ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Opting to move to Florida isn’t a bad decision. After all, we’ve got nature galore, Pub Subs and Disney World.
Those beautiful beaches become a little less inviting when a storm is on the way, though. Perhaps Benjamin Franklin said it best: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Back in 1736, he was referring to a fire-prone Philadelphia. Figuring out ways to prevent fires is better than fighting them, so what if that same logic is applied to hurricane preparedness?
Know your surroundings
Say you just moved to beautiful St. Petersburg. Do you know where you are on a map? Without labels on said map, do you know the county to the north, south and east? If you’re told you live in Evacuation Zone C – well, what does that mean, exactly?
You’ll want to get a sense of the area and its major routes to almost immediately decide what to do if hurricane conditions are forecast.
Protect your stuff
Whether you rent or own a home, insurance can be a lifesaver. Read those documents and take note: Even if you have a $250 deductible, a hurricane-related claim might fall under a different deductible – and that’s usually higher.
Flood insurance might be a good idea, too, as any sort of water-related damage might not necessarily fall under a hurricane claim. But don’t wait. If you get it today, there is a 30-day waiting period before it goes into effect.
If you must leave your home in the event of a storm, have a place to store and transport these important documents and more.
Pack your kit
One of the absolute last things you want happening during a hurricane is not having something to eat and water to drink.
Build a container – or two – of enough non-perishable food, medicines and water to last each person in your family for at least one week. Don't forget those pets!
Best case: You have a ton of snacks to finish off when hurricane season comes to an end. Worse case: Almost everything is closed during a storm.
Not sure what to pack, exactly, the American Red Cross has a printable safety checklist to follow.