Throughout hurricane season MicroTech continues to share information and resources that can help you stay safe if and when the First Coast is hit by a hurricane or tropical storm. This article covers hurricane safety tips for Florida and the First Coast, however the general tips apply to any city or county facing a hurricane or tropical storm. As you are probably already aware, hurricanes can be life-threatening and cause flooding, storm surges, high winds and tornadoes. The best way to stay safe is to be in the know and be prepared.
What’s the Difference Between a Hurricane Watch and a Hurricane Warning
A Hurricane Watch indicates that hurricane conditions are a threat within 48 hours. Review your hurricane plans and be prepared to act if a warning is issued.
A Hurricane Warning indicates that conditions are expected within 36 hours. Stay tuned in to updates of the weather, complete your storm preparations and follow news and safety recommendations.
Be Prepared for Hurricanes
If a hurricane watch or warning has been issued this indicates there is potential danger on the way of a hurricane or tropical storm. There are some things you can do to prepare in advance prior to the warning and others you can do as the warning has arrived. Waiting until the storm has arrived is too late as traveling conditions and supplies may not be available.
Keep Informed and Have Supplies Prepared
- Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio for critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS) or NWS Jax.
- Also keep connected with local news stations such as News 4 Jax, First Cost News, or Action News Jax
- Check your disaster supplies – View our Disaster Supply Checklist. Replace or restock items as needed.
Get Items Picked Up, Turned Off and Prepared for the Storm
- Bring in items from outside that can be picked up by the wind (bicycles, lawn furniture).
- Close your windows, doors and hurricane shutters. If you do not have hurricane shutters, close and board up all windows and doors with plywood.
- Turn your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting. Keep them closed as much as possible so that food will last longer if the power goes out.
- Turn off propane tank.
- Unplug small appliances.
- Fill your car’s gas tank.
Get an Action Plan in Order
- Create a hurricane evacuation plan with members of your household. Planning and practicing your evacuation plan minimizes confusion and fear during the event.
- Find out about your community’s hurricane response plan. Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs and make plans for your pets to be cared for. Check out http://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan for more information.
- Obey evacuation orders. Avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges. It does no good to try to brave the flood waters if you get stuck in them.
Check your insurance before the storm
Keep in mind that standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding. For more information on flood insurance, please visit the National Flood Insurance Program Web site at www.FloodSmart.gov. Download Family Emergency Plan PDF