Ahead of the Storm
Locate your homeowner’s insurance & flood policies and keep them handy. Take photos of the claims contact numbers and/or put them in your phone. Write them down as well.
Photograph your valuables and email them to yourself or store them in the cloud. You can also make videos of them and narrate the features, value, etc.
Take photos of all of your important papers and email them to another family member. This creates an electronic copy even if your phone is lost.
Eat all of the valuable food in your freezer.
Make a list of all household members’ phone numbers and send it to friends and relatives so you can all stay in touch.
Designate an out-of-state relative or friend that everyone will contact in the event people get separated.
Plan a rendezvous point in case people get separated.
Figure out where your nearest shelter is and drive by it well before the storm so you know the lay of the land. Leave nothing to guess.
If you have pets, make sure you know which shelters in your area accept them.
Put identification tags on your pet’s collar.
Place all important papers in an airtight bag or container and put them in a waterproof safe of your microwave oven.
Make your own ice blocks using food storage containers. They last longer than cubes and you can drink the water.
Tell neighbors your plans and ask theirs so you can account for one another and watch over property.
Place your lawn furniture in the swimming pool. It will be safe there and won’t fly around or get lost.
Get trees trimmed if time permits.
Pick up & store all plants, yard decorations, equipment, etc. Any of these items can fly around and cause damage to your home, cars or those of others.
Weigh down items that must remain outside with bags of soil, water softener salt or kitty litter.
During the peak of the storm, stay clear of rooms with large windows or those under large trees.
If you park outside, place your car very close to the garage door. This can help break the wind and keep your door from being severely damaged from the wind.
If you park outside, choose a location away from trees or aging structures.
Don’t go outside during the storm. Flying debris is the cause of many injuries.
Make sure you have plenty of charcoal. If the power is out for an extended period of time, you can still cook.
Get candles from the dollar store. They are inexpensive and generally in-stock.
Don’t worry if you can’t find bottled water. Wash out large containers (even Rubbermaids) and fill them with water to drink.
Gather plenty of hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes before the storm.
Fill your bathtub and extra buckets with water the day before the storm. You can also fill your washing machine too and shut it off before it agitates. This water can be used for washing hands, flushing, etc.
Pack a bag of a few changes of clothes, your toothbrush, medicines, glasses, comfort items, and a pillow/blanket. If you have to leave for an evacuation or shelter unexpectedly, you won’t have time to remember everything.
Have some card games, board games, puzzles, crafts and other non-electrical activities on hand for when the power goes out.
Have some books and magazines on hand for entertainment.
Buy cell phone power bank or solar charger.
Get yourself a Life Straw. This ensures you will have water to drink just about anywhere you go.
Purchase non-perishable snacks – candy bars, chips, fruit, nutrition bars, crackers, juice, applesauce, peanut butter, etc. in addition to the food you plan to have on hand. These items are portable and come in handy if you have to move unexpectedly from your current location.
Consider purchasing a camping stove so you can prepare hot foods. Also, if anyone is a coffee drinker, consider a coffee percolator to use on the stove.
Here are a few useful links to use during the hurricane:
Florida Division of Emergency Management – county by county resources (click on your county)
National Hurricane Center – highly detailed data used by news agencies worldwide to inform the public
My Fox Hurricane – local updates for our area
Local Meteorologist Denis Phillips Facebook page
Local Meteorologist Bobby Deskins Facebook Page
Hurricane Categories Explained
This video shows a simulation of potential damage for each category, 1-5, of a hurricane. Actual damage will vary, but this serves as a basic overview of structural challenges as the wind increases:
While the hurricane is a serious matter, levity can ease tensions and let your friends and relatives know you’re OK. Here are a few of our favorite memes:
To all of our patients, staff, and communities we serve – please stay safe.