Us Floridians are no strangers to extreme weather events. Hurricanes and tropical storms are just a fact of life here, but they don’t have to be devastating. With some planning and forethought, you and your family can ensure your safety and secure your property. Here are our quick tips that you should put in place immediately, so that when the next storm season hits, you and your loved ones will be ready.
Step 1: Create an Emergency Plan
An emergency plan is a set of instructions that you and your family will follow when you must evacuate or shelter the storm. This is important because when the storm comes, emotions will run high, and you want to do the heavy mental work of coming up a plan well ahead of time.
First, assign responsibilities to each member of your family so that all the burden is not on one member. Organize the contact information of each family member such as telephone number, email address, and social media accounts, and put them on portable contact cards you can take with you. Also decide on an emergency contact that lives far away that you can all check in with. Everyone can then check in with that contact, and they can relay information to each member of your family.
Decide what you should do with your pets (if you have any), and take note of the exit points in your house that could be breached by the storm and that you can use to escape. Decide how you will take care of family members that have medical conditions. For example, you may need to keep a cooler with ice packs handy in case their medicine must be keep in cold storage.
Next, pick emergency meeting places outside of your home, but nearby, where you and your family can meet up should you be separated. Also take note of secure locations in your home where you can shelter the storm. Interior hallways, bathrooms and closets without windows, and basements are all areas you should consider. If you have a storm shelter, that is the ideal place to weather the storm.
Step 2: Assemble Your Emergency Storm Kit
Here is a list of items that we recommend you consider for your storm kit:
Step 3: Prepare Your Home
Now that you’ve got your plan in place, it’s time to improve your home’s defenses. Make sure to clear your yard of outdoor items that can fly into your home. Lock all your windows and doors so none open accidentally. Consider installing storm shutters way ahead of time to protect your windows, or a storm door to protect your exterior doors. Use Porch’s Cost to Install a Storm Door Calculator to budget the cost of installing one. Consider consulting with a roofer to reinforce your roof with cement or hurricane straps as well.
A backup generator is another common item many homeowners purchase to help weather storms. Permanent backup generators can power up your entire house, but many homeowners opt for portable generators, which are lighter and can power up the essentially.
Finally, it’s important to get the appropriate type of homeowners insurance for the type of extreme weather your area is most susceptible to. For us in Florida, that’s hurricanes, windstorms, hail, and floods.
While we never hope for a tropical storm, we understand that they are inevitable in our part of the country. The team at Lakeland Dumpster Rental wishes you the best as you prepare your home and family for the event of a hurricane.