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How To Prepare for Hurricane Season

The Atlantic hurricane season is upon us again. While Florida is no stranger to hurricanes, familiarity is not an excuse to remain complacent. Here is a primer on what you can do now to ensure you are ready for what nature can throw at you.

Prepare Your Household for a Hurricane

First, take stock of what you need to prepare yourself, your family, and your property for hurricane season. Well before the first forecasts show up, review (and if necessary, revise) your preparedness plan and ensure you can act quickly.

Ensure that you are aware of the basics of hurricane planning and preparedness. This includes observing safety fundamentals before, during, and after a storm. Also, ensure you have supplies ready in case you are without power.

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but below are some questions you must ask as you prepare:

  • Is my home in a flood zone?
  • Do I have the means to prepare my property to brace for storm damage?
  • Do I have enough food, supplies, and medication for a hurricane?
  • Do I have enough supplies for my pet?
  • Is evacuating mandatory or optional where I live?
  • Where are the evacuation shelters in my area?
  • Does my insurance policy cover hurricane, storm, or flooding damage?

The federal government's website,, covers the fundamentals of hurricane preparedness. Your local government and news stations should also have resources. A good starting point to brush up on your knowledge is an Internet search that includes the phrase “hurricane preparedness” and the name of your county or hometown.

Secure Your Financial Information

Your finances will be a very important resource after a storm. Power outages, standing water, and other hazards will make it dangerous or impossible to leave shelter, much less visit a financial institution. It may take days or weeks before power returns and branches return to regular operation.

First, establish an alternate way to access your financial information. Many financial institutions have a mobile app allowing you to access your accounts anytime. This can come in handy in case the branches are closed, or you need to make emergency transfers.

On the other hand, your cellular network may be offline during or after a storm, making it difficult to access the Internet. As part of your preparations, have cash to cover some costs in the storm's aftermath.

Also, important documents should be stored in a waterproof container to minimize the risk of them getting damaged. Documents you may want to seal and protect include:

  • Social Security Cards
  • Identification Cards and Passports
  • Birth Certificates
  • Estate Planning Documents
  • Property Titles
  • Vehicle Registration
  • Insurance Cards and Policy Information

Also, make digital copies of these documents. Having these items backed up on your phone will make it easier to access this information later.

If you have evacuated to a place away from the storm’s path, you might still have access to your financial institution. Some credit unions, for instance, participate in programs like CO-OP shared branching so members can still conduct transactions while away from home.

Make Sure Your Insurance Policies Are in Order

You should also review your property insurance policies as part of your hurricane preparations. Whether you have renter’s or homeowner’s insurance, your policy may have specific stipulations regarding storm, hurricane, and flooding damage.

Take pictures of your property and belongings or capture them on video. Your insurance carrier may ask for this kind of evidence.

The wording in your policy may cover damages incurred from one type of disaster but not the other. This is your chance to either find coverage that you are missing or have a plan to cover the potential losses separately.

Consider taking out a line of credit for the damages your insurance policy will not cover. For example, a home equity line of credit can provide access to funds based on your home’s equity to foot some of the costs of replacing items or repairing your property.

Making the proper preparations now can make a big difference. Remember that First Florida is committed to helping you weather the storm. We recommend downloading our mobile banking app so you can access tools like card controls and transfers between accounts.


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or call (800) 766-4328, x8806.