June 1st has come and gone which means Hurricane Season is officially upon us. The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1st through November 30th every year. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting a normal season but that is no reason to take it lightly. It is important to be prepared as that can impact how you act if a storm heads our way. Many of our agents are lifelong Floridians and have been through this season countless times. We hope this information helps you.
Create a Communication Plan
It’s important to have a plan and share it with your family. When storms hit, depending on where you live, you might need to evacuate to a shelter or out of town or you might choose to ride out the storm at home. Make sure you communicate in advance with the entire family. Don't forget your pets! Also, the internet may not be accessible during or after a storm, so it is not always possible to access the information or people you need.
Make sure every family member knows where to meet if you’re separated. Don't forget an out-of-town location in the event there is an evacuation.
Write down a list of emergency contacts on paper and program numbers into all family member's cell phones. Don't forget to include utilities, doctors, insurance companies and other critical services. Keep this information in a waterproof container.
Practice your plan with your family/household.
Talk to your neighbors about what you’re doing to prepare. Especially with the rapid growth our area has seen it could be a neighbors first hurricane season. You could also be that neighbor that is experiencing their first hurricane season in our area. A conversation about the risks your specific area faces or ways to strengthen your home before a hurricane can spread awareness and save lives. It also helps to have a network of people who can check on one another and their pets. Not everyone has relatives close by. Sometimes a quick visit to make sure your neighbors are okay can make a big difference.
Build a kit.
The time to do this is not when a storm is heading our way. Have you ever been to a grocery store the day before a hurricane passes through? Shelves are empty and all the milk, bread and eggs are usually gone. Make sure you have what you need to survive well in advance of a hurricane. This is actually a step you can start right now. Florida is going to have two tax free hurricane supply weeks in the 2023 season. The first is going on right now through June 9th. The second is close to the height of the season from August 26th through September 8th. Click Here for a download of the items your kit should include.
Strengthen your home.
Again, this is step you don't want to start when a storm is coming. You can improve your home’s ability to withstand hurricane conditions.
Cut weak branches and trees that could fall on your house. Keep shrubbery trimmed.
Clear your yard. Make sure there’s nothing that could blow around during the storm and damage your home. Move bikes, lawn furniture, grills, propane tanks and building material inside or under shelter.
Cover up windows and doors. Use storm shutters or nail pieces of plywood to the outside window frames to protect your windows. This can help keep you safe from pieces of shattered glass and keep debris out of your home.
For more ideas on preparing your home for a hurricane checkout this helpful article.
Get your car ready.
Do not ignore instructions from authorities to evacuate before a storm. Even sturdy, well-built houses may not hold up against a hurricane. Staying home to protect your property is not worth risking your health and safety. One way to make sure you are ready to evacuate before a storm is to prepare your car.
Fill your gas tank.
Keep an emergency kit in your car.
If authorities recommend you shelter in place, if possible, move your car or trucks into your garage or under cover.
We hope this information is helpful to you as we enter this season. If you still are unsure what to do we recommend you reach out to your city or county emergency management agency. Give us a call if you need help contacting the correct government office. Many of us at First Coast Realty are either longtime St. Augustine residents or life-long St. Augustine residents. We have been through it many times. This is an example of when we strive to be not just your agent for the sale, but your agent for life.
Whether you are looking to buy or sell, First Coast Realty would welcome the opportunity to earn your business. Feel free to reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter and we would be happy to assist you in getting the ball rolling. Or, to talk to a qualified, experienced agent call/text today 904-494-8408 or email email@example.com