Hurricane season returns on June 1 and continues until November 30, with peak activity occurring from August through October. Last year, Hurricanes Ian and Nicole swept through the state, causing widespread flooding and damage for millions of Floridians. Preparation for hurricane season is crucial and can differ depending on your location. You can find extensive hurricane preparation information on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website at https://www.noaa.gov/hurricane-prep. The following tips are beneficial for all Floridians.
Last year, the most extensive damage resulted from flooding when Hurricane Ian delivered nearly 20 inches of rain across the state. Evaluate your flood risk and plan accordingly. If your home is in a flood zone, consider evacuation. Sandbags and flood barriers are available from most major hardware stores— if the city isn’t already providing them for free. Address small roof or ceiling leaks before storm season, as these can quickly become huge problems once a storm begins. If you need to store your car, the City of Orlando offers free access to upper-level downtown parking garages during storms.
Areas of Central Florida experienced week-long power outages following Hurricane Ian due to underground flooded powerlines. Ensure that you have sufficient food stores and a non-electronic cooking method. Outdoor grills help cook almost anything, including canned foods – although, be sure to do this over hot coals and not open flames. Ensure all phones and devices are fully charged before storms so you don’t miss critical weather alerts. You should also consider a mobile charging unit if necessary.
Untrimmed tree branches broken off by strong winds can become flying projectiles or collapse onto power lines and property. Assess trees on your property and determine if they need trimming or removal. If the trees are hanging above power lines, contact your local power company, which will arrange for the trees to be trimmed free of charge. Reach out to them promptly, as tree-trimming companies often experience extended lead times once hurricane season commences.
Supplies and Water
Stock up on first-aid supplies, batteries, candles, medications, and non-perishable foods. The recommendation of one gallon of water per person daily can be daunting, especially when stores face shortages. Save yourself time and money by purchasing your resealable containers (such as large jars) and filling them with filtered water immediately before a storm. This will not only keep you stocked and out of the stores but is also an economic and environmentally-conscious way to stay prepared for future hurricane seasons.
Here are a few additional resources to address any concerns you may have regarding hurricane preparation. Visit centralfloridalifestyle.com for related articles and updates.
- Create a family emergency communication plan
- Prepare a disaster supply kit
- Know the local hurricane evacuation route and shelter locations
- Protect your home
- Shelter information and housing assistance
- Sandbags, tarps and other storm supplies
- Evacuation routes and road closures
- Food, clothing and hygiene locations
- Special needs registry and medical supplies
- Emotional and crisis support
- tips and ideas on how to strengthen your home
- evacuation routes and shelters
- tracking the storm
- food assistance
- housing and insurance information
- recovery centers
- emergency supplies
- evacuation plans
- preparation tips for the whole family, includes pets
- hurricane safety checklist
- emergency skills
- volunteer to help