Hurricane Guide for Homeowners

The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 through November 30. Hurricanes may impact all of Florida, including inland areas. Losses may be caused by flooding, wind, wind-driven rain, tornadoes, falling trees and flying debris. The following guidelines will help you and your family prepare for a storm.

Before the Storm

  • Designate an out-of-state friend or family member as an emergency contact for loved ones seeking information on you and your family during the storm and its aftermath.
  • Check your insurance coverage. Place your important documents—including deeds, identification and insurance papers—in one waterproof bag.
  • Understand your home’s vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind.
  • Determine where you will ride out the storm in a “safe room” in your home. The room should be one away from windows. Bathrooms and closets may be your best options.
  • Identify a meeting place outside your home (car, backyard) if severe damage forces you to evacuate.
  • Determine nearby shelter locations in the event you need to
  • Prepare for what to do with your pets if you need to evacuate. Not all shelters welcome pets. Make sure your pets’ registration and vaccinations are current, and keep a copy of this documentation with you in a waterproof bag.
  • Buy flashlights, battery-powered cellphone chargers, a battery-powered radio and extra batteries.
  • Stock up on emergency supplies to last your family for three to seven days:
    • Bottled water: 1 gallon per person per day
    • Nonperishable food items: Canned meats, fruits, vegetables, soups; protein and granola bars; dried fruits; nuts and nut butters; cereal; crackers
    • Baby supplies: Formula, food and diapers
    • Manual can opener
    • First-aid kit
    • Prescription medications, over-the-counter medications and pain relievers
    • Toiletries: Soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, toilet paper, feminine-hygiene products
    • Disposable paper plates, cups and utensils
    • Insect repellant and sunscreen
    • Cleaning supplies: Soap, liquid detergent, disinfectant and bleach
    • Pet supplies, including food and water
  • Bring in or secure patio furniture, plants and all loose items on your balcony or porch.
  • Secure a supply of cash (including small bills) as banks, ATMs and credit-card processing may not be available immediately after the storm.
  • Fill your bathtubs with water for bathing and/or boiling.
  • Fill your car’s gas tank.


During the Storm

  • Turn off or unplug any nonessential electrical equipment.
  • Turn your refrigerator up to the coldest setting in order to preserve foods as long as possible if the power fails. Avoid unnecessary opening and closing of the refrigerator doors.
  • Keep your windows closed.
  • Listen to your radio for updates and storm tracking.
  • Use your telephone for emergencies only.
  • In case of broken windows or damage to your home, retreat to your “safe room” and take cover.
  • Stay indoors until the “all clear” from authorities is issued.


After the Storm

  • Listen to your radio for emergency updates and news reports.
  • Use the phone only to report life-threatening emergencies.
  • Stay off the streets until given the “all clear” from authorities. If you must go out, watch for fallen objects, downed electrical wires, weakened walls, bridges, roads and sidewalks.
  • Use caution when assessing damage to your home and property.
  • Once you have assessed the damage, if necessary, contact your insurance company and/or FEMA.


For additional information on hurricane safety, please visit the following resources: