If you live in Florida, it’s never too early to start preparing for hurricane season. As the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season is forecasted to be laden with many storms and several potentially serious hurricanes, Floridians should make every effort to ensure they’re prepared for whatever Mother Nature has in store this year.
While you cannot control the timing and intensity of a hurricane, you can take precautions to keep yourself and others safe and minimize potential damage to your property.
Just because someone lives far inland doesn’t mean they’re protected from hurricane disasters. Things like heavy wind, rainfall and tornadoes can still wreak havoc on inland communities, even if you’re a considerable distance from the coast. Also, if you live near a lake or river, you’re at risk of major flooding as these bodies of water can easily overflow due to heavy rainfall.
Many Floridians may be able to shelter from a hurricane in the security of their own home. However, depending on the intensity of a hurricane and its path, you may have to evacuate the area. To make your evacuation as seamless and stress free as possible, make sure you have a solid plan beforehand.
Figure out the best route as well as backup routes to your safe destination. Talk to family members and friends in other towns about staying with them in case you’re forced to flee your area. If staying at someone else’s home is not a feasible option, make a list of hotels and shelters in nearby towns that could safely accommodate you and your family, including your pets (if you have any).
If you end up staying home during a hurricane, avoid unprotected windows. Stay in the central part of your home on the first floor until the hurricane passes, weakens or dissipates altogether.
Whether you end up riding out the hurricane at home or evacuating, make sure you have these critical items on hand and consider packing them in a bag or five-gallon bucket in case you do have to leave:
Even a low category hurricane or tropical storm can cause considerable damage to your home. To avoid hefty costs and drawn-out insurance battles resulting from property damages, make sure to protect and strengthen your home by taking these precautions:
Also, keep your important documents like passports, insurance policies, wills and Social Security cards in an easily accessible and secure place. Take these documents with you if you need to evacuate your home.
As long as you live in a hurricane-prone area, you must assume your property may at some point sustain considerable storm damage. No amount of preparation can completely spare your home from serious damage if it’s in the direct path of a serious storm. Look into getting more than basic homeowners insurance to have sufficient coverage for potential repair and replacement expenses.
Florida homes need to be insured against the two main impacts of a hurricane: wind and water. If you live near Florida’s coastline or next to a body of water, carefully study your insurance policy to know what it does and doesn’t cover in terms of hurricane damage. Make sure you understand your hurricane deductible.
Reviewing your policy before hurricane season may help you avoid serious claim difficulties and high out-of-pocket costs if your home ends up being in the path of a storm.