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UF Offers Tips on Preparing Your Home, Family for a Hurricane

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – As hurricane season approaches, residents should take the time now to prepare their homes for storms, said a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension faculty member.

According to UF/IFAS Extension Highlands County Director Laurie Hurner, it is never too soon to prepare for what can become a devastating hurricane season. “Weather can change in a blink of an eye. It’s better to be prepared than to try to remember what you will need,” she said. “It’s better to prepare now, before a storm hits, than wait until right before a hurricane to head to the stores.”

  • Tax-free shopping: Florida’s tax-free days for hurricane preparation is June 1 to 7 this year. This is a great time to buy batteries, generators and other supplies you might need during a storm.
  • Have a plan: Know where you will go if a storm hits and you need to evacuate. Make sure that your family is aware of your plan and you have discussed it.
  • Have extra cash on hand: ATMS may be down, and credit cards cannot be accepted without power. Stash extra cash now to use during a storm.
  • Create a disaster supply kit: Plan on supplies for three to 14 days; put your supplies in something portable so that you can carry it easily.
  • Don’t forget a first aid kit.
  • Pack insurance policies: Review your insurance policies annually to see what they require, should you have damage to your home, car or you. Pack them with other important documents where you can easily get to them.
  • Assign an emergency contact: Assign a contact out of the area that all of you can call and report in that you are safe in case you are separated. Make sure everyone has that number in their wallets and cell phones.
  • Locate shelters: Make sure you know where shelters are located and any requirements that you have to follow to be admitted.

For more information, refer to the 2017 UF/IFAS Extension Disaster Handbook, a free guide available at http://disaster.ifas.ufl.edu/masterfr.htm.

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The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With more than a dozen research facilities, 67 county Extension offices, and award-winning students and faculty in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS works to bring science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries, and all Florida residents. Visit the UF/IFAS web site at ifas.ufl.edu and follow us on social media at @UF_IFAS.

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