June 1 marks the first day of Hurricane Season in Florida. Now is the time to make sure that you and your family are prepared.
Prepare an Emergency Disaster Kit
A disaster emergency kit should include enough supplies to last at least three days. FEMA has prepared a comprehensive emergency supply list, here are a few items that should be included in your kit:
- Water: at least one gallon per day per person for drinking and sanitation;
- Food and utensils: foods that are ready to eat and not quickly perishable are ideal;
- Blankets and extra clothing;
- A first aid kit, including medical insurance and Medicaid cards;
- A battery-powered radio and/or a NOAA weather radio;
- A flashlight with extra batteries;
- Change of clothing;
- Extra set of keys;
- Medical supplies: including prescription medications, an extra pair of glasses, hearing-aid batteries and any other personally needed medical devices;
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items (toilet paper, plastic garbage bags);
- Cell phone with an extra battery and charger;
- An emergency contact list: to reach family, friends and emergency numbers;
- Extra cash: access to banks and ATMs may be limited for a time.
Locate and Secure Your Important Documents
This is a good opportunity locate your important documents and make sure they are stored in a safe and secure location and not at risk of water damage. Documents secure can include:
- Medical history and medication list
- Property deeds and/or leases
- Promissory notes
- Birth certificates and/or adoption records
- Court papers
- Stock certificates
- Immunization records
- Social security cards
- Family heirlooms and photo books
- Insurance policies
- Estate Planning documents
Make sure your computer and electronic devices are backed up and the backup hard drives are stored in a secure location where they will not be damaged. You may want to consider backing up your data to a secure cloud service in the event your computer is lost or damaged.
Check Your Insurance Coverage
Talk with your insurance agent to be sure that you have adequate insurance coverage. Homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage and may not provide full coverage for other hazards or may have increased deductibles.
Take Special Care for Seniors
Seniors need to take special care when preparing for emergencies. In the case of a hurricane, extended power outages are common. Therefore it’s important to keep special care items such as extra medication, oxygen, and backup batteries to supply power to equipment and refrigeration for medication that requires it.
Prepare For Emergencies Now: Information For Older Americans is a brochure available from FEMA that outlines commonsense measures older Americans can take to start preparing for emergencies before they happen.
When a hurricane strikes or is anticipated, most counties will set up Special Needs Shelters for individuals who require additional assistance. If at all possible, a caregiver should accompany special needs shelter clients to provide additional assistance.
Here are a few other resources that you may find useful in preparing for hurricanes and other natural disasters: