Hurricane Safety Tips
While Tampa Bay hasn’t had a storm hit in 2017, we are still very vulnerable to hurricanes and tropical storms. These hurricane safety tips will help you stay prepared and keep your mind at ease.
Prepare now, and relax.
We cannot stress this enough: Don’t wait until a storm is imminent to start preparing. We’ve all seen photos of empty shelves at grocery stores right before a large storm hits, and you don’t want to be that family driving all over town to find the supplies you need to secure your house. Or, even worse, be stuck without food and water for days on end.
Make sure your safety kit is stocked and ready to go each year (you can add this to your Spring Cleaning list, which we’ve already prepared for you here!).
Things you want to include:
First aid kit (you can buy these at any drug store)
medication for you and your family (and pets!)
Battery powered radio
Extra batteries (for any devices that are battery powered)
Portable cell phone chargers
Non-perishable foods and water (the State of Florida website suggests 3 days worth)
Entertainment such as books, crosswords, board games, etc.
Cooler, ice and/or ice packs
Manual can opener
Personal hygiene items (deodorant, baby wipes, extra water for bathing, etc)
Plan for a possible evacuation, especially if your home is located in a flood zone. If the state calls for an evacuation of your area, you don’t want to be scrambling to find the most efficient way to get out or not give yourself enough time to do so. Plan ahead, find your route here and have a back-up plan just in case. Keep your gas tank full and pack your hurricane kit in your trunk with any documents you may been in a water proof container.
Do you have a place to stay (with family or friends)? Make arrangements with hotels as soon as you can to ensure they are not already booked. If you have pets, call ahead to hotels and shelters and see if they allow pets. Click here for a map of local evacuation routes, lists of public shelters, and other resources from the City of St Pete.
Before you evacuate, or if an evacuation isn’t mandatory, you’ll want to make sure your home is safe and secure well before a storm approaches. Make sure windows are covered with storm shutters or secure them with wood covering. Take a note of any tree limbs that are hanging over or around your home. Trim any limbs that may cause damage to your home or surrounding homes or may cause your driveway to be obstructed.
Take any lawn/patio furniture, potted plants, decorations, children’s toys, etc. and being them inside to avoid the wind sending them into surrounding buildings/vehicles. Secure driveways and walk ways with sandbags if necessary.
For more information on hurricane safety, please visit the links below.
State of Florida Essential Guide to Hurricane Preparedness
St Pete Hurricane Center
National Weather Service Hurricane Safety Tips and Resources