Hurricane Preparation Tips


Heather Senterfitt



Hurricane Preparation Tips

It’s summertime, which brings hurricane season to Northeast Florida. Hurricane season stretches from June until the end of November, which seems like a long time to be watching the weather channel and hoping no storms head our way! If our part of the state does fall in the path of a hurricane, there are numerous resources available to help us be ready. 

FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has a website dedicated to disaster preparation. This site, has information regarding a variety of topics including how to build a kit, plan, and stay informed, as well as other areas such as how to plan for seniors, pets, and children. FEMA also has sections on how to prepare financially and what you’ll need to be ready with technology.

Numerous other reputable resources such as the National Weather Service, Red Cross, OSHA, and your local county government and news stations have additional guides and preparation suggestions.

Here are a few tips that stood out as we were conducting research (and prepping our own homes in the past):

  • Make sure to review your insurance coverage and understand what is covered by whom. Sometimes hurricane and flood insurance policies are held by carriers outside of your primary insurer.
  • Don’t forget to record (video or photos) the items in your house. Keep this electronic file where you can access it when completing insurance paperwork after the storm. Also, consider adding a copy of this to a cloud storage system and/or trusted family or friend.
  • Make sure to have both cash (in a variety of denominations) and a credit card (with available credit) ready. Some businesses will have items that you need, but not the necessary power or internet connection to conduct a transaction via credit.
  • Make sure to download the apps for your insurance and FEMA to your phone before the storm. 
  • Get creative with water - don’t forget you can use storage vessels that you already have in your home - filled growlers, pitchers, buckets and the bathtub will work too.
  • Consider walkie-talkies to communicate with your family and neighbors as cell towers may be damaged.
  • Have a flashlight for everyone that is staying (or evacuating) with you.

If you’re in a condo, particularly a high-rise, here are some additional considerations:

  • Remember, the elevators are likely to shut down at certain wind speeds. If you are on an elevator, you may get trapped temporarily. Elevators will sometimes take you down (if they have power) but then will remain grounded until the wind subsides.
  • If your building has generators, they will go to power the essential items for all residences - such as elevators and access systems.
  • Your management company staff will not be able to help you move items inside from your outdoor space as they are busy preparing the entire building for the storm. If you need assistance moving items, make plans in advance.
  • Storage can be a challenge, particularly if you’re moving patio furniture, plants, and other outdoor items indoors, even for the short term. Make sure to take this into consideration if you’re sheltering in place.

Related article: Ponte Vedra Beach Hurricane Preparedness

Heather Senterfitt

Heather Senterfitt

The Lisa Barton Real Estate Team in Ponte Vedra Beach

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