Hurricane season. Two words that make most people cringe. Hurricane season begins on June 1st, and most Floridians hold their breath until the season officially ends on November 30th, watching the news for systems forming in the ocean.
Luckily, there are a lot of things that you can do to make sure you’re prepared if a hurricane decides to spin your way.
The key to hurricane preparedness is to get everything you need early so you’re not fighting for supplies days before the storm hits. Having a ready-to-go hurricane kit on hand ensures you’re not scrambling at the grocery store the day before. Read on to see our hurricane checklist to stay safe this storm season.
These are the emergency supplies you should have on-hand prior to storm season, and here’s the great news: it’s usually supplies you already have! This won’t be a complete list for everyone, but it is a great starting point for items everyone will need in the event of hurricane watches and warnings.
Once you’ve got everything on your hurricane checklist, keep it all in one location so you’re not searching for everything at the last minute. If you have a standing emergency supply kit, check it every year and replace expired and non-working items.
If you lose power during a storm, a generator will help provide enough power to keep you comfortable and safe. Not only will you hopefully still have at least some air conditioning, but you’ll be able to run your refrigerator to keep your food from spoiling. Remember safety when using a gas-powered generator. Never use a generator inside your home or too close to open windows or doors, as this can cause a buildup of deadly carbon dioxide. Also, remember that you’ll need to stock up on extra gas. Make sure to have enough gas for several days after the storm has passed.
No hurricane kit is complete without plenty of flashlights. Power outages can occur at any time during or after a hurricane. Keep several battery-powered LED flashlights or lanterns on hand so you can get around your house safely if the power goes out.
Extra batteries are essential during hurricane season. You need to be able to listen to the radio for updates from your local emergency management officials, refresh those flashlights, and power up the kids’ toys. (Hurricanes can get boring when you’re stuck inside all day.)
Have a couple of power banks on hand as well. If you’re like most people, you no longer have a landline, so you’ll need a way to charge your cell phone to check on friends and relatives, take pictures of damage, or call emergency services should the situation arise.
An often overlooked item on the hurricane prep list is the first aid kit. You think, “I’m inside, I’ll be fine.” But a first aid kit can help if you trip over an item in the dark, or if a window breaks and you get cut. The point of hurricane preparedness after all is to be ready for anything.
Your first aid kit should also include standard medications that you keep in your cabinet plus any prescription medications members of your household regularly take. It’s important to have extras, so it’s one less thing to search for in an emergency.
You’ll also want to include enough masks in the box to get you through a few days (in case you have to go to a disaster shelter) or if anyone at home is starting to feel sick. Having some at-home COVID tests will also help to make sure you are fully prepared.
Having a proper water supply is essential during a hurricane. It’s also one of the first things to sell out in the stores so stock up early (i.e. now). The common recommendation is one gallon per person per day for drinking and sanitation purposes. Your hurricane kit should have enough for at least three days, if not more.
Depending on where you live, it can get chilly at the end of hurricane season. You’ll want to make sure you can stay warm if the power goes out. Throw in some extra outfits as well to keep everyone as comfortable as possible.
Your hurricane food list should have enough non-perishable food to feed your entire family for three days (and don’t forget a can opener!). Canned food and other non-perishable foods are great, or you could look into freeze drying your own food.
And don’t forget about little ones and pets.
If you have a young baby, make sure your hurricane supplies kit has extra baby food and formula, and if mom is breastfeeding, add more water to her water reserves (it’s thirsty work!). Throw in extra diapers and baby wipes as well.
When gathering emergency food and water supplies, don’t forget to add extra for your pets. In case an evacuation is ordered, make sure you include a leash and a list of pet-friendly shelters near you. Never leave an animal behind!
Do not forget important documents. You’ll need driver’s licenses, passports, birth certificates, the deed to your home if applicable, insurance cards, and social security cards. Make sure to store all important documents in a waterproof container that you can quickly grab and bring with you should you need to evacuate.
If you have preexisting damage to your home or roof leaks, you will want to make sure to have a company out to tarp your roof. Waiting to see if the storm will hit you head on is a bad idea because everyone will be scrambling for services. Your best bet is to watch the weather stations and if there is a chance (even a slight one) that a storm could hit you, get your calls in to the companies. Chances are, even without a direct hit, you could experience wind and rain.
The earlier you put your hurricane kit together, the better. And when a storm gets closer, there are a few things you can do at the last minute to be extra prepared. Check out our hurricane hacks:
There are also things you can do outside of prepping your hurricane kit, like assessing threats to your home. Schedule inspections for your roof and trees on your property to assess any risk for your home and hopefully you’ll avoid the need for emergency tree service after the storm.
Floridians might be used to generating funny memes around hurricanes, but they’re no laughing matter. Hurricanes are unpredictable and there’s no telling when a storm will turn serious. Even a tropical storm is capable of generating wind speeds and storm surges that can do some serious damage.
Following this hurricane prep list will make sure you’re prepared for any storm. If it happens to be a particularly brutal hurricane, you’ll have everything you need to keep your household safe.
Sometimes even being prepared is not enough. That’s when Axel Works steps up.
Our team of pros can restore damage from any type of disaster, from water damage to fallen trees, and we offer a number of services including roof tarping and board up services to prevent further damage from occurring. If you have an open claim with an insurance adjuster, we can work with them too. Our top priority is getting you back in your home safely and quickly.
If you have damage or want to prepare for a hurricane, contact us today, and we’ll figure out what your home needs.