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Hurricane Preparation Guide for Florida Residents

June 15, 2024 | Jany Martinez Ward
Hurricane Preparation Guide for Florida Residents

We are surrounded by beautiful beaches and a tropical climate in Florida, but unfortunately, we are also prone to hurricanes. These powerful storms can cause significant damage to homes, properties, and vehicles. Proper preparation can make a substantial difference in safeguarding your life and belongings. Remember, Hurricane season has already peaked since it starts on June 1st and lasts through November 30th.

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General Hurricane Preparation

Ideally, Floridians should always be prepared by creating an Emergency Kit during this time of the year. The main steps include stocking up on essential items such as water, non-perishable food, medications, flashlights, batteries, and a first-aid kit. But aside from stocking up on essentials, securing your home is another crucial step to ensure you make a negative experience safer. It’s recommended that you install storm shutters or board up windows. You should also secure loose outdoor items such as patio furniture, trash cans, and garden tools. Trimming the trees and shrubs ahead of time should prevent branches from breaking and causing damage to your home and vehicles. Further, hurricanes can sometimes go above tolerable levels, and knowing your evacuation routes or planning where you will go is a must. If you own a pet, make arrangements for your furry loved ones, as many shelters do not accept them. After all the general preparation, you may ask yourself what you may be missing. Luckily, you’re reading this blog, so you’ll remember to protect your important documents. Store documents like passports, insurance papers, and medical records in a waterproof container.

Vehicle Preparation and Maintenance

Before a hurricane hits, ensuring your vehicle is ready to help you evacuate safely or withstand the storm is crucial. Here’s a to-do list to prepare your car:

  • Ensure your gas tank is full in case of evacuation orders or fuel shortages.
  • Inspect tires for proper inflation and tread. Make sure the spare tire is in good condition.
  • Ensure your battery is fully charged and in good working condition.
  • Check and fill all essential fluids, including oil, coolant, brake fluid, and windshield washer fluid.
  • Replace old windshield wipers and check that all lights (headlights, brake lights, turn signals) are functioning properly.
  • Pack an Emergency Car Kit: Include jumper cables, a flashlight, a first-aid kit, bottled water, non-perishable snacks, blankets, and a basic tool kit.
  • Protect Your Vehicle: Park in a garage or secure location away from trees and power lines or in a higher place to avoid flooding. If you don’t have a garage, use a car cover to protect against debris.

Post-Hurricane Car Tips

If your vehicle is affected by a hurricane, we have some advice. At times, there may be easily visible damage after the storm has passed; check your car and look out for broken windows, dents, and water intrusion. If you do see anything, be sure to take photos of the damage for insurance purposes. Another critical piece of advice is to avoid starting a flooded car. Take it from the experts here at The Ward Law Group, if your vehicle has been submerged in water, and you attempt to start it, this can cause further damage. A better thing to do is to contact your insurance company. Report the damage and follow their instructions for filing a claim. If possible, have a professional mechanic inspect your vehicle, especially if it was submerged or suffered significant damage. Water can damage electrical systems, the engine, and other vital components. Take note to clean and disinfect your vehicle as well. If the interior was exposed to water, thoroughly clean and disinfect to prevent mold and mildew.

Preparing for a hurricane involves taking proactive steps to ensure your safety and to protect your property, including your vehicle. By following these guidelines, you can minimize the impact of a hurricane on your life and belongings. Preparation is essential, and staying informed and ready can make all the difference when facing one of nature’s most powerful forces. Share this blog with your family and friends. If you are in an accident, please don't hesitate to contact your trusted attorneys here at The Ward Law Group. We support you with empathy and expertise during these challenging times.

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Jany Martinez Ward
Partner

Jany Martínez-Ward is a Founding and Managing Partner of The Ward Law Group, PL, a Florida law firm representing victims of car accidents. She focuses her practice on providing legal representation to Hispanic clients that have become injured in a car accident as a result of the negligence of others. In 2018, The National Trial Lawyers Association recognized Jany as one of the top attorneys in the state and among the top 40 under 40 attorneys.

 

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