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Florida Hurricane Preparation: Evacuation Zones, Emergency Kits & Accommodations

Florida Hurricane Preparation: Evacuation Zones, Emergency Kits & Accommodations

Hurricane season on the East Coast begins on June 1st and lasts until November 30th. Some years, the East Coast will go the entire season without a major hurricane or tropical storm, but due to the unpredictability of these weather systems, it’s always a good idea to be prepared and know what to do during a hurricane.

Florida Hurricane Evacuation Zones

So, how do you prepare for a hurricane in Florida? The most important preparation for hurricane season in Florida is knowing your evacuation zone. This will let you know if and when you and your family need to evacuate the area if a hurricane is expected. Use this interactive Florida hurricane evacuation map to find the zone specific to your location or address.

What’s the difference between a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning?

  • Hurricane Watch: Hurricane conditions are possible in your area, watches are announced 48 hours before conditions are possible
  • Hurricane Warning: Hurricane conditions are coming to your area, warnings are announced 36 hours before conditions are expected to allow for preparations

Florida Hurricane Preparation List

Next, it is important that you and your family know how to prepare your home in the event of a hurricane warning. Here are the ways the Center for Disease Control recommends that you ready your home for a hurricane:

  • Prepare your yard. Bring any items inside that have the potential to blow away causing damage to your home or surrounding houses (e.g. bicycles, grills, propane tanks, potted plants, yard decorations, lawn chairs, etc.)
  • Protect your windows. Hurricane winds can range from 60 – 160 mph or more. It is important to cover your windows with storm shutters or plywood to prevent flying debris from crashing through your windows.
  • Know how to turn off the gas, electricity and water in your home. In the event of flooding or downed power lines, it is recommended that you turn off the electricity to your home. If you are evacuated, it is also recommended that you turn off the gas, electricity and water to your home before leaving.
  • Fill clean water containers. It is important to have ample clean water on hand just in case you were to lose power during the storm and the roads are inaccessible after the storm. You can also fill your sinks and tubs to use for cleaning, washing or cooking.
  • Protect your vehicles. Move any cars, trucks, recreational vehicles, boats, four-wheelers, etc. into the garage or under shelter.
  • Check your carbon monoxide detector’s battery.

Florida Hurricane Emergency Kit

Before hurricane season even begins, you can take steps towards preparation by organizing a hurricane emergency kit for your home and your car. Even if a hurricane warning has just been announced, you still have time to gather these items in preparation. Here are the items you should include in your hurricane preparation kits:

  • Food and water supplies. If you are preparing in advance, consider adding non-perishable food items like canned meats & fish, peanut butter & jelly, canned soups & chilis, canned vegetables & fruit, hot & cold cereals, juice boxes, bottled drinks, etc. If you are preparing right before the storm, include items like bread, granola bars, fresh fruit, dry pastas, etc.
  • Cooking supplies. Cooking utensils, cutlery, paper products, can opener, heavy-duty aluminum foil, a grill that uses charcoal, propane or gas.
  • Medical supplies. See the American Red Cross first aid kit supply list here.
  • Emergency power supplies. This means flashlights, batteries, candles, generators, gas, propane, etc.
  • Personal documents. This includes medical documents, wills, passports and personal identification.
  • Fire extinguisher.
  • Portable radio.

Keep all of your hurricane emergency supplies in air-tight containers. It is recommended that your food supplies and cooking supplies are not kept in the same container. If evacuation is not mandatory and you plan to stay at home during the storm, consider purchasing several bags of ice to keep in a cooler. This will be needed if the power goes out and you need to store your perishable items like milk and eggs.

Florida Hurricane Evacuation Accommodations

Lastly, in the event of a mandatory evacuation, you and your family may need a temporary place to stay. Those that are not fortunate to have friends or another family in a nearby state may need to find temporary housing. FEMA may have set up temporary shelters in your area. You can find that information here.

If there isn’t an available shelter close to your area or you and your family would prefer a little more privacy, InTown Suites Extended Stay has many locations neighboring Florida that are affordable and provide a safe place to weather the hurricane.

All of our extended stay locations offer apartment-style amenities and in-room kitchens. We are prepared to make your temporary stay as convenient and comfortable as possible. Our in-room kitchens contain full-size refrigerators, microwaves and two-burner stoves. Plus, all of our locations are located in town near grocery stores and other necessities.

Here is a list of properties that are within driving distance from Florida:

Alabama

Georgia

Mississippi

South Carolina

Louisiana

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