South Florida, are you ready for hurricanes to be mixed into a pandemic? The 2020 Hurricane season started on June 1st and ends on November 30th. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts a 60% chance of an above-normal season. Let us help you prepare to be a hurricane survivor rather than a hurricane victim! We are now on our 14th Tropical Depression and one of them might be headed our way! The peak of the season is from mid-August until late October.
If you have lived in Florida for a while or you are new here, I’m going to provide you with a few tips on how to prepare for a hurricane. Being prepared is the best thing you can do to keep yourself and your family safe.
I recommend that you create “Hurricane Bins” which include the most important items needed incase you have to evacuate and it helps keep things organized. I create one every year at the beginning of the hurricane season and trust me, it takes away a lot of stress when done before hand. Every family has different needs and your bin will vary depending on your situation. I use a sterile plastic storage bin to store my items in and I always have a list with items still needed to be added into the bin such as prescription medications and extra cash. I honestly have different bins, the first one is for food and water and the other one is for everything else. When the kids were a little younger I had a bin just for keeping them entertained. Trust me, a toddler bin is worth it!!!
What’s in my Hurricane Bins:
- First-aid Kit
- Prescription Medications
- Kids Medications
- Allergy Medications
- Over-the-counter Medications
- Extra Batteries
- Battery Operated Radio
- Extra Cash
- Important Documents
- Evacuation Plan
- Manual Can Opener
- Lighter or Matches
- Coloring Book & Crayons
- Pack of Wipes
- Pack of Tissues
- Personal Hygiene Items
- Hand Sanitizer
- Extra Masks
- Water (enough to last up to 3 days)
- Non-perishable Food (enough to last up to 3 days)
- Snacks – this is just a bonus of your kids favorite items
Don’t forget that everyone’s Hurricane Bin will be different depending on your family needs, some families have babies, pets and the elderly living with them.
List of supplies needed:
- 2 Weeks of prescription medications, allergy medications and medical supplies needed
- Over the counter medications – pain reliever, children’s medications, antacids, etc.
- Battery operated radio
- Extra batteries
- Extra cash – ATM’s may not work during a power outage
- Enough food for 7 days – nonperishable packaged, canned goods, snacks, beverages, baby food & pet food
- Manual can opener
- Paper products – utensils, paper plates, plastic cups, straws, paper towels and napkins
- Water for 7 days – 1 Gallon of water per person per day
- Rain coat & boots
- Toilet Paper
- Special items needed for infants, small children, the elderly or family members with disabilities
- Complete First aid kit
- Personal hygiene and grooming Items
- Toilet paper
- Other Items: Thermometer, tweezers, safety pins, soap, gloves, Q-tips, scissors, hypoallergenic adhesive tape, etc.
- Important documents – medical cards, banking information, credit card information, birth certificates, social security cards, car documents, house documents, list of all medications and dosages, will information, etc.
- Family Evacuation Plan
- Face Masks
- Hand Sanitizer
- Disinfectant wipes
- Disposable gloves
- Portable power bank for charging devices
- Generator and fuel
- Gas grill and extra propane tanks
What to do before a hurricane:
- Secure all your windows, sliding doors etc. with shutters
- Bring all your outdoor furniture, decorations, plants and anything that can’t be secured or tied down inside
- Trim your trees and shrubs (Do not trim them if its too late and bulk pickup wont be able to pickup these items before a storm)
- Have an insurance checklist and pictures/documents of valuable and important possessions. Make sure you review your policies beforehand to ensure you have the adequate coverage needed
- If you have additional vehicles, boats or RV’s that need to be parked somewhere safe arrange for storage ahead of time
- Plan a safe place for your pets or larger animals. (horses, cows, pigs etc.)
- Identify the safest room in your home and discuss this with all family members
- Protect your pool and pool equipment such as the pool pump motor and turn off the pool equipment
- Activities and entertainment for the family (coloring books, cards, dominos, board games, etc)
A few Hurricane Tips:
- Download apps, games, shows & movies to any smart device you have. You can easily settle down and entertain the kids with a movie.
- Invest in a good portable power bank to charge electronics.
- Scan or take pictures of your important documents and upload them to an online cloud storage account
- Turn your refrigerator and freezer temperature down to the lowest setting.
- Freeze water bottles and put them in your refrigerator to keep items cold for a longer period of time during a power outage.
- Get fuel early, don’t wait until the last minute. Fill up your gas tanks and store them safely at home.
- Purchase extra items every time you go to the grocery store such as cases of water, tuna, crackers, etc.
- Fill up your washer with water, frozen drinks and ice and enjoy cold beverages for days without taking up additional space in your refrigerator
- Fill up your bathtub with water for washing and flushing. If you don’t have an extra bathtub then just fill up large containers of water.
- Turn your ac down and keep the house really cold, when the power goes out your house will stay cooler for just a bit longer.
- Have a mop accessible and a few buckets handy incase your roof develops any leaks.
- Start working on clearing up extra garbage around your house and trimming your trees and shrubs. Don’t forget to clear out those rain gutters!
Did you know that The Weather Channel is branding its hurricane and COVID-19 coverage as “COVIDCANE?” Stay safe during the “COVIDCANE” 2020 Season and let us know your hurricane tips!