Although hurricane season in Florida kicked off two months ago, we are approaching the peak of this year’s season, when storm surges and massive flooding become so powerful and destructive that authorities urge people to evacuate.
“Even though hurricane season occurs annually, it catches most people off guard every year, simply because they do not prepare for the hurricane season in advance,” says our Cooper City personal injury attorney from the Law Offices of Bradley Hartman.
Most of the time, people begin preparing for incoming hurricanes when it is too late. When storms and flooding have already begun wreaking havoc around your house, do not be surprised that your rational thinking may be impaired by panic. Instead, start preparing yourself for Florida’s hurricane season before the local news begins broadcasting hurricane-related coverage 24/7.
Prepare for evacuation in advance
The worst thing you can do if you live in Florida thinks that the hurricane season will not affect you this year. Just because your house was not damaged by Hurricane Irma last year, it does not mean that you and your family are out of danger this year.
Find out what is the best evacuation route for your area, and take a test drive to the evacuation zone before the storm surges hit. This will help you become familiar with the evacuation route, which, in turn, will help you be more proactive during an actual evacuation.
Also, until the hurricane season ends (the end of November), it is a good idea to keep your vehicle filled with at least half of a tank of gas at all times.
Pack an evacuation bag
Most people in Florida ignore this step, and end up either packing things in a hurry during an actual emergency or not packing a ready-to-go bag altogether. Pack a hurricane evacuation bag before it is too late, and do not forget to put the following items in it:
- Clean clothes.
- Hygiene products.
- Medications and first aid kit.
- Flashlight and batteries.
- Cash and credit cards covered in several plastic bags.
- Printed local maps.
- Spare keys.
- Phone chargers.
- Inflatable life vest for each member of your family.
- Insurance policies.
- Personal identification and documents (copies of documents proving home and car ownership).
- Food items with a long shelf life that do not require refrigeration.
- At least two bottles of water per each family member.
Protect your pets
If you are worried about your pets this hurricane season, find pet-friendly hotels along the evacuation route in advance. Also, include pet food and an extra bottle of water to your ready-to-go evacuation bag if you are planning to evacuate with your furry friend. “If bringing the pets along with you during an actual evacuation is not an option, research local shelters,” advises our experienced personal injury attorney in Cooper City.
Protect your home and get rid of potential flying hazards
Flying hazards are one of the leading causes of injuries and deaths during the hurricane season, the vast majority of which are made up of items from Florida residents’ properties and homes. Before the hurricane season reaches its peak in August, secure outdoor items such as furniture, trim dead tree branches, and clean gutters and downspouts. Also, do not forget to cover windows with plywood, as this will help protect your home from flooding.
Review your insurance policy
If you did not do this after seeing what Hurricane Irma did to the uninsured and underinsured Floridians last year, make sure you review your insurance policies regarding hurricane-related damage coverage before it is too late. Our Cooper City personal injury attorney reminds readers that most home insurance policies in Florida do not include flood insurance, so you will have to include flood coverage into your insurance policy on your own. Usually, it takes 30 days for a new insurance coverage to become active, so do not waste your time.
Schedule a free consultation with our lawyers from the Law Offices of Bradley Hartman to get additional tips on how to stay safe this hurricane season. Call our offices at 954-438-1000 or complete this contact form.