Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Get started now, before storm season begins

Here's a checklist of things to start working on now to prepare for hurricane season. We offer more details in this section on many of these topics: window protection, documents to set aside, insurance, the gear and food you'll want to have ready.

• Start planning how you will protect your windows and doors. Shop for window protection (shutters, screens, rolldowns). If you decide to go the plywood route, buy it now, cut it to size, predrill holes and label the pieces. Learn how to protect your garage door.

• Repair to prepare. If your home needs a new roof, if the siding needs repair, if the chimney needs repointing, if the soffits need replacing — wait no longer. Clean out gutters and downspouts and keep them clear. Check your roof for overflow drainage so there's no pooling of heavy rain, especially on flat roofs.

• Plan how you will survive in your home for some time without power. If you think you will want a generator, buy it now and learn how to use it. If you don't know how to use a chain saw to cut down damaged trees, learn now.

• Find and read your insurance policy. Discuss with your agent whether you have sufficient coverage. Do you need flood insurance? Have you added window protection that will trigger a rebate or reduction in rates?

• Compile the important paperwork and a few irreplaceable items you will take with you when you leave the house. Place these items in an easy-to-carry, waterproof box.

• Prepare an inventory of your home's contents. Include receipts if available. Take photos (burn a CD, put on a flash drive or store remotely) or make a video to support an insurance claim.

• Learn how to secure your home if you have to leave, including where and how to turn off power, gas and water. Several family members should know how to do this in case everyone is not at home when an evacuation is called.

• Start stockpiling the materials you will need to make emergency repairs: tarps, duct tape, plywood, tools. Power may be out when the storm passes, so plan to use charged cordless tools or hand tools.

• Have trees trimmed to eliminate dead branches that could become missiles or could damage power lines. Have dead or rotting trees removed.

• Condo and homeowners associations should plan how to secure property in case of a storm, compile contact information for residents who evacuate or spend the summer elsewhere, and create a plan for emergency board meetings.

• Make a family communications plan. If you have only cordless and cell phones, get a land line that plugs into a phone jack in the wall. This may be your best option if the power goes out and cellular towers are damaged. Designate an out-of-state relative as a contact point and establish a family phone tree.

• Begin to stockpile items you'll need: a radio, flashlights and plenty of batteries for both; a grill to cook on, plus fuel; a first aid kit.

• Pick up a few items for the hurricane pantry every time you shop: bottled water, canned meats and fish, canned fruit, individual-serving puddings, powdered milk, toilet paper, paper towels, hand sanitizer, liquid soap, plastic bags, bleach.

Get started now, before storm season begins 05/16/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 1:58pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Gov. Rick Scott's family history of alcohol abuse could decide 'liquor wall" bill

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott must decide Wednesday whether to let Walmart and other big-box stores sell liquor, and he says a factor in his decision is the history of alcohol abuse in his family.

    Florida Governor Rick Scott is considering a veto of a bill that would allow Walmart, Target and other big box retail stores to sell liquor. [Andres Leiva | Tampa Bay Times]
  2. Tampa lands Super Bowl in 2021

    Bucs

    Tampa's Super again. Or at least it will be soon.

    Mike Tomlin celebrates with LaMarr Woodley and Troy Polamalu after the Steelers beat the Cardinals in 


Super Bowl XLIII  on February 1, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. [Times files (2009)
  3. Spacewalking astronauts pull off urgent repairs at International Space Station (w/video)

    Space

    CAPE CANAVERAL — Spacewalking astronauts completed urgent repairs at the International Space Station on Tuesday, replacing equipment that failed three days earlier and restoring a backup for a vital data-relay system.

    In this NASA provided frame from video, NASA astronaut Jack Fischer works to install antennas at the International Space Station while astronaut Peggy Whitson, not pictured, works on repairs Tuesday, May 23, 2017. [NASA via AP]
  4. Forecast: Severe storms, gusty winds for Tampa Bay as cold front arrives Wednesday

    Weather

    Muggy and dry conditions will prevail across the Tampa Bay region ahead of a cold front that could produce gusty winds and potentially severe storms late Wednesday.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]
  5. For starters: Rays vs. Angels, with Cobb leading the way

    Blogs

    Rays veteran RHP Alex Cobb had a lot to say Monday about the team needing to focus on getting past .500 and building a winning record.

    And after the disappointing 3-2 loss that …

    Alex Cobb will start tonight when the Rays play the Angels.