) radio for the latest updates, especially the location of the hurricane’s eye.
- Perform instructions commanded by local authorities, like turning off the power if necessary, avoiding contact with flood waters especially children, and waiting until everything is back to normal.
What should I do after a hurricane passes?
- Contact your family and friends to be informed about their status and to inform them about yours.
- Keep listening to local news for updated information and instructions while keeping watch for extended rainfalls and flooding.
- If evacuated, follow the local authorities’ instructions before you return.
- Before going outside, make sure everything is clear and the storm has already left the vicinity.
- After confirming that it’s safe, document the damages to your property by taking pictures and videos for insurance purposes and personal use.
If fortune is on your side, everything will be safe and you’ll have no property damages. However, damages after a hurricane can’t be helped. If disaster strikes your property and you find yourself needing water damage restoration and remediation works, call ServiceMaster by PWF, Florida’s trusted professionals and experts in residential and commercial restoration for water and storm damages.
ServiceMaster by PWF takes pride in its level of service when it comes to water and storm damages on your home or business. A water damage emergency can be traumatic and we understand that. Our goal is to get your life back to normal as quickly as possible.
You can contact our service offices at Pinellas, Duval, Clay and St. Johns Counties through (866) 599-0871. Our IICRC-certified firm’s technicians will be happy to work on flood damage remediation, water damage restoration services, fire damage repair, mold remediation, cleaning service, or sewage cleaning.