As Floridians, we understand the importance of planning and preparing in advance for hurricanes. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. Taking basic steps ahead of time will reduce future stress and help protect you, your family, and property. To help you get started, we’ve created a simple preparedness checklist with links to helpful resources.
Prepare Your Supplies
The best time to stock up on hurricane supplies is when a hurricane’s not even on the weather radar, especially to avoid last-minute rushes. Here’s what you can do:
- Purchase bottled drinking water, non-perishable food, and toiletry items for you and your family. A good rule of thumb is to have enough of these items to last a minimum of 72 hours after the storm passes.
- If a storm is coming, be sure to have extra cash, portable cell phone chargers, gasoline, and medicine because electricity may go out, and it may take time for stores and gas stations to reopen. Helpful tip: Freeze a couple of bottles of water ahead of time to put into your fridge if the electricity goes out, which will preserve food longer. (It's best not to fill the water bottles all the way to the top to allow room for expansion.)
- Build a kit of supplies to have after the storm passes. This may include tarps, a first aid kit, protective clothing, a manual can opener, batteries, flashlights, radios, duct tape, and general tools.
Make a Plan
Know what evacuation zone you are in
and decide ahead of time your evacuation route, form of transportation, and shelter plan. Here are some items to put in place for your plan:
- Ensure that you have ways to receive emergency alerts and warnings, and establish a family communication plan with emergency contact information—since cell phone towers could be overburdened during times of disasters, text messages and social media messenger apps are recommended as ways to communicate with family and friends.
- Make a list of items and belongings you plan to take with you, and only carry what is absolutely necessary.
- Be sure you have a waterproof container to store important documents for evacuation purposes, including insurance information, emergency contacts, birth certificates, social security cards, and credit union account information.
- Make preparations now for what you will do with your pets, stock up on their food and medications, and have your vet’s contact information handy.
Prepare Your Home
There’s no place like home, right? Here’s a good way to take care of it for disastrous weather:
- Review your insurance policies, hurricane deductibles, and flood insurance requirements. Keep your insurance policy number and contact information readily available.
- Create an inventory of your home’s contents such as electronics, jewelry, vehicles, and appliances.
- Clear clogged gutters and downspouts, and trim low-hanging or dead tree branches. Be sure you have enough space in your home or garage to store outdoor furniture and other patio items. While seemingly small and insignificant, they can become damaging projectiles in strong winds.
- Test-run generators in a well-ventilated outdoor space
- Make sure your storm shutters are organized and labeled.
- A Home Equity Line Of Credit (HELOC) can be a helpful way to upgrade your home with impact-resistant windows and sturdier roofing. Or, you could you tap into the equity in cases of costly repairs or a high deductible.
Additional Hurricane Resources
Learn more about how to prepare for a hurricane and how to get help if one strikes with these resources:
SCCU is Here for You: Before, During, and After a Storm
We take hurricane preparedness and business continuity planning very seriously. If a storm is approaching, we’ll keep you in the loop about any branch closures and expected reopening days/times on SCCU.com
. We work to remain open as long as possible to serve members, and we reopen as quickly as we can after the storm. Power, damage, and employee availability all play a part in how quickly we can return to service.
In the event of closures, we offer Online Banking
and Mobile Banking
to manage your accounts from anywhere, including transferring money, paying bills, and checking your account balances. If you’re not already enrolled, learn more about how to get started here
While no one wants to experience a storm, planning and preparing will allow all of us to handle that event with less stress and far more safety.