With Hurricane Irma on a track to potentially hit Florida within the next week, and Governor Scott ordering statewide closures this Friday, September 8th, we wanted to share these tips that will aid in your hurricane preparedness.
1. If you have an ice maker, start running it now and bagging the ice in freezer bags. Fill as much space in between your freezer items as you can.
2. Freeze regular tap water for pets, cleaning or drinking in Tupperware-type containers. REMEMBER to leave a small bit of space between the top of the water & the lids so the ice expands but doesn’t crack the container.
3. Start using up your perishables to make more room for ice in the freezer.
4. Fuel up all vehicles, check tires & oil.
5. Remove or secure any items from your yard/patio now that could be potential projectiles in high winds (patio furniture, bikes, BBQs, trampolines)
6. If you have a generator, make sure you have fuel for it.
7. Do you know if your property is in a water surge evacuation area? Which evacuation zone are you in and which route do you take?
8. Turn off water and gas in yard as storm nears
9. Get cash from the ATM/Bank, at least enough to get you through tolls and gas out of town. Call your bank if you plan on leaving the state so they don’t freeze your card for out-of-area “suspicious” transactions.
10. Take screenshots or scan all important documents then send to your email. Place originals in sealed bags or plastic bins and take with you if you plan to evacuate.
11. If you have pets or livestock, prepare food & supplies. Locate and scan all records in case you need to shelter them at a storm-safe facility.
12. Identify your evacuation plans and share with friends or relatives so they know where you’re headed.
13. Consider putting heirlooms & photos in plastic bins in a high place, second floor, or safe room if you don’t plan on or cannot take them with you.
14. SECURE ALL FIREARMS & AMMUNITION PROPERLY.
15. Roll and place old rags and beach towels on your windowsills. Even with the best windows & shutters, water seeping from the wind pressure happens.
16. Shutter windows and doors and bring everything outside into your garage or house NOW. Do not wait until the day before. Better to get done early and relax than wait until its too late, ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE MANDATORY PERSONNEL (hospital employee or first responder).
17. Do NOT start trimming your trees now, it is too late. Trimming trees and landscape now could potentially create projectiles if not picked up in time.
18. If you don’t already have your hurricane supplies, get them now. Shelves are already empty in most places. Check with your local markets on when shipments will be delivered. Order dry goods and supplies from Amazon Prime immediately if necessary.
19. Refill all medications and locate a copy of important medical documents so that they are readily available to you if needed. Remember to have eye wear such as glasses or contacts available as well.
20. Freeze a cup of water, then place a quarter on top of it. If you are forced to evacuate this will tell you whether your food has spoiled. Quarter on top, your food is safe. Quarter on bottom, it all needs to be trashed (water thawed, as did your food).
21. Do a walk through video of your home, open all closets, cabinets, etc. If you’re forced to file an insurance claim this will help you quantify your belongings. Take a detailed inventory of clothing, personal and household products, art, furniture, electronics, etc.
22. If you need to evacuate, pack essentials such as clothing, personal care products, medications, and important documents. Items such as toothpaste, cleansing wipes, and sunscreen can be helpful if you need to evacuate to a shelter.
Tune into what your local authorities (city/county and state) are saying. FEMA does not issue evacuation warnings, they only pass on the info from your local authorities.