Hurricane preparation

Stay prepared for hurricane season:

The Atlantic Hurricane Season began June 1, and runs through November 30.

All Floridians are encouraged to have a plan. If you do not have a plan and need help making one, please visit FloridaDisaster.Biz

Following the impact of a hurricane, residents may lose access to basic services, such as power and water, and be subject to limited or a lack of access to essentials, like food, drinking water, and medicine. With these situations in mind, all individuals and families are encouraged to stock up on essentials and build a disaster supply kit to last for a minimum of seven days.

With summer upon us, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicting another active hurricane season for 2022, we wanted to help ensure you and your family are prepared for the uncertainty of inclement weather. Here are some tips to create a financial preparedness kit.

- Stay informed: Monitor weather reports and updates from reliable sources, such as the National Hurricane Center or your local meteorological agency. Stay aware of any hurricane watches or warnings issued for your area.

- Develop an evacuation plan: Determine whether you live in an evacuation zone and familiarize yourself with the designated evacuation routes. Plan ahead by knowing where you would go and how you would get there if an evacuation is necessary. Make arrangements for your pets and consider any special needs or medical requirements.

- Prepare an emergency kit: Assemble an emergency kit that includes essential supplies to sustain you and your family for at least 72 hours. The kit should include items such as non-perishable food, water, medications, batteries, a flashlight, a first aid kit, personal hygiene items, cash, important documents, and a battery-operated radio.

- Secure your property: Trim trees and branches near your home to minimize the risk of damage from falling limbs. Reinforce windows and doors, or consider installing storm shutters. Secure or store outdoor furniture, potted plants, and other loose objects that could become projectiles in high winds.

- Plan for power outages: Hurricanes can cause prolonged power outages. Have a supply of extra batteries, a portable phone charger, and alternative lighting sources such as flashlights or lanterns. Consider purchasing a generator if feasible and follow safety guidelines for its use.

- Communicate and stay connected: Establish a communication plan with your family and loved ones. Designate an out-of-area contact person who can serve as a central point of communication. Ensure everyone knows how to reach them and agrees on a meeting place if separated.

- Maintain an emergency fund: Keeping three to six months of savings that you can draw on quickly can be invaluable during a natural disaster. Also consider keeping a few hundred dollars in cash on hand in case your area loses power or ATMs are out of commission.

- Protect your credit: Keep the contact information for your creditors — such as your mortgage lender, credit card companies, and utilities — in your financial preparedness kit. If you have to evacuate your home, reach out to creditors as soon as possible to request a temporary reprieve from payments.

- Review your insurance: Your insurance policies can help you recover financially from a disaster, provided you have the right coverage. Review your property, flood, life, and disability insurance policies once a year when you receive the new documents from your insurer. The average cost of homeowners insurance in Florida is $1,951 and the average cost of flood insurance is $723, according to Bankrate. Therefore, on average, Florida homeowners pay approximately $2,674 per year in premiums to protect against hurricane damage. Windstorm insurance covers property damage and dwelling by strong winds, rain, hail, dust and other substances caused by windstorms. Although Florida's law does not require homeowners to obtain windstorm insurance, most mortgage lenders do.

- Gather key documents: Keep birth and marriage certificates, passports, wills, deeds, tax returns, insurance policies, and stock and bond certificates in a safe place, or on an external hard drive. These records are often needed for tax and insurance purposes.

- Take inventory of your possessions: Register your valuables on Myne Global, make a list or use a smartphone or camera to make a visual record of your possessions, including cars, boats, and recreational vehicles.

Myne Global does not control the websites that are linked. Myne Global has provided these links for your convenience but is not responsible for the content, links, privacy policy, or security policy of these websites.

For information about how to create a plan, what to include in a disaster kit, where to find storm updates, and many other subjects, please visit the resources listed below. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster preparedness website contains detailed planning guides for families, businesses, pets, and special populations, as well as detailed information about disasters and emergencies. The Florida Division of Emergency Management’s website is the best resource for Florida-specific evacuation maps, shelter information, and storm updates.

PrepareFL:The Florida Department of Financial Services provides a printable Emergency Financial Preparedness Toolkit available in English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole.

ALERT Florida: Sign up for emergency emails and text messages from your city and county emergency management officials.

DBPR Hurricane Guide: Compiled by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, the DBPR Hurricane Guide contains an emergency kit checklist, emergency planning guidelines, hurricane safety tips, and more.

For information about Hurricane Preparedness and how to stay informed, please visit FloridaDisaster.Biz