Hurricane season is around the corner. Whether you’re new to Florida or have been living in the state your entire life, it is always good to have a refresher on what to do to prepare. Here are a few things we thing seniors should know ahead of time:

  1. Plan an evacuation route (ahead of time) – Search for local shelters and your state’s Department of Transportation or Office of Emergency Management website to find evacuation routes.
  2. Sign up for local alerts – Having alerts about the closeness of the hurricane to your area can benefit for evacuation purposes and preparing for the next steps.
  3. Stock up on non-perishables – Since hurricanes cause power outages for weeks, it’s difficult to keep perishable items long enough to sustain the days after. Non-perishables are an important food source that last long after the hurricane hits land.
  4. Stock up on emergency supplies – These are: a first aid kit and medicine to last weeks after the hurricane, flashlights and extra batteries for when the power goes out, protective gear and blankets should the situation be detrimental and you need to leave your home, and hygienic supplies to last a few weeks.
  5. Collect and safeguard critical personal information – Should an emergency arise, it’s important to have all personal information easily accessible including your birth certificate, insurance card, health information and any others relevant to your needs
  6. Keep an inventory of your personal property – A hurricane can, unfortunately, blow wind and water into your house at a moment’s notice and when that happens, it’s important to know what you owned and what was lost or damaged to file an insurance claim
  7. Review insurance policies – Understanding your insurance and what is included in case a hurricane damages your house, car or other personal property is a good idea so you are ready should something happen
  8. Take steps to protect your home – Homes take on lots of damage during hurricanes so it is important to seal any wall openings, anchor fuel tanks, install sewer backflow valves, board up windows or purchase hurricane shutters, cut weak branches from trees, have (at minimum} three hinges and a deadbolt lock on your front door and make sure your sliding doors are made of tempered glass.

Planning and preparing for a hurricane can make the difference between life and death, it can also save you $1000’s in water and wind damage when you take action to protect your property. Always remember that if authorities advise your community to leave the area, always leave. Do not stay behind even if you know people who are. If you cannot leave then stay indoors, away from windows and glass doors. Also, remember to never use a generator or charcoal-burning device inside.

To download a hurricane preparedness list or if you would like to find more resources visit: How to Prepare for a Hurricane or if you would like to find more resources visit ready.gov/prepare.