How to Prepare for a Home Evacuation During a Severe Storm
Though Florida’s hurricane season is at its end, there is never a wrong time to develop a home evacuation plan. Knowing what to do, where to go, and other important pieces of information can help you stay safe during a severe storm.
Today, we’re going to cover some simple steps that you can take to protect yourself, your home, and those that live with you.
1: Stay Up-to-Date with the Latest Weather News
Living in Florida means also dealing with a turbulent hurricane season for almost half of the year (June 1 to November 30). Keeping this in mind, staying as current with the latest weather-related news as possible is essential.
Some easy resources that you can follow to stay updated on the latest weather developments include:
- The National Hurricane Center’s live visual newsfeed
- Florida’s Division of Emergency Management Current Weather Outlook
- Florida Division of Emergency Management’s Evacuation Zone Map
If you live in or near an evacuation zone, this will provide you with the information you need to start preparing to vacate your property. By keeping up with hurricane-related news, you will have advance notice to begin your exit.
2: Prepare Emergency Evacuation Kits
Keep an emergency evacuation kit somewhere in your home where it can be easily accessed during hurricane season. If you need to flee with little time to prepare, you can take some essentials with you while you temporarily relocate.
Some items you may want to put in an evacuation kit could include:
- An external phone battery with a charging cable
- Flashlight or small lantern
- Nonperishable food items
- Bottles of water
- A first aid kit and basic toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, hand sanitizer, etc)
- At least one fresh change of clothes
If you are evacuating in your own vehicle, you may want to also keep the following items in your backseat or trunk during hurricane season:
- Life vests or other floatation devices in case you are trapped in water
- A glass-breaking and seatbelt-cutting tool in case you need to flee a flooded vehicle
- Flares to signal emergency services if you are trapped
- Blankets or sleeping bags in case you need to sleep in your vehicle
- Emergency cash
During hurricane season, it can be beneficial to keep a full canister of gasoline in your garage or shed as well. Take it with you when you are evacuating your home to refuel your vehicle during your trip if you are not able to stop for gas for a long distance.
3: Learn the Warning Signs of a Hurricane
Hurricanes do not touch down out of thin air. Usually, they will display a few key warning signs before their arrival. These include:
- Extraordinarily dark clouds
- Higher-than-normal wind speeds
- Rising water levels
4: If Possible, Leave Early
If you are able to, leave a day or two before the evacuation deadline. This will help avoid common obstacles like high volumes of traffic along the designated evac routes.
5: Plan Your Evacuation in Advance
Create your evacuation plan during off-season months so that you have a strategy in place when hurricane activity resumes again. Communicate this plan to the other members of your household and any other nearby family members. Make sure that everyone knows where to go, what to do, and when to leave during the evacuation period.
If you are planning on seeking shelter with friends or family that live in a safe zone during a potential hurricane, make these arrangements with them in advance. Ask them if you could stay with them at any point in the year if your area will be impacted by storms and theirs will not.
6: Protect Your Home with Impact Windows
To prevent extensive property damage, protecting your windows is essential. However, many traditional protection solutions like boarding your windows or covering them with hurricane shutters require plenty of time to set up and often more than one person’s help.
Unlike shutters or boards, hurricane impact windows are permanently installed in your home and do not require any setting up or teardown procedures. The glass and frame are custom-sized to your window opening for a seamless and timely installation, all while protecting your property from extreme forces of nature.
At Paradise Exteriors, we’re proud to be Florida’s leading hurricane impact window provider and installer. Using industry-leading hurricane-rated glass, offering prompt installation, and an unbeatable suite of warranty options, we strive to serve our customers as courteously as possible. For your own free estimate on impact windows, contact us today.