EUSTIS, Fla. – As Central Floridians prepare for Hurricane Isaias, many families are struggling to make ends meet because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Experts say you can still be prepared for this hurricane season without breaking your budget.
As Florida braces for Hurricane Isaias, Gov. Ron DeSantis is urging all Floridians to start preparing now.
“The most important thing people can do right now is to just remain vigilant and pay close attention to local warnings and local news,” DeSantis said. “Now is a great time to make your disaster supply kit if you haven’t already. We recommend seven days’ worth of food, water, and medicine.”
Preparing for the hurricane season is different this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cade Carter with Central Florida Ace Dealers said even if funds are tight, you can still prepare for storms on a budget.
“Building a hurricane kit or getting prepared doesn’t have to be expensive. There are relatively inexpensive ways to prepare,” Carter said.
Carter said you can get the essentials you need for your hurricane kit for less than $30.
He said you need to have batteries in your kit. He adds you can save money by not buying name brands.
“There are several off-brand batteries that will get you through the hurricane just fine,” Carter said.
Carter said you also want a flashlight in case you lose power. He said his Ace stores sell flashlight and battery packs for around $10.
He also said you also want to have plenty of water, but you don't have to buy bottled water.
"It's much more affordable to buy the gallons of water and use your own cups at home," he said.
If you're really trying to save money, Carter said you should take a look around your home for what you already have. Check your drawers for batteries, fill your bathtub or other containers with water, and check your pantry for non-perishable food items.
He said if you can, make a one-time investment to buy a cooler that you can use during every storm.
"You can fill filtered water and have that ready in the event of a storm hitting," Carter said.
Carter also shared this simple hack to save your food if a generator is out of your budget.
"An easy way to help the food in your fridge last a little bit longer right now is you can get some gallons of water, freeze them," Carter said. "So if the power goes out you can put those gallons in your fridge and that will help keep that food a little bit longer."
He adds he knows times are tough for many people, but you still need to be prepared.
“This is just the beginning. We know as Central Floridians we see a lot of hurricanes in August, September, all the way into October. This is just the beginning,” Carter said. “The good thing about preparing now, you’re going to have this stuff to last you through the season.”