Hurricane safety options for your Jacksonville home

Hurricane season is wrapping up in Florida but for those just moving to the area, it’s important to understand what kind of preparations are needed well in advance. With the devastation of Hurricane Irma to other parts of Florida and surrounding islands, Jacksonville has hurricane safety preparations on the mind more than ever before.

Those that live in those areas know what worked and what didn’t, and this guide will help you to get a better understanding of what precautions you should take each hurricane season to protect your Jacksonville home. Take a look at this guide for hurricane and severe weather safety options for your Jacksonville home.

Knowledge is power

The best place to start is to get access to the sources of storm tracking in your area. Since storms can change in minutes or hours, you need to know if they are changing in intensity. After you’ve learned what channels on the radio or TV give you weather news, you can then get connected with sources like Stormpulse or the National Weather Service.

You can get online to get updates from them or download an app to your devices from MyRadar that will let you know the current rainfall, storm intensity, and duration in the area. These sources can also tell you if you’re in an evacuation zone.

Don’t forget that sometimes these storms can take out your power and internet connection. You’ll want to have a battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio to get alerts without cell service or Wi-Fi.

Work on the exterior of your home

You’ll want to start your preparations by protecting the outside of your home. Start by moving simple items like the trash cans, patio furniture, potted plants, and toys. You’ll need to move your grill inside and keep an eye out for loose branches that could blow off with the right amount of wind. Clear the gutters to help with drainage and go up on the roof to check that it’s secured and sealed.

Now you’ll be ready to work on your windows, doors, and garage. On doors with multiple locking mechanisms, just go ahead and lock them all to avoid something coming open. Get storm shutters on the windows or boards that can be secured on the outside. Masking tape won’t cut it; you’ll need to secure with actual boards or shutters.

The garage door is an area that is more susceptible to the high winds, but you can reinforce it with a brace kit if it’s not rated for wind or pressure, and you can even use your car as an extra brace. Your car will need to be prepped too; fill it with gas, replace the wipers, check the tire pressure, seal the windows, and stock it with an emergency bag like phone chargers, maps, and your insurance paperwork.

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Protect yourself and pets

Once you’ve protected your home, you’ll need to think about how your family will fare during a storm. You’ll want to stay away from windows, skylights, and glass doors, and stay in an interior room or closet on a lower level during the storm.

Move your items to a higher level in case of floodings, like important documents and electronics, and be sure to have backup locations ready in case you need to evacuate. Your alternate lodging should be a pet-friendly location to bring the pets, especially knowing that most Red Cross disaster shelters won’t take pets. You’ll want to be sure your pet is up-to-date on vaccines and tags and consider microchipping.

In addition to updating your pet records, be sure to get flood insurance added to your policy and find out if temporary housing is covered in the event that your home is uninhabitable after a storm. You’ll want to stock the home with storm essentials, including food, water, batteries, and a generator. Keep cell phones charged and containers ready if you need to evacuate quickly.

If you’re new to severe weather and hurricanes, you’ll want to make sure you are informed of the hurricane season in Jacksonville. Use these tips to get started on hurricane safety and be sure to do plenty of research on everything you’ll need to do to protect your home and your family.