IT PAYS TO BE PREPARED
ARE YOU READY FOR HURRICANE SEASON?
It seems that hurricane season came a little earlier than usual this year. For those of you who are like me and make sure to prepare as early as possible, you might be feeling as ready as you can for the storms that lie ahead. But for those of you who might be new to Florida and haven’t experienced hurricanes or need reminders about the best ways to prep, I’m always eager to share knowledge that could potentially save you and your family from some of the hardships these storms can bring.
There’s a lot of planning and prepping that goes into being ready for a hurricane, and even when you’ve checked everything off the list, sometimes, things happen that you just can’t be prepared for. That’s why when notice of an approaching hurricane comes, it’s important for your family to first decide whether you will stay in your home and weather the storm or leave to find better protection.
If you decide to stay, there are many things you should do to make sure your family and your home are as protected as possible. Here are a few basics.
- Stormproof your home. Shutters or plywood can reinforce doors and windows and prevent broken glass.
- Purchase a backup generator and make sure it’s functioning properly and that you have a supply of gas.
- Stock up on enough food and water to last your family at least five days, and make sure at least half of it is non-perishable and doesn’t need to be refrigerated or cooked.
- Have cash on hand, as ATMs and banks could be closed for days.
- Your basic emergency supply kit should consist of batteries, flashlights, a toolkit and repair supplies, portable radios, and a first aid kit.
- Keep a supply of sandbags somewhere accessible so you can divert rushing water away from your house.
The right supplies to weather a storm are key, but it’s also important to make sure you have all your affairs in order. Whether you own or rent, make sure your insurance covers hurricane damage. Keep all of your important documents like birth certificates, passports, and Social Security cards in
a safe and dry place. Although it can be difficult to think about, it’s also important to make sure your estate plan is properly documented should something happen to you during the hurricane.
I’ve lived in Florida for a long time and have been through my share of hurricanes. The most important thing I’ve learned is that there’s no such thing as overpreparing and no such thing as preparing too early. Every time I’m at a big-box store like Costco, I always buy an extra case of essential supplies, like bottled water or canned foods, to put in my family’s designated hurricane closet. That way, when the time comes, we don’t have to worry about beating the rush of people trying to prepare last minute. Keeping everything in a closet dedicated solely to hurricane supplies makes it that much easier to find things when we need them most. When it comes to hurricanes, it pays to think far, far ahead.
The Whisler Law Firm’s website is a great resource for all the things you need to know about how to prepare for a hurricane. If you visit whislerlawfirm.com/hurricane-resource you’ll find extended lists of recommended supplies, actionable checklists, financial and personal preparedness toolkits, advice gathered from longtime Florida residents, and even an entire free eBook about hurricanes and how to prepare for them. We’re all about helping our community, and that means doing what we can to keep people safe. So make sure you visit our site and reach out if you have any questions. We’re here to help.
– Josh Whisler