Hurricane season is upon us for Florida real estate owners, and this year is predicted to have some fierce activity after 10 years of relative quiet on the landfall front. Are you prepared in case of a hurricane that appears to be tracking for landfall, and do you know what to do in the midst of a hurricane event? These six tips can help you keep your family and your property safe in case Mother Nature has a fit on your doorstep.
Start with the basics. Before hurricanes strike is when you should create your emergency preparedness plan, decide on a meeting place, figure out where the closest shelter is, stock a quick kit with supplies, including food, water, a flashlight, batteries, blankets, and a first aid box, have a talk with your whole family about procedure during a hurricane, and lay in tape, boards, and other things you might need to secure your home in advance of a hurricane. Make sure none of the trees near your home have dead trunks or branches that could cause them to come down and cause damage to your home. Buy water damage insurance.
During a hurricane watch, know which station to tune to to receive warnings and updates, and download an app to your phone. If you are away from home decide if traveling is wise or whether you should stay put. Get in touch with friends and family members and revise your plan if needed. Check with your HMO to determine in area emergency services.
During a hurricane warning, make sure to designate one person in your group to monitor the warnings and alerts as the situation progresses. Listen to emergency officials and follow instructions. Ensure that glass windows are taped and be ready to move fast if advised to seek shelter. Don’t panic, and make sure young children and the disabled all have assigned people to buddy with them so if movement is necessary, everyone is safe.
During an actual hurricane, follow instructions from local officials closely, whether you are advised to batten down hatches, relocate to the nearest shelter, or evacuate the area completely. Use as few vehicles if possible while on the move – better to pile into one car and cut down on congestion on the roads. Find out if neighbors need a ride as well.
After a hurricane, wait until it is declared safe to venture back into the affected areas. Stay away from flooded zones and don’t try to drive if you aren’t sure what’s under water. Watch out for displaced wildlife and stay alert. Photograph damage done for any needed claims, and find out how physical depreciation can affect you. Check in on neighbors if you don’t already know they are safe, and be ready to render aid.
Once things are back to normal, hold a post-hurricane family meeting and figure out what could have been done better. Restock your emergency kit, repair any damage, and revise your plan to better serve you if another hurricane happens.
With 2016 a possible year for heavy tropical storms, you’ll want to do your best to be prepared and weather the events without risking yourself or your family. When it comes down to it, human lives are worth more than real estate and you need to make sure you are safe.