Hurricane and flood season are a yearly challenge to residents of South Florida, and it’s never too early to prepare. There is a lot of advice out there on where to start, such as CNN’s hurricane preparedness checklist, covering everything from food prep to surviving in place, to evacuation readiness. But all the media advice can be overwhelming, so we’ve provided you with Florida’s essential hurricane/flood preparation checklist for 2020.
Store plenty of water
Store at least one gallon of water per person per day and have enough for at least three days, and ideally up to two weeks. Don’t forget about your pets! If you have a cat or dog, keep at least one gallon per pet per day as well. As an extra precaution, you can even fill your bathtub as an additional store of water.
Store food to last
Canned food will be a must, so don’t forget to have one can opener available plus a spare. CNN Health (2015) and the Ready.gov food list give extensive suggestions for foods to stock up on, but here are some highlights:
- Fresh apples: They’re a great source of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. And with a water content of 84%, they’re a good water source and can be stored in a cool, dry place without refrigeration for several weeks.
- Fresh oranges: Oranges are 87% water, provide a good source of vitamin C, and last up to two weeks when stored at room temperature.
- Canned soups and vegetables: Buy products that are low in sodium and ready to eat, without requiring added water or milk.
- Dried and canned fruit: Look for products without syrup or added sugar.
- Canned fish: Tuna, salmon, and sardines are recommended.
- Nuts and nut butters: You can get a protein boost from peanut, almond, cashew, and other nuts, avoiding products with sugar and preservatives.
- Protein bars: Avoid preservatives and added sugars.
- Comfort foods: A moderate store of your favorite munchies can boost morale and reduce stress.
Secure home, garage, and vehicles
Make sure your vehicle can exit your home easily and that your garage and driveway are not blocked. Remove or store all heavy equipment and vehicles not in use. Finally, board up glass windows and identify an inner room with no windows that you and your family can take shelter in within your home if the storm gets bad.
Assemble a first aid kit and fill prescriptions
Include scissors, band aids, an ace bandage, butterfly bandages, gauze, hydrogen peroxide, and antibiotic cream. You may also want to include some over-the-counter allergy medicine and over-the-counter pain relievers. Make sure that any stored medicine’s expiration date is still valid. In addition, make sure that any family member who takes prescription medicine has at least an extra month’s supply.
Have a mobile disaster kit ready to go
Prepare a disaster kit to take with you on the road in case you have to evacuate. It should contain at least three days’ worth of all the items you’ve gathered above, along with at least three days’ clean clothes, laundry detergent, and a few books or games to pass the time. In case you have to spend time in a public shelter during the COVID-19 outbreak, include at least two masks and a supply of sanitizer for each family member.
Get your vehicle travel-ready
Finally, be sure your vehicle is travel ready. It should have good tires, an oil change, and be up-to-date with all its maintenance requirements. Store your mobile disaster kit in the vehicle early so it’s ready to go, double-checking your list before you take off.
South Florida Honda Dealers
We hope you’ll never need this list, but stay prepared for hurricane and flood season. If you find your Honda needs any maintenance or service assistance, contact your local South Florida Honda Dealer, today.