One thing I was absolutely not looking forward to upon moving to southwest Florida was the hurricanes. It’s always a good idea to plan ahead but even more so (if you’re able) for natural disasters. Of course, it’s common knowledge that states which reside on the coast tend to be hit the most and hardest by hurricanes. Throughout my time in southwest Florida, I can say I have encountered a hurricane and I was not familiar with, nor had I any knowledge on how to prepare for a hurricane. This is one of the most important things to keep in mind as you settle down in Florida. Preparing your home to maximize its protection from said hurricane and making sure you’ve taken all the steps required to ensure your safety.
The Eastern Pacific hurricane season begins May 15th and ends November 30th. If you are ordered to evacuate your home, make sure you know your local evacuation route and have a plan of where you could stay if that were to happen. If you aren’t ordered to evacuate and decide to stay within your home, have adequate supplies in case you lose power and enough water to last for seven days if you’re unable to leave due to road blockages or flooding. I’d recommend having these supplies within your home not even a few weeks before hurricane season starts as they can often be very unpredictable. In order to prepare your home and make sure it doesn’t blow away into Oz, there are a few things in which you should know about before the season for hurricanes begins.
Hurricanes are known to cause damaged tress and limbs so before that is able to occur make sure you or someone you’ve hired has removed any susceptible trees or limbs to fall in order to keep your property safe. Luckily our property has not had any problems within this area but it is very common for trees to unsuspectedly fall onto houses and cause serious damage.
In order to prevent any kind of water damage to your home I’d recommend securing loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any kind of clogged areas of debris. You can reduce property damage by retrofitting to secure and reinforcing the roof, windows, doors, and garage doors. By boarding your glass windows and the like, you’re reducing not only the possibility of flooding within your home, you’re also preventing possible injury were hurricane winds could break and hurt someone within the home. You should be sure to stay away from windows and doors throughout the entire length of the hurricane and refrain from going outside. Even if the worst of a hurricane seems to have passed, the eye can come quickly and unexpectedly over the area where you live. This is an important safety caution to remember each hurricane season and lots of people don’t follow it, resulting in serious injury or even death.
In the instance you decide to wait out the hurricane within your home you should make sure that you’ve purchased a necessary generator for use during power outages. Sometime these power outages can last up to weeks and you’ll need water to bathe with, as well as cook with throughout the length of a power outage. Something I’d also recommend purchasing is an air conditioning window unit that will be able to keep you cool in the heat and humidity of a Florida hurricane. Our a/c window unit was a gift given to us by our neighbors a few years back when we experienced our first hurricane. It was truly a blessing to have, as we might’ve had nothing short of a heat stroke without it and would’ve had to spend day after day covered in sweat. Let me tell you, sleeping in 100% humidity is nearly an impossible task to accomplish and so the window unit would be one of the most essential items I’d recommend purchasing before hurricane season.
Make sure you’ve filled more than a few big jugs of fresh water before you lose power. Along with the water, you should prepare canned goods and other non-spoilable food items you’ll be able to eat during the storm. A flashlight and candles are also essential and should be at the ready before a hurricane hits. You’ll be spending a lot of time in the dark without power and the clouded sky, so something we entertained ourselves with was reading with book lights. I’d recommend you have some cards or books at the ready or else you’ll be bored to death.
I don’t personally think I plan on spending another hurricane within my own home, I’ll certainly be traveling to Vermont to stay with family for the nest one. If none of these things sound like something you’d be willing to deal with then I do suggest you do the same. If you do have family or another place where you could stay and decide on that route, still be sure to have boarded up windows and the like. Be sure you’ve taken out any food which could spoil in your fridge while you’re gone and take all special or irreplaceable items with you in case the worst were to happen. I don’t think that your home would be any less or more protected with the mere prospect of you being inside during a hurricane. Make sure you take all the necessary precautions but do keep in mind that hurricanes are destructive and very unpredictable in the damage they may cause. All in all, my best recommendation to give you would be to keep yourself safe above all else and leave your property to travel somewhere safer if you have that option available to you.
I am grateful that there has yet to be another hurricane and that we’ve suffered no damage to us or our property and I’m hopeful this hurricane season will be just as uneventful as the last. Hurricanes are very dangerous and no one should take them lightly. I wish you and your loved ones to stay safe this hurricane season!