It is hurricane season in Florida and for many that visit the state or just moved here, they may not know a lot about the season and what you should/should not do. Here are a few notes to start thinking about as you prepare for the season.
Don’t panic – If you have never faced a hurricane the first and most important bit of information is not to panic. There are a lot of people out there that will post fake images, use scary looking maps with plots that are all over the place, or will title a headline “Potential Category 5, is Florida doomed?” trying to get your attention and raise your blood pressure. Don’t fall for this. Stick with local meteorologists that know what they are doing. For example in the Tampa area Denis Phillips (and there are others) that have been doing this for years and will give you the real information. Trust known sources that actually know what they are doing. Local meteorologists, National Weather Service, NOAA, National Hurricane Center, etc. are the sources you need trust to get the real information to you. Don’t trust social media to get the answers.
Buy what you need – Alright, you are now living in Florida and the storm is coming and you want to prepare, what on earth do you need to buy? Start with this LIST to get a good foundation of what you should be looking for while preparing. Food, water, batteries, hygienic items, etc. are all the basic you should be looking for, but be smart about it. Buy food you would normally eat but just know you will probably be without power for days and won’t have a stove either (unless you have gas). So buy peanut butter, canned goods, etc. but make sure they are food you would eat. Don’t run to the store, buy a bunch of random stuff, and then think it will keep you alive. What are you going to do with a bunch of cans of green beans when the power goes out and you and your family are hungry? Think and plan out your meals and what you would use day by day to better prepare.
And the last part of this is to buy what you need. Like the toilet paper rush from 2020, panic buying is not good for you and makes it even harder for everyone else. People typically rush out and buy tons of water, canned goods, and batteries, and then attempt to return it a week later. It’s foolish and leaves less for people that are looking for supplies. Get what you need and leave some for others. Things have been so bad before that people would follow water trucks around trying to buy water in the parking lot, don’t let things get to that level and be smart about it.
Have a plan – If you are moving to Florida or even just visiting and a storm approaches, you need to have a plan. Should you stay or should you go? Can you go? Where do you go? If you stay, is your home safe and how do you do that? These, among others, are questions you have to ask yourself and prepare accordingly.
If you are going to leave, have a plan for either a flight out or a route on the roads but know the risks. Flights get cancelled, prices can skyrocket, and airports can shut down before a storm. If you are leaving in a car, be ready for delays and the issues of not being able to find gas or a hotel on the route out of the state (or wherever you are headed). If you are staying, know what you have to do to prepare your home for a storm. Have a plan, supplies, and do everything you can before it gets to late. Emergency services sometimes won’t be out to help until a storm has passed which can take a day or more, so be prepared to be on your own. Whatever you decide to do, have a plan and prepare accordingly.
If you liked this post, let me know and if you want some more specific tips on items you should try to buy like water and batteries, or even just strategies, let me know. I may just write another blog to help you prepare for that next storm that approaches Florida.