Hurricanes are a fact of life in Florida, so everyone should take the time to learn as much as possible about hurricane safety. While you can’t control the weather, you can take steps to protect yourself and your loved ones from unnecessary danger.
Before the storm arrives
Preparation is key to your safety and survival. With that in mind:
1. Create a family emergency plan that includes places for family members to meet and contact numbers (including at least one out-of-town relative or friend).
2. Stock up on supplies. You need to gather:
- A first aid kit
- Medical equipment
- A way to keep any refrigerated medications cold
- Flashlights and batteries
- Food for three days
- Water for three days
- Pet food for three days
- A manual can opener
- A battery-operated radio
- Spare batteries
It’s also smart to keep a few extra blankets and a change of clothing among your supplies.
3. Prepare your home for the high winds. Make certain you:
- Cover your windows with hurricane shutters or plywood.
- Trim your trees and shrubs so that they are wind resistant.
- Clear out your gutters and downspouts.
- Bring indoors your patio furniture, garbage cans and other outdoor items.
- Secure your boat, if you have one.
During the storm
Do not rush to go outside to see what is happening or inspect the damage until you are sure the storm has passed. Until then:
- Stay indoors in an area with minimal or no windows.
- Monitor the news with your radio or phone.
- Be cautious as you emerge and keep your eyes peeled for live wires.
You can contact your utility companies once you know the storm is safely past.
Injuries you incur as a result of Mother Nature are neither predictable nor preventable. However, there are times — even in a hurricane — that human error is still behind certain accidents.
For example, if a homeowner or business failed to take the appropriate precautions prior to the storm and you were injured by flying debris or a dead tree falling, you may have a viable premises liability claim for your injuries. If you’re unsure, discuss the situation with an attorney in our office to see how we may be able to help.