September 1st through November 30th is the prime time for a devastating hurricane strike. Knowing how to prepare properly can mean the difference between survival and struggle. First and foremost you need to stay informed! Check the National Hurricane Center’s website everyday regularly and track the storms progress.
- Don’t Delay – If your property is located in the cone take these initial steps immediately. Make sure you have these supplies well in advance or you may find yourself without them. Stores will sell out of survival goods like plywood, gasoline, generators, water, and canned goods to name a few. And if the storm misses, none of these items will go to waste.
- Shelter: Ensure you can protect your home via impact resistant glass, storm shutters, or even plywood.
- Food: Store at least 3 days of perishable foods that your family will eat. Choose salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals and canned foods with high liquid content. Avoid foods that will make you thirsty and remember any dietary needs.
- Water: Store at least 1 gallon per person for each day, or 3 gallons minimum per person.
- Light: It is almost guaranteed you will lose power for at least 3 days if not weeks. Candles and flashlights with extra batteries will come in handy.
- Power: Electricity will be a luxury, but with hot and humid weather fans and air conditioning are certainly welcomed. Electricity can also come in handy for keeping food cold and cooking amongst other things. Just remember generators run on gasoline and you will want to store extra gasoline. Common sense but worth mentioning, don’t run generators in a closed space where you are, carbon monoxide poisoning won’t make things better.
- Money: ATM’s run on electricity, and most stores will only be accepting cash if they are open. Make a run to the bank and store some cash on hand. If not, you may be temporarily very poor.
- Don’t Hesitate – If you are not comfortable riding out the storm or are unfamiliar with hurricanes get out of town! Generally speaking, if you are within a half mile of the coast, or the storm is projected to be a category 4 or higher you do not want to be in Naples, FL.
- Save it: Pack up any irreplaceable belongings and bring them with you. This is anything that could be damaged by water, fire, blunt force or looting.
- Prove it: Take pictures of everything else that you are leaving behind. This will help you file a claim with your insurance company if you have losses. Remember to take pictures of everything and bring the camera with you.
- Road Travel: Its possible if you are leaving you will not be the only one. Ensure you have plenty of gasoline at all times, food and water in the car, and a first aid kit. You may spend significant time stuck in traffic.
- Routes: Have multiple routes planned! I-75 and US 41 will be popular choices to evacuate north from Naples. Consider multiple other routes like route 31 through the middle of the state.
- Destination: Depending on the storm, you may only need to travel a few hours to another major city like Orlando. Focus on getting closer to the middle of the state, away from coastlines.
- Plan your Return: Don’t be in a rush to get back. Roads will likely be littered with debris, and Naples will be a site of a natural disaster. Give at least 3 days after the storm passes to return and check on your property.
- Know the Rules – Check with your Home Owner Associations rules and regulations for the community standards with hurricane procedures.
Above all, be safe! The sheer power of mother nature can be jaw dropping and it’s better to be prepared than to get caught with your pants down. Naples, FL can be an unbelievably beautiful place to call home, as long as we respect the land which we inhabit.