ORLANDO, Fla. — It’s time to start preparing for hurricane season as the National Weather Service begins Hurricane Preparedness Week, which is May 3-9.
With hurricane season beginning June 1, here are nine ways to prepare:
1. Have a plan. With so many people spending more time at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, use the time to update your hurricane plan.
2. While fine-tuning the hurricane plan, adjust any details to accommodate social distancing as well.
3. Have an evacuation plan. Check with your county to see if you live in an evacuation zone. If so, figure out an evacuation plan in the event you are put under an evacuation order. Remember, the goal is to evacuate tens of miles not hundreds of miles. You’ll need to revisit who you would stay with and if that is still an option in the world of COVID-19.
4. Make a list of needed supplies. Make sure to add a few extra items (without hoarding) to replenish your preparedness kit with items such as water, energy bars and batteries. The National Weather Service said you should have enough nonperishable food, water and medicine to last each person in your family a minimum of three days.
5. Put your hurricane preparedness kit together and add any items like masks, gloves, sanitizers that are needed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends if you need to go to a public shelter, bring at least two cloth face coverings for each person and, if possible, hand sanitizer.
6. Strengthen your home. If you plan to ride out the storm at home, the National Weather Service said to make sure it is in good repair and up to local hurricane building code specifications.
7. Prepare your home. Prepare your home with proper plywood, steel or aluminum panels to board up the windows and doors. You should also trim trees and secure loose outdoor items.
8. Get an insurance checkup. The National Weather Service said to call your insurance company or agent and ask for an insurance checkup to make sure you have enough homeowners insurance to repair or even replace your home.
9. Make an inventory of your belongings. Here are tips on creating a home inventory to help with insurance claims.