Hurricane Season

How to Prepare for a Hurricane

Hurricane season runs June 1-Nov. 30, and it's important to be prepared.

By Megan McDonald

It's that time of year that every Floridian dreads—hurricane season, which runs June 1-Nov. 30. Here are some helpful tips, courtesy of AAA, to make sure you’re prepared for a storm.

Right now:

  • Check your evacuation level and where your nearest shelter is located
  • Develop an evacuation plan with multiple destinations
  • Review insurance policies and create a list of your belongings
  • Safeguard important documents and records
  • Prepare your home, inspect your roof, and trim trees and shrubs
  • Stock enough food, water, and emergency supplies for at least three days
  • Sign up for local weather alerts and warnings in Sarasota and Manatee

If you're driving on wet roads:

  • Slow down
  • Increase following distance
  • Turn your headlights on
  • Turn your hazard lights off
  • Avoid using cruise control
  • Avoid flooded areas
  • If there's poor visibility, pull over to a safe place and wait for the rain to let up

Do not—we repeat, do not—ignore evacuation warnings

According to a recent AAA Survey, 29 percent of Floridians will ignore evacuation warnings. Sixty percent of those who would evacuate say they’d only leave if the hurricane was a Category 3 or stronger. 

Don't hoard gasoline ahead of the storm

Instead, take only what you need. Gasoline "outages” are always possible at gas stations in the days before a storm, but they're not the result of a fuel shortage; they're due to a surge in demand. And despite a storm’s trajectory, refineries will continue making fuel and sending it to Florida. That gasoline sails into Florida’s ports and is delivered via tanker truck to area gas stations. These deliveries will continue until the weather conditions make it unsafe to do so.

Batten down the hatches

The potential of storm surge and heavy downpours raise concerns of residential flooding. Because of a 30-day waiting period, it is too late to purchase flood insurance for this storm. However, there are a few things residents can do now to protect their property from rising waters:

  • Place plastic sheeting and sand bags at doorway openings
  • Check for and seal openings in your roof, windows and doors
  • Clear debris from gutters, drains and downspouts
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