Hurricane Preparedness in Florida
June in Florida brings around thoughts of summer, as well as concerns over the beginning of Hurricane Season. Each year, the next five months conjure up some pretty nasty storms, typically peaking in August and September. 2020 is shaping up to be a busy year for storms, so we wanted to share these tips to help you and your families prepare.
How likely is it that a Hurricane will make landfall in Florida?
On average, only one to two hurricanes make landfall on the eastern coast of America every year, and of those, only 40 percent actually hit Florida. Generally, the Florida Keys are the most vulnerable and any coastal towns, depending on the track of the storm.
The Lakewood Ranch area is far enough inland that we do not need flood insurance, so the main concerns during hurricane season are high winds, losing power, and lightning. The lightning is no joke, either. They don’t call us the Tampa Bay Lightning Bolts for nothing! Sometimes we just sit and watch the lightning outside – it’s like free entertainment! Anyways, I digress. In our experience, the storms typically take the shape of very intense thunderstorms and sometimes have potentially damaging winds.
On the (semi) bright side, the benefit to hurricanes is that they are tracked for long periods of time prior to making impact, giving you plenty of time to prepare your home and yourselves, or evacuate if needed.
The majority of the homes in Lakewood Ranch are new and therefore meet the most recent standards of building. Homes built on or after March 2012 can withstand winds of up to 150 mph, or a Category 4 hurricane. Homes built between March 2012 and March 2002 can withstand winds of up to 130 mph, or a category 3 storm, in Manatee county, and homes on the coast built before March 2002 can only handle winds of up to 110 mph, or a Category 2 storm. If the home was built in Manatee County prior to March 2002, it may only be able to handle winds up to 90 mph, or so. Knowing when your home was built can help you to be more prepared for the potential storms.
What supplies should you have on hand?
The Division of Emergency Management in Florida recommends having at least 7 days of supplies like food, water, medicine, batteries, etc in case of a true emergency. Here is a checklist of items they recommend keeping in your Hurricane Kit, or just having on hand this time of year: https://www.floridadisaster.org/globalassets/plan--prepare/disaster-supply-checklist.pdf
They also recommend having a plan in case you do need to evacuate, and there is a helpful resource they provide for residents based on their address: https://apps.floridadisaster.org/getaplan/
Hurricane shutters come with most new homes in the area, unless all of your doors and windows are impact-proof, in which case you do not need the shutters. If a hurricane is predicted to make landfall and be dangerous, the county will issue warnings and you can decide if you want to put up your shutters or just secure any lose furniture or items.
There are hurricane shelters designated for each area, and you can find that information here: https://www.floridadisaster.org/planprepare/shelters/
Each year, Florida has a tax-free week for residents to buy the necessary supplies on their hurricane checklist, which is a wonderful way to remind everyone to stock up!
We cannot predict how bad the season will be, so it helps to be prepared and have a plan! For more information on Hurricane Prep in Florida, contact the Florida Division of Emergency Management or visit their website for all disaster preparation details: https://www.floridadisaster.org/
Contact us with any questions! We are always here to help!