Are you worried about incurring storm damage from this year’s hurricane season? In Florida, hurricane season starts on June 1st and ends at the end of November. The worst storms typically occur during August and September. Thankfully, there are things you can do to get ready for the storms and protect your home.
Preparing for the Florida Hurricane Season
Our six tips can help you get ready for hurricane season by making sure you are stocked and your home is protected against high winds and flood damage.
1. Create a Hurricane Preparedness Kit
Your hurricane preparedness kit should be a bag that you can take with you if you choose to evacuate your home or if mandatory evacuation orders are given by the state of Florida. This kit should contain all your essential items including enough food and water to last three days, a basic first aid kit, all your personal documents and any OTC and prescription medications you may need for the next three to four days and personal hygiene items. You’ll also want to include a manual can opener, several flashlights, extra batteries, a weather radio, a lighter, and any special needs items for individuals in your family or your pets.
2. Trim Trees and Remove Loose Items from Your Yard
Once you have your emergency hurricane preparedness kit created, it’s time to look around your yard at the trees and items in your yard. All trees and bushes should be trimmed and loose branches removed. If you have patio furniture or other items that are not screwed down, you’ll need to put them in your garage, shed or home.
3. Protect Your Home Against High Winds and Flooding
Prior to the storm, it is important to close and secure your hurricane shutters or cover your windows with plywood. You may also want to secure and cover your garage door with plywood. If you are worried about flooding in addition to wind and debris damage, you can put a sandbag barrier around your home. It’s good to check to see if you are in a flood zone, here are Tampa’s flood zones.
4. Be Prepared for a Power Outage
If the hurricane is severe, you could find yourself without power for several days. If you do not have a generator, you may wish to purchase one. You should also fill your car with gas and get enough fuel for your generator for several days. Make sure to get enough cash for several days in case ATMs are not functioning.
5. Remove Items from Lower Levels
If you live in a two-story home, consider moving furniture and other personal belongings from the first floor to the second floor. This can help keep them safe from water damage.
6. Make a Go/No Go Decision
Once you have your home prepared, it’s time to decide if you will stay in your home or seek a safer location during the storm. If the storm looks like it’s going to be severe, the best decision may be to drive out of the hurricane’s path and stay in a hotel or with relatives out of state for a few days. If you decide to stay, make sure you have plenty of food, water, medicines, flashlights, non-perishable foods, and something with which to cook those foods, like a propane camping stove or a grill. If you plan to leave, it’s best to do so a few days ahead of the storm. By leaving early, you will beat the evacuation rush.
Making Sure You’re Properly Insured for Florida’s Storm Season with Fearnow Insurance
It’s also important to make sure your home has the right kinds of insurance coverage in case you experience hurricane damage to your property. Insurance policies you may want to consider include flood insurance and homeowners insurance. You may also want to check to see if your homeowners insurance policy covers wind damage. If it does not, you may need a separate policy specifically for damage caused by high winds. The good news is that our agents at Fearnow Insurance can go over your existing policies to make sure you are covered in the event of a hurricane, and if you need new coverage, they can find the right policies for you.
To learn more about hurricane, flood, and homeowners insurance policies, give us a call at (813) 689-8878.