The Atlantic Hurricane Season has begun, and this year is expected to produce 25 named storms, 12 hurricanes and 6 major hurricanes.  The time to prepare is now and not when a storm is approaching. 

Here are a few hurricane preparedness tips including links to more detailed information. Be prepared and stay safe.

What to Include in Your Emergency Kit

  • One gallon of water per person per day for up to two weeks. Don’t forget to include your pets in your calculation.
  • A two-week supply of non-perishable food.
  • A flashlight, a battery powered radio, and batteries.
  • First aid kit and medications.
  • Visit What do You Need In A Survival Kit for a complete list.

Make Plans to Evacuate

  • Where will you go? How will you get there?
  • Click Find Your Evacuation Zone to learn more including local evacuation routes.
  • When a storm is approaching, fill your gas tank and have cash on hand since gas pumps and ATMs may be without power for days or weeks after the storm.
  • Never try to drive through floodwater.
  • Do not return home until local officials declare it is safe. Common sources of injury following a hurricane include electrocution, cuts and trauma caused by slips and falling trees, and infections.

Know How to Shelter in Place Safely

  • Be prepared to live without power, water, gas, phone or internet for several days.
  • Fill your tub with water for flushing and washing.
  • Identify a safe shelter such as a small interior windowless room on the lowest level that is not likely to flood.
  • Never use a gas grill or run a generator inside the house.

Preparing Your Home for a Hurricane

  • Secure outdoor items that could become projectiles in high winds.
  • Trim or remove trees close to your home.
  • Protect windows with storm shutters or plywood.
  • Clear gutters, drains and downspouts.
  • Stockpile plastic sheeting and sandbags to stop flood waters.
  • Consider investing in a sump pump with a battery backup and elevating your HVAC system, water heater, and electrical panel.

Incentive Grant for Homeowners

In 2024, the Florida Legislature reauthorized the My Safe Florida Home, a state-funded program which provides grants up to $10,000 to incentivize Florida homeowners to take steps to strengthen their homes against hurricane damage and potentially lower insurance premiums.

The program has two primary components:

  1. Provides eligible Florida homeowners, free of charge and with no obligation, a home inspection that identifies the current hurricane resistant features of their home and recommended improvements to further strengthen their homes against hurricane winds.
  2. Provide qualifying Florida homeowners with a grant to perform specific wind mitigation improvements recommended by their free Program inspection to strengthen their home against hurricanes and to save money on their Wind Insurance Premiums.

The My Safe Florida Home Program will begin accepting new applications for its free home wind mitigation inspections when additional funding becomes available July 1st.

For more information check out the Red Cross Hurricane Preparedness Checklist and The Department of Homeland Security’s Prepare for Hurricanes Guide. Also, download the free FEMA app (available on Google Play or the Apple Store.