As Floridians the month of June brings about Hurricane Season. It’s the season we are all too familiar with and try to block it out, until we see storm predictions and any potential weather threats from what may be forming in the Gulf or Atlantic waters. Through television, radio and print, the media creates awareness of making sure you are ready for the season. Do you take the time to make sure you and your family are prepared? Or do you wait until the 7-day outlook shows the potential track? Planning allows for your family to have an action plan in the event of a disaster and have the supplies you need without the added stress of trying to find them in a hurry.
To make a disaster plan, make sure the entire family is involved. As a family discuss what to do in the event you need to evacuate or how to communicate if there is an extended power outage. Map out an evacuation route out of your neighborhood and practice it together so everyone is familiar with what it looks like. During the time of a disaster, you may need to react quickly, which includes gathering important papers. Do you have these, or copies of them accessible and in one place? All family members should know or have access to emergency numbers, secured in phones and written down. Create a family disaster plan together by visiting: https://apps.floridadisaster.org/getaplan/
Now that you have a plan, do you have the supplies you need? Prior to each hurricane season review what you have, make a list of what you need and restock before the storm. Start off with checking if you have working flashlights, battery operated lanterns and extra batteries. Since power outages are common in storms, stay informed with weather radios that can be run off battery power. Storms can slow down, change direction and change intensity. Be prepared with 5-7 days of water (1 gallon/person/day) and the same day supply of non-perishable, packaged or canned foods that do not require cooking or refrigeration. Keep a can opener with your supplies for easy access, especially if the power goes out. In the event of leaks keep a blue tarp or waterproof plastic sheeting on hand, and a first aid kit if small injuries occur. In your hurricane supply kit should be extra soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toilet paper and other personal care items. Ahead of any storm make sure you have an extra supply of special medications you or other family members may be taking. Kept separate, away from food, should be cleaning supplies, trash bags, sunscreen and bug repellant.
Keep your family safe in any storm or disaster by being prepared. To learn more about preparing Florida homes for natural disasters visit: https://disaster.ifas.ufl.edu/media/disasterifasufledu-/docs/Florida-Homeowners-Handbook.pdf