Hurricane Preparation – What You Can Do Right Now

Florida Hurricane

Florida’s Hurricane Andrew , which made landfall as a Category 5 storm in 1992, was the most damaging hurricane in U.S. history at that time. Photo: Michael Warren / iStock

With a hurricane on the horizon, it’s time to get prepared. Here’s a quick guide to what you can do right now with the potential for a hurricane landfall in the days and hours ahead:

Do This First . . .

  1. Know the difference between a Hurricane Watch and a Hurricane Warning. A WATCH is when hurricane conditions are a threat within 48 hours; a WARNING is when conditions are expected within 36 hours.
  2. Listen to local area radio, NOAA radio or TV stations for the latest information and updates. NOAA Weather Radio is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information directly from the nearest National Weather Service office on the VFH public service band, requiring a compatible receiver or scanner, as they cannot be heard on a simple AM/ FM radio receiver.
  3. Be prepared to evacuate quickly and know your routes and destinations.
  4. Check your emergency kit and replenish any items missing or in short supply. Keep it nearby.

Next, Do This . . . .

  • Fill your car’s gas tank.
  • Turn off propane tanks and unplug small appliances.
  • Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind (bicycles, lawn furniture).
  • Close windows, doors and hurricane shutters.If you don’t have hurricane shutters, board up all windows and doors with plywood.
  • Turn refrigerators and freezers to the coldest setting, and keep them closed as much as possible. This will help perishable food keep longer should the power go out.
  • If you don’t have hurricane shutters, board up all windows and doors with plywood. Do not tape glass. Taping does not prevent glass from breaking and takes critical time from more effective preparedness measures.

Are You in a Mobile Home or RV?

  1. Given the risks of weathering a storm in place, mobile home residents should evacuate early in response to hurricane, tornado, and flooding. If the forecast predicts strong winds or a WARNING has been issued for your area within 48 hours, seek shelter immediately by quickly going to your pre-planned safe place.
  2. Never ride out a severe storm (hurricane, tornado, tropical storm) in a mobile home even if it’s in a non-evacuation zone. As soon as an evacuation order is announced, move to a sturdy building, a storm cellar, a relative’s or friend’s basement. If you have enough time, evacuate to get clear of the whole area!
  3. Keep a hand – crank or battery ­operated radio, or NOAA weather radio, handy in case the power goes out.
  4. Keep your disaster supplies kit near the main exit door and take it with you if you evacuate.

Kevin McDonaldThe McDonald Agency is here for you!

Homeowners insurance in Florida is complicated due to the threat from hurricanes, tropical storms and the subsequent flood and wind damage that can occur. The McDonald Agency is here to help you. Let’s discuss your insurance options and needs regarding hurricane, flood, windstorm or other homeowners insurance. We have two Ocala locations and one in The Villages. Contact us today at (352) 351-4020 in Ocala or (352) 259-3825 in The Villages.