Hurricane preparation advice from experienced Floridians you don’t want to miss

Hurricane season starts June 1

ORLANDO, Fla. – You know the saying “you learn something new every day?”

Well, we called on experienced Floridians to share their best hurricane preparation tips before the start of hurricane season on June 1.

We all can learn by experience and offer help and tips to those new to Florida. And even the most experienced Floridian could learn something new from these hurricane preparation tips below.

Preparation you can do anytime

Carol D. says, “Buy an extra can of food each week leading up to hurricane season. When the season ends and you (hopefully) haven’t used the canned goods, donate them to a Thanksgiving food drive.”

Tammy A. says, “Buy collapsible, refillable water containers and skip buying bottled water. It’s a lot cheaper, better for the environment and you can avoid the people who panic buy water. They are available on Amazon.”

Angela F., a Hurricane Katrina survivor, says, “Have a hurricane kit ready plus go bags. Leave when you are told to leave.”

Jim S. says, “In case of evacuation, have a list made of sentimental belongings you would want to take with you, along with paperwork, such as birth certificates and social security cards.”

Randall B. says, “Put some work gloves in your hurricane kit. After the storm, you’ll probably have some clean up to do. Not having to hunt for gloves can save your sanity and your hands.”

Renata R. says, “Do videos of house belongings. Insurance will low ball personal property unless you have pics of your items if there is damage.”

Bridget D. says, “Put a flashlight in an easy-to-find place with fresh batteries. I got one of those that has a magnet and placed it on the side of my refrigerator. So easy to find.”

Marilyn N. says, “Get glow sticks in the brightest colors, especially if you have kids. The kids can take them to bed with them so that they have a light with them well into the night to help make a scary situation feel festive. They are also great in the middle of a book for older kids who still need to study or anybody wanting to read after dark.”

Robin D. says, “Measure your windows now, get boards cut and store them in your garage and get the hurricane clips to hold the boards. They slide in and out, no muss no fuss.”

Mia B. says, “Make a list of the things that must go with you if you have to evacuate. We have our “Oh, Sh*t! Box” all prepared before the season. It includes three years of taxes, important papers, etc. all in a waterproof filing box. (Purchased from Amazon) It’s easy to throw in the trunk of the car.”

Rachel G. says, “Buy your plywood and tapcon screws NOW. This way you can get a sheet or two every payday.”

Fam R. says, “If buying a house in a hurricane zone buy near a school, community center, police station, etc. They have power restored first in those zones. "

Before the storm

Shannon B says, “Get a generator and at least 20 gallons of gas.”

Robin D. says, “It’s not uber tasty, but freeze brewed coffee. I have sat at my grill reheating it for a few days in a row for morning coffee until we got electricity back on.”

Ren A. says, “Freeze gallon freezer bags filled with water flat and stacked. They work to keep the freezer cold if the power goes out and then you have a gallon of water to drink that is easier to store or transport.”

Kim S. says, “Fill a kiddie pool with sod or sand in your garage so your dog has a place to potty during all the rain and after if there is flooding.”

Jennifer A. says, “Bake crispy bacon. It’s comfort food and keeps when the power goes out.”

Faith L. says, “If you evacuate, freeze a cup of water, then put a coin on top of the ice (leave it in the freezer obviously). If the coin is IN the ice when you get home that means your power was out and food is probably no good anymore.”

Adele W. says, “Buy charcoal. You need this for the BBQ to cook your meat/chicken/seafood in the freezer. I was without electricity for 7 days during the last hurricane. Another thing is to do your washing as soon as you know it’s heading your way.”

Becky R. says, “Earplugs. After staying up all night worrying if the roof would blow off, I learned that using earplugs let me sleep through the rest of the hurricanes. If the roof rips off, I’ll know and worrying about it won’t change anything.”

Cynthia V. says, “Save your milk jugs to use for water. You are saving money and reusing containers at the same time. No need to purchase water.”

Laurie H. says, “To the pet owners new to Florida, if you don’t have a pet carrier or kennel for your pet now, then you need to get one because trying to find one at the last minute will be very difficult. Because if you have to evacuate to a shelter, your pet will need to be in a carrier or kennel. Plus, check out now where the pet-friendly shelters are in your area before a storm is on its way. And don’t forget about their food, medications and water for your fur babies.”

Echo S. says, “Clean up your yard! At those wind speeds (plus the tornados that often precede the hurricane) that 2x4 can pierce concrete. That debris will clog the storm drains causing even more flooding.”

Laura W. says, “Insect repellent. If you have to clean up outdoors, the mosquitoes will be the size of birds. Car chargers. You can always charge the phone in the car and have a little AC. Obviously, you already have full gas tanks. Full propane. If the food starts to thaw, you start cooking.”

Linda H. says, “If you own a gas generator, make certain you have a carbon monoxide detector near any open windows as those gas fumes may be carried into closed-in areas. Also, have a way to secure your generator to a non-movable object. Thieves listen for the generator sounds and then steal them during their off times to resell somewhere else.”

Shelly R. says, “I personally have my generator hooked up to a power source. Also, I use my washer as a cooler for nothing but ice and if needed I can throw in my milk or whatever necessities that will spoil without power. (I have a huge washer so that helps). I put all my valuables inside my dishwasher. Fill up your tubs with water for flushing or washing miscellaneous things as the dogs/cats can also use it for a water source putting it in their bowls.”

Amy S. says, “I oddly place my valuables in my washer and dryer for extra protection.”

Lori M. says, “Charge up your phone if a storm is on its way. Turn your refrigerator and freezer up so if the power goes out the food will stay cold longer.”

Elaine C. says, “Buy lots of crafts and activity books for the kids. We lost power for 10 days with Hurricane Charley. Stock up on chocolates, wine and comfort food.”

Valerie C. says, “We have a lot of paper products, like plates, bowls and plasticware so that we don’t need to use or dirty a lot of dishes. Baby wipes are a must too.”

Valarie P. says, “Fill bathtubs with water for flushing toilets and other necessary water usage.”

Marilyn N. says, “Get a floating chlorine tablet dispenser for your pool because the automatic ones won’t work without electricity. Believe me, you will want your pool to be “swimmable.” You probably want some Stop Yellow algaecide and shock to return the pool to normal after it overflows and turns green from heavy rains, too.”

Terri I. says, “Cook food and put it in the freezer. You can eat cold chicken, but you can’t eat raw chicken!”

Clarence B. says, “I learned the hard way, but make sure you have battery-operated lanterns, one with a USB port, a battery fan. My electricity was off for over a week and these fans were a lifesaver, especially at night for bedtime.”

Susan P. says, “Solar landscape lights work well because you can bring them inside at night.”

Kevin H. says, “Do not tape your windows. You will spend the next 6 months scraping it off.”

If you have other helpful advice, feel free to leave it in the comments below.


About the Author:

Stacy is a Social Media Producer for ClickOrlando.com and has been with News 6 since 2018. She graduated from the University of Florida with a B.S. in advertising and a Masters in social media/mass communications.