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Navigating Hurricane Season: A Guide to Staying Prepared

Navigating Hurricane Season: A Guide to Staying Prepared

It's that time of the year again. Hurricane season is a period that many coastal residents mark with a sense of cautious anticipation. With the potential for powerful storms that can bring heavy rain, strong winds, and significant flooding, being prepared is not just advisable, it's essential.

Hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th, peaking from August through October. During this time, the combination of warmer ocean temperatures and favorable atmospheric conditions can lead to the development of tropical storms and hurricanes. It's crucial to stay informed about the forecast and have a plan in place well before a storm is on the horizon.

At Florida Health Care Plans (FHCP), we want our members and community to be prepared for whatever happens. 

Stay Informed: The first step in preparation is staying informed. Sign up for alerts from your local weather service and pay attention to emergency notifications. Apps and battery-powered radios can be lifesavers in times of power outages.

• Emergency Kit: Prepare an emergency kit that includes essentials such as water (one gallon per person per day for at least three days), non-perishable food, a flashlight, batteries, a first aid kit, medications, and important documents in waterproof containers. Don't forget supplies for pets if you have them.

• Home Safety Checks: Well before a hurricane is forecasted, check your home for vulnerabilities. Trim trees that could fall on your home, secure loose outdoor items, and consider installing storm shutters. Know how to turn off your gas, water, and electricity if necessary.

• Evacuation Plan: Know your evacuation routes and have a plan in place in case you need to leave your home. If you have pets, look for pet-friendly accommodations in advance. Keep your car's gas tank full as the storm approaches, and have an emergency kit ready to go in your vehicle.

• Communication Plan: Ensure that your family members know how to get in touch with each other and where to meet if separated. Designate an out-of-state friend or relative as a point of contact in case local communication networks are down.

During the storm, it is crucial to stay indoors and away from windows and glass doors to ensure your safety. Make sure to close all interior doors and secure and brace external doors to minimize damage. Keeping curtains and blinds closed can also offer an extra layer of protection against broken windows. It's important not to be fooled by any sudden lull in the storm, as this could simply indicate the eye of the hurricane, where conditions can deteriorate rapidly again. Follow instructions from local officials closely, including shutting off your power and water mains if advised to do so.

After the storm has passed, patience is key. Wait until you receive the official word that it's safe to return home if you've had to evacuate. When you do venture out, avoid driving through flooded areas as the water depth and road condition beneath can be deceiving. Upon returning home, take the time to inspect your property for any damage, making sure to photograph evidence for insurance claims. Additionally, be extremely cautious of downed power lines. Do not approach them and report them to the power company immediately to prevent any accidents or further damage.

Preparation is key to navigating hurricane season safely. By taking proactive steps and staying informed, you can protect yourself, your loved ones, and your property. Remember, it's better to overprepare than to be caught off guard. Stay safe and vigilant, and let's weather the storm together.

About Florida Health Care Plans

Florida Health Care Plans serves our community with over 9,000 local health care providers in Flagler, Volusia, Seminole, Brevard, and St. Johns counties. Our Care Centers are designed with convenience and comfort in mind, whether you are visiting your family doctor, getting an X-ray, or utilizing our cost-effective, members-only pharmacies.

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