From Distancing to Sheltering – an Easy Transition

It struck me as conveniently ironic that as we go from distancing to possibly sheltering from a hurricane, many of us may already be somewhat prepared. Stockpiling supplies has been a theme of sorts for the first part of this year – we might as well keep it up, Florida!

Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday

Floridians – get ready to save some money on those hurricane supplies you need. You can save money when you stock up on reusable ice packs to keep your food cold when the power goes out. Save money on gas cans so you have enough fuel on hand to keep that portable generator that you can also buy tax free. It would be smart to stock up on batteries of all sizes now. You know you’ll need them for Christmas presents anyway, right? Do you use bungee cords all year round? Get them now tax free!. And you gardeners that know the benefits of solarizing your soil – now is the time to get that plastic sheeting for less. For specifics on qualifying items go to

Considering COVID-19 Precautions

Along with our usual supplies in our hurricane kit, we need to add some tools for COVID-19 considerations. If you haven’t already, throw some face masks, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes in that Hurricane Supply Kit. Like I mentioned, these are things you probably already have on hand. By now we’ve probably seen what our normal usage of these items is, so make sure you have enough on hand for about a week. For a complete checklist of Hurricane Supplies, check out this great printable resource from the Florida Department of Emergency Management (FDEM).

Other Preparations You Can Make Now

If you are still distancing or working from home, I have a time-killer to suggest for your hurricane prep. Now is a great time to document your belongings. Each year, it is a great idea to take photos or videos of the contents of your home. The better you can document the extent of your belongings, the better you can ensure adequate insurance support. If, heaven forbid, your home is destroyed by a natural disaster, your insurance includes a payout for your lost contents. In speaking recently with a property insurance representative, I learned that many people fail to claim enough in contents. Look around your home. Just how much would it cost to replace all of your clothes, shoes, dishes, linens, storage bins, furniture, holiday decorations, and curtains? I could go on. You get the idea. Document what you have so the insurance company can do their job.

Speaking of insurance, now is a great time to check in with yours. Have you added anything to your home in the last year? Whether you rent or own, you should have insurance to cover your property. Sometimes we have to make sure the insurance company know how much property we have. Have you added a new security system? Bought expensive jewelry? Maybe you upgraded a kitchen. This might effect how much coverage you need. Once there is a named storm headed our way, your insurance company will not be able to make changes to your policy. It is worth doing this ahead of time.

Keep Your Resources Handy

You might want to make a file in your cloud storage for Hurricane Prep if you haven’t already. This is a great place to store electronic copies of your insurance policies. Put your lists of important phone numbers there. Add those photos and videos you took of your belongings. Then ‘favorite’ some handy links like the National Hurricane Center, FDEM, and your local emergency management office.

As we transition from a bizarre spring to a familiar Florida season – hurricane season – take the time to prepare now so you can focus on what is really important as a storm approaches: Where is Jim Cantore!




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Posted: May 29, 2020

Category: Disaster Preparation, UF/IFAS Extension
Tags: Disaster Preparedness., Extension, Hurricane, Prepare, Sales Tax Holiday

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