How to prepare for hurricane season in Tampa

How to prepare for hurricane season in Tampa

While there’s no denying that the Tampa Bay area has seen more than its fair share of dry weather this spring, hurricane season (and an increase in rainy days) is just around the corner.

As a matter of fact, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting an above average hurricane season, with 11 to 17 named storms, of which they’re predicting five to nine will be hurricanes. Two to four are expected to be “major” hurricanes.

That means NOW is the time to get prepared for hurricane season, before a storm is headed our way.

Ready Your Hurricane Preparation Kit

You need to be prepared with supplies to sustain each member of the family for seven days. Start by stocking up on one gallon of water per person, per day. This means a minimum of seven gallons of water for each member of your family. (And don’t forget extra for pets!)Web_Legacy_Medium_Kit__09950_medium

Stock up on drinks that are high in electrolytes and foods that don’t need to be refrigerated, things like peanut butter, protein bars and canned foods. (And if you’re just planning to dip into a past emergency supply, it’s a good idea to take a look at expiration dates now.)

Make sure that you have an ample supply of any necessary medications (enough to last at least two weeks). Camping and survival gear are also good to have on hand. Things like solar chargers and hand-crank radios can be a lifesaver if you find yourself without power for days.

Have Plenty of Gasoline

Make sure to fill your tank if you see a storm coming, so you’ll be prepared in the event of an evacuation. It’s also a good idea to fill gas cans (only the ones approved by the Department of Transportation) with up to five gallons of gas. (Also make sure that you never fill a can to more than 95 percent capacity. You want to allow room for expansion.)

Have a Plan for Pets

Have at least two weeks of food sealed in a bag as well as a month’s supply of any prescription medication. Make sure that you also have a portable pet carrier and portable litter box. It’s also a good idea to have your pets microchipped in the event that you might become separated from them.

Remember that if you have to evacuate, shelters don’t take pets. So you’ll need a plan for what you’re going to do with your four-legged family member.

Have a Plan and Know Where to Go

The last major hurricane that our region faced was Hurricane Charley in 2004, a storm that suddenly shifted its course to Charlotte County instead. Residents had already been told to evacuate and traffic was backed up as far as 30 miles in places. Some reported that it took two hours just to cross the bay.

At the time the population was sitting at approximately 2.5 million. Today we are up to about 3.3 million.

Knowing this, it’s important to have a plan in place and know where you need to go. If you’re not in an evacuation zone, for example, it might be safer to stay put. And if you are in an evacuation zone, know how far you need to travel to reach a safe location.

You may only need to travel 10 miles to be safe.

Keep an eye out for newly prepared evacuation maps. New maps are being created as a result of new storm surge models and, unfortunately, they aren’t ready just yet.

Final Thoughts

Remember, preparation and planning is essential in the event of a storm. Don’t be of the mindset that “it’ll never happen to us.” Know what the plan will be for meeting up with family members, where to go in the event of an evacuation, and what you’ll be doing with pets.

With a little planning, you’ll be able to move into hurricane season worry-free.

 

Additional tips and information can be found at the following websites:

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/ready.php

http://www.tampabay.com/topics/specials/hurricane-preparedness.page

http://www.pinellascounty.org/emergency/knowyourzone.htm

The Metts Group cares about our clients and
hope you continue your wonderful life enjoying the many
amazing things Florida has to offer!

Jeanine and Howard Metts
Metts Group at Future Home Realty
2653 McCormick Drive, Clearwater, FL 33759
Phone: 727-418-5224 or 727-631-4191