How to Prepare for a Hurricane in South Florida

Knowing your vulnerability and what actions to take are two main ways of being prepared and avoiding a hurricane disaster.
guy with hurricane boards

Springtime is the most ideal time to start preparing for hurricane season just around the corner. Forecasters at Colorado State say another busy hurricane season is ahead in 2022. Dr. Phil Klotzbach, says that there is about a 65% chance of above-average activity.

In addition, Hurricane Preparedness Week is May 1st to May 7th this year. As hurricane season draws near, reference this link as a valuable resource. Knowing your vulnerability and what actions to take are two main ways of being prepared and avoiding a hurricane disaster.

Here are a few ways to prepare for a hurricane in South Florida:

Stock Up on the Essentials & Prepare Your Home – If you’ve lived in Florida long enough, you’re no stranger to hurricane preparations and stocking up on the essentials. We’ve compiled a handy list of some of the items that should be on your shopping list and what to gather when a hurricane is on its way:

  • Water – 1 gallon per person per day for 2 weeks. Have additional on hand for cleaning, your pets, and water purification and filtration purposes.
  • Non-perishable Packaged or Canned Food and Snacks – Enough for at least 7 days, along with a manual can opener. Think cans of soups and pasta, granola bars, fruit cups, breakfast bars, beef jerky, nuts, dried fruit, chips, etc. Bread, peanut butter, and jelly will also make for a quick and easy meal.
  • Fuel – If the power goes out you’ll still be able to grill outdoors after the storm by having bought fuel in advance. Some of your meat and vegetables in your refrigerator and freezer won’t go to waste this way. After a hurricane, only grill outdoors if the weather permits and it’s safe to do so.
  • Emergency Kit – Matches, flashlights, first-aid kit, prescription medications, variety of batteries, insect repellent, etc. should be included in your kit.
  • Waterproof Containers – Store your important documents such as social security cards, driver’s licenses, a copy of your marriage license, special family photos, and select items of sentimental value. Keep a set of extra clothes, pillows, and blankets dry here as well.
  • Personal Hygiene Items & Toiletries – Stock your cabinets with enough toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and a few cleaning supplies to ensure you have the means to keep yourself and your home sanitized, especially during power outages.
  • Light & Communication Devices – Make sure you have the correct batteries (and extra batteries) for your battery-operated radio, flashlight, and clock. Tune into the NOAA weather radio for continuous updates on the storm and weather conditions.
  • Hurricane Shutters or Storm Panels – In a hurricane-prone area, these are ideal. At the very least secure windows and doors with plywood.
  • Tools – A drill with a screwdriver bit will be necessary to secure hurricane shutters. Other tools to gather or purchase include rope, leather gloves, head and foot bolts for doors, and hurricane straps or clips to hold the roof and walls up.
  • Childcare Items – Food, formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, clothing, a favorite toy – anything to keep as much of a normal routine for young children.
  • Pet Items – Pet food, collars, and leashes are examples of the essentials to set aside should you need to grab them in a hurry.
    • Entertainment Items – Playing cards, board games, toys, books, crosswords, and drawing/note pads are just a few ideas to keep the family entertained while waiting out the storm.
    • Whistles & Flares – Most likely these items will be in your emergency kit, but they deserve a separate bullet point due to their importance. Whistles are one of the most listed items to include in a hurricane emergency kit by hurricane survivors, allowing the signal for help well beyond the range of a voice and with a lot less effort.

Determine If You Live in an Evacuation Zone & Develop an Evacuation Plan – Monitor the news and text alerts to determine if you live in an evacuation zone. Take advice from officials to evacuate very seriously. Consider your options – do you have family/friends in a safer area of the county or state or a different state entirely? Can you book a hotel outside the evacuation zone? Communicate your plan to evacuate with your family early on so that everyone is on the same page and ready. Plan several travel routes in case one is too congested or in case an accident reroutes traffic.

Obtain Flood Insurance & Review Your Insurance Policies – The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) managed by FEMA has flood insurance available to anyone living in one of the 23,000 participating NFIP communities. According to the FEMA website, “Homes and businesses in high-risk flood areas with mortgages from government-backed lenders are required to have flood insurance. Verify your current home owner’s insurance coverage to determine if hurricanes and other natural disasters are covered under your policy. If don’t currently have flood insurance, consider it as an extra precaution. Your insurance agent should be able to answer all your questions.

Purchase a Portable Generator and Educate Yourself on How to Safely Use it – A portable generator will come in handy in the event of an extended power outage, but if used improperly, the device can seriously harm or kill unsuspecting families. We’ll cover more on the topic of portable generator safety in our blog next month “What to do After a Hurricane Hits Your Area,” so stay tuned.

Inspect Your Roof in the Springtime – Check out our most recent blog post “Spring Clean Your Roof” for tips to ready your roof for the rainy season and potential hurricane threats. Your roof is your home’s top defense against staying safe when life-threatening weather strikes – let the Native Roofing team take a look to determine if you’re ready for hurricane season 2022.

Should your South Florida home experience hurricane roof damage in the next few months, contact the Native Roofing team to request your free roofing estimate. In business for 25 years, we’ll have your roof repaired in no time. Contact us today at 954-236-9986 or visit our website for more information on our experience, services, and how we can help.  


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