woman standing outside during a severe storm

Preparing For Storms & Hurricanes in Florida

June 6, 2022

When you live in Florida, it’s important to know how to prepare responsibly for a storm. After all, we spend a third of each year in hurricane season! It’s not only important to clean up yards and secure loose items like outdoor furniture, we also need to remember that water, utilities, and power may be impacted or shut off as a result of the storm. Depending on the power a storm has and the damage it causes, you may need to stay indoors without access to food or other resources for a few days.

Let’s face it… it can get uncomfortable and dangerous during and after these storms. So, it’s important to spend some time prepping for extreme weather now that the season is here!

first aid supply kit

Build A Basic Disaster Supply Kit

One of the first things you should do to prepare for hurricane season is to prep a basic emergency supply kit. The great thing about these is that a lot of the items can be stored for multiple years. So pick a plastic storage box and get packing! You’ll still need to check your kit annually and update perishables though.

  • Extra cash
  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation items
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local evacuation maps – remember some evacuation routes have changed
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
  • Prescription Medicine and Hygiene items
  • Waterproof container with cash and important documents
  • Lighter or matches
  • Books, magazines, games for recreation
  • Special needs items: pet supplies and baby supplies if applicable
  • Cooler and ice packs

Once you’ve got your kit prepped, you’re all set for the season! You can relax and have some peace of mind in the fact that you’re as ready as you can be.

palm tree blowing in hurricane force windsBefore the Storm

So you prepped your supply kit at the beginning of the season, but now there’s word of a storm that’s heading our way. The positive thing here is we get plenty of notice that one is on the way, so you should have time to complete some additional checklist items before it’s schedule to arrive… as long as you don’t procrastinate too much, that is! Here are a few things you should take care of with a hurricane approaching:

  • Charge all phones
  • Remove furniture and debris from decks and patios
  • Update emergency contact information
  • Obey evacuation orders
  • Turn off power and gas prior to evacuating
  • Fuel up vehicles in case a power outage makes it impossible to get gas
  • Store or tie up pool furniture, maintenance equipment, trash cans and anything else that could become airborne debris in high winds

weather map showing tropical systemOur Top 5 Tips To Help You

  1. RENTER’S INSURANCE – The hurricane season begins on June 1. It should be your top priority to obtain Renter’s Insurance. Your Property Manager can get you connected with an insurance representative if you need a reference. Renters insurance is inexpensive and could make a big difference in how you financially recover from a storm.
  2. FOLLOW THE NEWS – During the season, you should follow news reports and storm-related forecasts. Keep in mind that hurricanes are unpredictable, so their paths may change over the course of a day. Once storm systems form, you should check the news multiple days a day for updates on their predicting path just to be safe.
  3. PREPARE A GO-BAG – Your go-bag should include a first aid kit, flashlights, and a radio in addition to prescriptions and water bottles. You can put all of these supplies in a backpack for easy carrying. Store this bag in your room or kitchen so you access it right away.
  4. PLAN AN EVACUATION ROUTE – You can ride out a category 1 storm in your home. But a major hurricane produces massive wind gusts, storm surges, and rain. Know your route to safety in case you should need it.
  5. SECURE THE HOME – Natural disasters can destroy entire homes. If you receive an evacuation order, you can spend a few hours securing your home. Lock your doors and windows. Move your valuables and store them in thick plastic containers. Shut off the power by the breakers and shut off the gas.

We hope you find these suggestions helpful in your preparations for Florida’s hurricane season, which runs annually from June 1st through the end of November.

Kathy Gaspari is our Director of Residential Asset Management. She has been a property manager with Berkshire Hathaway for many years and is a member of The National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM®). She earned the Residential Management Professional (RMP®) and the distinguished Master Property Manager (MPM®) Designations, and serves as Secretary for the Leasing and Property Management Council at the Pinellas Realtor Organization. She has also served as NARPM® Florida State Chapter Secretary and NARPM® State Conference Planning Committee Secretary.
storm prep tips for florida residents

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© 2020 BHH Affiliates, LLC. An independently owned and operated franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of Columbia Insurance Company, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate. Equal Housing Opportunity.