Hurricane Preparedness: Safety Tips

Last month, we shared some hurricane preparedness tips like shelf-stable foods and some helpful tips for preparation. Now, we want to talk about all things safety. Storms can be unpredictable, changing speed, size, and direction on a dime. They can also cause a great deal of damage, fast. Let’s discuss ways you can prepare to stay safe when a storm hits. 

Prepare a First Aid Kit

  • Having a well-stocked first aid kit can save lives. The Red Cross put together a list of items to include in your first aid kit. You can find that list and additional information here.

Have an Emergency Plan

  • Having an emergency plan in place can make weathering the storm or evacuations go as smooth as possible. These plans can include:
    • Having an out-of-town contact so you have a place to stay
    • Planning multiple evacuation routes to account for closed roads or bridges
    • Pack a go bag with a few days worth of survival items (first aid kit, food, water, tent, sleeping system, radio, flashlights, water-proof firestarter, etc.)
    • Know the safest location in the home. Ideally, this is an interior room with no windows, like a closet, bathroom, or laundry room.

Know Your Area

  • Knowing the area you reside in can make a world of difference when seeking shelter, additional supplies, and disaster relief assistance. Important places to note around you include: pharmacies, grocery stores, gas stations, emergency shelters, fire departments, police stations, and hospitals or stand-alone emergency rooms. Take note of their hours and any changes they may be making. 

Stock Safety Supplies

  • Plywood or other tested materials to board windows
  • Sandbags to prevent flooding
  • Battery operated radio
  • Batteries
  • Flashlights
  • Plastic/garbage bags
  • Tarp
  • Rope
  • Duct tape
  • Laminated maps of your city and state
  • Gasoline or diesel for your vehicles and/or generator(s)

Verify Your Insurance

  • Verifying insurance coverage is probably one of the last things we’re thinking about when a storm is coming. However, this can be one of the most important things to do when preparing for a hurricane. Renters or homeowners insurance may have lapsed or need to be updated to include flood coverage. Beyond that, it is important to know your out-of-pocket expenses and what damage is covered by your policy. 
  • Additionally, in the event that you are injured during this storm, knowing your health insurance coverage can potentially save you time and money when seeking emergency care.
  • Catalog your personal property for potential loss

Other Safety Tips

  • Never walk, swim, or drive in flood waters. There can be hazardous materials in the water.
  • Avoid downed power lines at all costs, even when you think they are no longer live
  • Secure important documents in waterproof bags or cases to prevent damage

Resources by County:

Duval County:

Clay County:

St. Johns County:

We encourage you to prepare in advance for storms as this season is projected to be an active one. As always, please stay safe and healthy!

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