As June 1 marks the beginning of hurricane season in Southwest Florida, it’s crucial for residents to be well-prepared. Hurricanes can bring devastating winds, heavy rains, and flooding, so being ready can make a significant difference in ensuring your safety and minimizing damage to your property. At PBS Contractors, we prioritize the well-being of our community and want to share some essential preparedness tips to help you stay safe this hurricane season.

1. Stay Informed

Stay updated with the latest weather forecasts and alerts. Reliable sources include the National Hurricane Center (NHC), local news stations, and weather apps. Knowing when a storm is approaching gives you valuable time to prepare.

2. Create an Emergency Plan

Discuss an emergency plan with your family. Identify a safe room in your home, preferably an interior room with no windows. Plan evacuation routes and establish a meeting point should you get separated. Ensure everyone knows important contact numbers by heart, including an out-of-town main contact should that be available.

3. Assemble an Emergency Kit

  • Prepare an emergency kit with the following essentials:
  • Water: At least one gallon per person per day for at least three days
  • Food: Non-perishable items for at least three days
  • Medications: A seven-day supply of prescription medications
  • First Aid Kit: Including bandages, antiseptics, and necessary medications
  • Tools and Supplies: Flashlights, batteries, multi-purpose tools, and a manual can opener, hand-crank or battery-operated radio
  • Personal Items: Important documents (in a waterproof container), hygiene products, and cash

4. Secure Your Home

  • Shutters and Boards: Install storm shutters or pre-cut plywood to protect windows and doors.
  • Roof and Gutters: Inspect and reinforce your roof, and clear gutters and drains to prevent water damage.
  • Outdoor Items: Secure or bring in outdoor furniture, grills, and other objects that can become projectiles in high winds.

5. Review Your Insurance

Be sure to review your homeowner’s policy coverage with your agent and understand exactly what your policy covers. Be sure to specifically ask about flood insurance and be clear about what that includes.

6. Plan for Your Pets

Don’t forget about your pets! Ensure you have enough food, water, and medications for them. Identify pet-friendly shelters or hotels if you need to evacuate.

7. Know Your Evacuation Zone

Familiarize yourself with local evacuation zones and routes. Follow local authorities’ recommendations on when to evacuate. If you’re advised to leave, do so promptly and follow the designated routes to avoid traffic congestion.

8. Stay Safe During the Storm

During a hurricane, stay indoors and away from windows. Use your safe room for shelter. Listen to official updates, and do not venture outside until you’ve been told it’s safe.

9. After the Storm

Once the hurricane has passed, exercise caution when venturing outside. Minimize your travel on the roads so as not to interfere with first responder needs. Avoid flooded areas and downed power lines. Document any damage for insurance purposes and contact your insurance provider as soon as possible.

Preparedness is key to staying safe during hurricane season. By taking these steps, you can protect yourself, your loved ones, and your property. At PBS Contractors, we are committed to the safety and well-being of our community. If you have any concerns or need assistance in securing your home, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Stay safe this hurricane season, SWFL!

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