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Hurricane Preparedness – Be Ready With These Tips

Living in this glorious place we call our Florida home has it’s ups and downs. Being prepared for the natural elements of our habitat can be a larger challenge when we face the hurricanes. Here are some insights we suggest to help you prepare before, during, and after the hurricane.

What to Do Before the Hurricane:

  1. Start your shopping trip now. It’s always important to have supplies such as bottled water, first aid kits, and even floatation devices to ensure that you will be prepared for the worst. (See bottom of our post for a full list of items.)
  2. Gather all documents that will be necessary to take with you in case of evacuation. Place all documents in a camping dry bad or in sealable plastic bags to ensure they will remain dry during travel or flooding. You should have a current photo of each of your children and pets to help you find one another if you get separated at some point. Tip! Keeping a copy of your a utility bill with your address and a copy of your pet’s rabies vaccination will also to help you find lodging at some locations if you need to relocate.
  3. Have a communication plan for your family to ensure everyone is on the same page and knows what is going to happen.
  4. Make sure your insurance coverage has sufficient protection.
  5. Always have a roll of Visqueen plastic, large plastic garbage bags and plenty of large Ziploc bags on hand to protect your valuables.
  6. Watch the weather! You should be monitoring the storm about every 3-4 hours to ensure that things aren’t getting worse. If the hurricane’s eye wall has strong definition in it, this usually means it is going to be very strong and impactful to it’s land contact location. The northwest corner of the eye will be the strongest to hit an area, so be aware of the projected storm path updates. The App MyRadar is free, and can be useful for monitoring the storm on the go.
  7. Clear your gutters of debris to ensure good flow away from your house during the storm.
  8. Reinforce your garage door.
  9. Trim dead branches from trees, clip any tree branches that are hanging too close to your roof, and remove coconuts from fruit-bearing palms.
  10. If Public Service Announcements are recommending evacuation, it’s best to prepare for the absolute worst. Make sure that your car is fully fueled and ready for evacuation, gather cash, and contact your bank to let them know you might be traveling in the near future this will help to ensure your card does not get frozen.
  11. Collect any lawn ornaments or furniture and secure it inside your garage or basement to ensure they will not fly around during the storm. Throw pool furniture in the pool to avoid damage.
  12. Fill gallon size Ziploc bags with water and place in the freezer. Let it freeze and use it later in the refrigerator to keep food cold in case of power loss.
  13. If you plan on evacuating, put a plastic cup of water in your freezer. Let it freeze. Place a quarter on top of the ice. If you lose power, the ice will melt and the quarter will sink. This will tell you if your food is safe to eat.
  14. Parking your car up close to the house or garage door will protect it better than leaving it out in the open.
  15. Keep blinds and curtains closed in case of shattered glass during the storm.
  16. If you live near the coast, board up windows or lock them down storm doors to help ensure they will not get damaged from flying debris.
  17. Plan your vacation to the North Carolina, Tennessee or Georgia mountains!

What to Do During the Hurricane:

If you have chosen to stay, remain calm.

  • Do not go outside during the storm at any time. Even if the storm appears to have calmed, it could be because you are in the eye of the storm. To get caught outdoors when the second half of the eye’s wall hits can be extremely dangerous.
  • Do not drive. Roads could have tremendous flooding after the storm, and could pull your vehicle off the road.
  • Keep a crank-powered radio handy to hear updates from the news about the storm’s progress.
  • Stay away from any windows or glass that could be broken during the storm.
  • Keep all of your emergency items organized and in one place with you.
  • Read books to children to keep them calm.
  • Use battery-powered lights instead of candles to reduce the chance of fire.
  • Do not go near any areas of your house that have windows for a minimum of 30 minutes after the storm has passed. There can still be debris flying around, tailwinds, and other small tornados created in the wake of a hurricane’s path.
  • Communicate with emergency services if you cannot exit your residence safely. Do not try to attempt exiting if it appears dangerous or structurally unstable to do so. Ensure pets are restrained if additional help comes to assist you.

If you have chosen to evacuate:

  • Communicate with loved ones where you will be during the storm and how they can reach you.
  • Contact your insurance agent to schedule an inspection once the storm subsides.
  • Plan to bring back water and needed supplies with you in case the water and electricity is not functioning properly when you return.
  • Keep up to date on the storm to get an understanding of how badly your home could be affected by its path.
  • Stay updated on road flooding and travel information to ensure that you will be able to make it back home when you start your return.
  • Return home only when given permission by state/local officials.

What to Do After The Hurricane:

  1. Wear protective clothing, close-toed shoes, dust masks, and long sleeve shirts when cleaning to avoid cuts and scrapes while cleaning up damaged areas.
  2. Stay away from loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company.
  3. Inspect your house and take photos of any property or structural damages for insurance reasons. If you have an emergency roofing need, get in contact with a professional, as their list will be filling up quickly!
  4. Check the refrigerator for food spoilage.
  5. Keep animals in sight and under direct control.
  6. If you hire someone to help with repairs, check for current licenses, work permits, and insurance paperwork. Remember! Storm chasers are there in a hurry, but if they do not have a good, long-standing community reputation, they could take your money and run.
  7. Avoid flooded roads and washed-out bridges.
  8. Disinfect any areas of your home that could have been exposed to chemicals, sewage, or garbage.

Here’s our additional Supply Check List to help you prepare for the hurricane:


• A three-day supply of water (one gallon per person)
• Instant coffee/tea
• Canned meat
• Canned/dried fruits
• Canned vegetables
• Canned juice
• Peanut butter and jelly
• Salt-free crackers
• Energy/protein bars
• Trail mix/nuts
• Dry cereal
• Cookies
• Vitamins
• Other comfort foods your family enjoys

Important household supplies:

• Rain gear
• Baby supplies
• Pet supplies
• Wet Wipes
• Insect repellent
• Dust masks
• Plastic sheeting
• Antiseptic solution
• Over-the-counter medicine (aspirin, anti-diarrhea medication, antacid, laxative and antibiotic ointment)
• Paper and pencils
• Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
• Flashlights and extra bulbs
• Crank/Battery-operated radio

• Crank/Battery-operated lanterns
• Extra batteries
• Personal battery operated fan
• Matches
• Clock (wind-up or battery-powered)
• Plastic garbage bags
• Fire extinguisher
• Scissors
• Tweezers
• Manual can opener
• Clean clothes
• Extra blankets
• Heavy gloves
• Whistles for each person
• A pillow and sleeping bag for each person
• Unscented household bleach
• Paper cups, plates, plastic utensils, and paper towels
• First aid kit
• Duct tape
• Multipurpose tools with pliers and a screwdriver
• Feminine hygiene items
• Personal hygiene products
• Prescription medicine
• Soap
• Sunscreen
• Hand sanitizer

During your inspection process of storm damage, please make sure not to climb on your roof. A proper roof inspection should be done safely by a professional. If you would like us to inspect your roof free of charge, please contact our Kelly Roofing team!