Free Ways to Prepare for Hurricane Season
Florida’s hurricane season is June 1 through November 30. It’s wise to gather supplies such as plywood and surge protectors before a storm threatens. As you prepare, though, don’t miss out on these simple things that you can do for free.
First, information is free! Take time—before it is urgent—to look at evacuation routes, shelters, and evacuation zones. Consider your pets when making plans. Some shelters accept pets and others do not. If you live in Manatee County, you can go to mymanatee.org to find shelters and evacuation procedures. For Sarasota County, visit svgov.net.
Another way to prepare for hurricanes is to check your home insurance policy. Make sure your coverage is sufficient to replace your assets. Place a copy of your insurance paperwork in a bank safety deposit box or watertight safe, along with a detailed inventory, pictures, or video of your property and valuables. This is also a good time to review the insurance policy for your commercial properties.
When it comes to food, purchase items that your family will eat anyhow, so that you can use them eventually, storm or not. Stock up on pet food, canned vegetables and fruits, soups, protein bars, and other items when they are BOGO or on sale. Add a manual can opener to your supplies. And don’t forget the always-essential cookies!
Minimize your need to buy gallons and bottles of water. Reuse plastic juice containers, soda bottles, and two liters by washing them out and filling them with tap water. If you don’t use the water during hurricane season, use it in December to water your plants.
An important way to prevent damage to your home is to clean up the yard. Think through where you will store lawn furniture and look for loose tree branches that can be removed. Team up with a neighbor or family member and work in both yards to trim trees that are too close to roofs. Trading services is a great way to get things done for free and a thoughtful way to help each other.