Barbara Fradkin – Special to FLORIDA TODAY
Reader Question: I am new to Florida and hurricane preparation. What should I do?
Answer: Welcome to Florida, where the seasons include the “Dry Season,” the “Wet Season,” and — of course — Hurricane Season!
Hurricane Season officially begins June 1 and runs through Nov. 30.
Experts are predicting another above-average Atlantic hurricane season: 17 named storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher). Great!
I needed something new to worry about while we’re still dealing with the pandemic.
So, what should you do?
When I moved to Florida, my wise sister (already a Floridian) told me, “Don’t panic.”
So, what did I do my first hurricane? PANIC!
But I was prepared for anything and you can be, too — if you start now.
Plan. Make an emergency plan with your family.
Is your house safe enough to shelter in place?
Create an “important information” sheet, with your family and medical contacts, medication list and insurance information, in case you have to evacuate.
Where will you go? A shelter is a refuge of last resort. Don’t forget your pets. They deserve to be safe, too — and they’d probably prefer to be with you.
Copy Documents. Make copies of personal documents (proof of address, deed/lease from home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies).
Don’t forget your advance directives, trust papers, bank account information and your COVID vaccine card. Put all these copies in a waterproof bag or folder and keep originals in a safe place.
Make Your Emergency Kit. Basic supplies include:
• Water: One gallon per person, per day (2-week supply for home). Make sure you buy that water well in advance — it’s like toilet paper, people hoard!
• Food: Non-perishable, easy to prepare items.
• Flashlight, extra batteries, battery-powered or hand crank radio (NOAA weather radio, if possible).
First aid kit, medications (7-day supply) plus medical, sanitation and hygiene items.
• Cell phone with charger.
• Extra cash (ATM’s might be inoperable).
• Extra fuel for generator or car.
• Supplies for your pets.
Stay Informed. Register for voice, email or text notifications from the county Emergency Operations Center.
Keep up with the weather, but also take a TV break and do some fun things to keep your mind busy.
We all know when the meteorologist takes off his tie, we are in for a long night.
This column only scratches the surface. But you can stop in to One Senior Place for a complete hurricane preparedness check list and free waterproof document bag.
We are also offering a Hurricane Preparedness presentation on May 17 at 11 a.m. Call 321-751-6771 to RSVP.
And regularly check floridatoday.com, which updates the track and has all the latest information on storms as they near.
One Senior Place is a marketplace for resources and provider of information, advice, care and on-site services for seniors and their families. Questions for this column are answered by professionals in nursing, social work, care management and in-home care. To submit a question, send an email to askOSP@OneSeniorPlace.com or visit One Senior Place, The Experts in Aging at OneSeniorPlace.com.
Barbara Fradkin is a Social Worker, Certified Care Manager and the Director for One Senior Place, Viera.