With the 2020 hurricane season just 2 months away (June 1st marks the beginning of the season), now is the time for Florida residents to prepare their homes and businesses for what experts are predicting will be an extremely active season. Just what we need on top of the current Pandemic! For those of us who have lived in South Florida through forces of nature like Hurricane Wilma and Hurricane Andrew, we know it’s only a matter of time before our luck runs out again and a significant hurricane runs in.
Preparedness is the key to withstanding a hurricane safely and comfortably. It is important that Florida businesses and homeowners prepare for the worst so that they can make the best of whatever comes their way. The following list provides a breakdown of tips that can be utilized in order to make the most of the last 2 months until the 2020 hurricane season arrives.
2 Months Until the Start of the Hurricane Season:
Request a Standby Generator Maintenance Check
Sometimes, if you’re lucky, standby generators can remain unneeded and unused for months or even years at a time. While this lack of use might be comforting, it also means that your commercial or residential generator will need a maintenance check before hurricane season to ensure that the unit continues to function properly when needed.
If you don’t own a standby generator, we suggest that you seriously consider having one installed at your home or business as soon as possible. For homes, residential standby generators allow families to ride out the storm comfortably in the event of a power outage—think air conditioning, refrigeration, oven, and more. For businesses, owning a commercial standby generator allows your business to continue running even when the power grid doesn’t, potentially making you one of the only remaining businesses in town that’s open.
Remember, it’s always better to KNOW that your generator is working right rather than hoping it will when the time comes to use it. At Assurance Power Systems, we are available 24/7 and provide annual preventative maintenance programs, repairs, and generator installation services.
1 Month Until the Start of the Hurricane Season:
Educate Yourself and Others
It is important that family members and employees are aware of factors that may have an impact on their emergency plans. Factors like what flood zone your house or business is in, and whether or not you’re in an evacuation zone, can significantly alter how you should respond. Knowing the difference between a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning is also highly recommended. The more knowledgeable you are before the hurricane season begins, the better prepared you will be when a hurricane comes.
8 Days Until the Start of the Hurricane Season:
Make a Plan
Whether your plan is to evacuate or ride out the storm, make sure that you get together with any family members or employees to discuss your plan of action. Make certain that everyone knows how to get into contact with a designated point-person to let them know about their status. Everyone should know in advance what the evacuation routes are and the location of local shelters. Practicing evacuation plans can help minimize the occurrence of errors and confusion for family members and employees.
3 Weeks Until the Start of the Hurricane Season:
Identify Your Home or Business’ Vulnerable Points
With the high wind speeds caused by hurricanes, it is important for you to take the time to check the surroundings of your Florida home or business for any signs of vulnerability. This can include things like heavy outdoor furniture and large tree branches that could potentially become dangerous when flung around in a storm. Whenever possible, plan to bring these items inside and cut back any questionable landscaping. Protecting vulnerable parts of the buildings structure like windows and doors can be done with hurricane shutters or by boarding them up with large slabs of plywood. Make sure that you have these supplies handy as their availability will be limited when a hurricane is ultimately announced.
2 Weeks Until the Start of the Hurricane Season:
Make a Plan for Vehicle(s) and Boat(s)
Taking a picture or video of your vehicle/boat’s condition prior to the occurrence of a hurricane is always a good idea in the event that your property is damaged and you need to file a claim with your insurance agent. Cars should typically be kept inside of an enclosed garage during a storm, while boats should be removed from the water and weighed down to prevent them from being picked up by the wind. Know where you plan on storing these items so that in the event of a hurricane, you can use your limited time to carry out your plans rather than make them.
10 Days Until the Start of the Hurricane Season:
Be Aware of Any Special Needs
Planning for the special needs of children and elderly individuals can make the process smoother for households who find themselves in the path of an oncoming hurricane.
For those who have young children, it is a good idea to make sure that you have a checklist of items to bring with you in the event that you need to relocate to an evacuation site. Items like strollers, portable cribs, and toys can help to make the experience more comfortable for children, parents, and others.
If you have an elderly loved one who resides in a facility, find out what processes they have in place in the event of an emergency. For elderly individuals who decide to remain at home during a hurricane, look into registering them for your counties vulnerable population list. Make sure that they know where to obtain any extra medical supplies or medication they may need, accounting for the fact that they may not be able to replenish their supplies for a few weeks.
4 Days Until the Start of the Hurricane Season:
Plan for Pets
Just as with children, put together a list of pet supplies that you will need to bring with you: pet food, leash, carrier, etc. Make sure that you also confirm ahead of time that your shelter accepts pets. Whenever possible, ask a friend or relative if you can leave your pet with them if a hurricane forces you to evacuate your home. Never plan on leaving your pet alone.
3 Days Until the Start of the Hurricane Season:
Protect Your Valuables
No matter what you deem as important—jewelry, family photos, computer hard drives, etc.—make sure that you take the time to plan for safekeeping. Before the hurricane season starts is the perfect time to ensure that all of your home and business’ insurance and ownership documents are current and stored in a water/fire-resistant container. As with any vehicle(s) and boat(s), take pictures or videos of your possessions for added protection.
2 Days Until the Start of the Hurricane Season:
Prepare or Restock Your Emergency Kit
Whether you plan on evacuating to a safer area or remaining at home, there’s an emergency kit for that! For those who plan on evacuating to a designated shelter or alternate residence, packing enough supplies to ensure the comfort of your family is essential. Remember that shelters only have the basic necessities, and that those resources will be limited. For those who plan on remaining at home, you’ll need to be able to make due until streets and businesses open back up.
Some of the basics that you’ll want to include in your emergency kit, no matter where you ride out the storm, include:
Cell phone and charger
7-day supply of food and water for each person
Manual can opener
Flashlight and batteries
Change of clothing for each person
Basic first aid kit
1 Day Until the Start of the Hurricane Season:
Compile Helpful Resources
Make sure to compile all of your resources in a central location accessible to family members or employees, before a hurricane hits. This booklet should include:
Local shelter locations
Personal information for each family member or employee
Contact info for local hospitals, police stations, schools where any children attend, and a business’ important vendors and customers
Any contingency sites your company will use to continue working in the event that your business’ facility is damaged
While the start of the hurricane season might still be 2 months away, A January Hurricane like Alex is evidence that a storm can truly happen at any time. For more in-depth information about how you can prepare your Florida home or business for a hurricane, head over to our Ultimate Hurricane Preparedness Guide. At Assurance Power Systems, we want our customers to be prepared no matter what. Call us today at (561) 867-4041 to learn more about our residential and commercial standby generator services.
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