Preparing for your first Hurricane | Florida

Lyndsey Ashley
Lyndsey Ashley
Published on October 13, 2020

If you’ve been paying attention to the tropics lately, I bet you’ve noticed the unbelievable amount of storms that have formed during this 2020 hurricane season. Folks that have lived in Florida for a while are used to this, but if you’re new to the Sunshine State, and planning to purchase your next home here, you need to learn how to prepare for a hurricane like a real Floridian.

Hurricane prep is one of the most important things a homeowner in Florida can do, and it’s actually pretty simple if you follow the steps I’m going to share with you today. Why am I telling you all of this? Because I want you to make sure you keep your investment safe! Here’s what to do during a hurricane, to make sure you keep your home safe and your family secure.

Tip #1 – Create a Hurricane Plan

First thing’s first, you need to come up with a game plan for hurricane preparedness. Will you stay home and ride out the storm? Or, will you choose to evacuate to a location outside the storm’s path? This decision is up to you, for the most part. If you’re in a coastal area, though, you may be subject to the occasional mandatory evacuation. If that happens to you, you’ll want to be ready to pick up and go at a moment’s notice, during hurricane season at least.

Even if you’re inland, you might not be spared from an evacuation order. For instance, if you live in an area prone to flooding, or if the storm is fairly strong, you may be affected. Act accordingly by having a game plan for you and your family to stay safe during hurricane season.

Tip #2 – Know your hurricane evacuation routes and shelter locations

Let’s say you’re hit with the mandatory evacuation order; where do you go? Well, Florida actually has evacuation routes that are predetermined to help Floridians safely make their way out of affected areas. The American Red Cross has an amazing resource available online, that provides evacuation routes, storm surge maps and shelter locations for each county in the state of Florida. Pretty nifty, right? Here is a link to the American Red Cross website to learn more.

Here’s a crucial thing to remember if you’re evacuating: secure your home before you leave! Close your windows, and lock them along with your doors. Unplug any electronics aside from freezers and refrigerators. Or, if flooding is a concern in your area, just unplug everything. Following these steps may help to mitigate some of the damage that may occur to your property.

Tip #3 – Stock up on supplies

If you remember, at the beginning of 2020, there was a massive shortage of toilet paper as many people were told to stay home to help stop the spread of COVID-19. For many folks, this was a frustrating experience, watching the shelves go bare as people bought up all the supplies to shelter in place. For lots of Floridians, however, this happens every year. Whenever storms follow a path that might include Florida, Floridians will often go to the store and stock up on supplies to use while riding out the hurricane.

What does this mean for you? Stock up ahead of time, so you’re not left empty-handed when you truly need the supplies. Here are examples of supplies to consider having on-hand ahead of time:

  • A battery powered radio
  • Cash
  • First aid kid
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries
  • Medications
  • Water
  • Food, enough for a three-day supply. Make sure it’s non-perishable, as a loss of power could mean loss of food supplies otherwise.

For more tips on what to purchase for your hurricane survival kit, you can visit This government resource has tons of information to help you prepare properly for a hurricane.

Tip #4 – Don’t forget about your furry friends!

While you may have all the necessities covered for yourself and your family, don’t forget about Fido! Make sure to stock up on pet food, medications and supplies that may be needed prior to the arrival of the hurricane.

Here’s a pro tip for all you viewers that have dogs at home. Your pup is probably going to be stuck inside for a long time while the storm passes through, if you’re hunkering down at home. You may need to have some creative solutions to cure your pet’s boredom, so they don’t go nuts and destroy your furniture. Toys and activities to keep them entertained will go a long way. Plus, don’t forget that they still need to go potty. You might need to buy some puppy pads and let Fido take a tinkle in the garage. Sounds a lot safer than cracking the back door and letting them out into the yard! Woof!

Tip #5 – Ever heard of hurricane shutters?

For those of you that are brand new to Florida, you might not be familiar with this. However, it’s an item that is super important to have for your home.

Hurricanes have the potential to fling around lots of debris, which can sometimes hit your house and your windows. To prevent this debris from doing damage to your windows and letting all that rain and wind inside, you can install hurricane shutters on the exterior of your house. These shutters form a barrier over the windows of your home, effectively eliminating this issue. They are often made of metal though, so it’s going to be a little bit darker than usual in your home. That’s OK though, because you’ve got your flashlight in your hurricane supply stash, right?

Tip #6 – Consider a generator

While the initial investment could be a tad pricey, investing in a backup generator for your home could help you remain comfortable in the event of an extended power outage during a hurricane. Backup generators are a common sight in Florida; homeowners will hook them up to their home, and these generators will kick on when the power goes out, keeping items in your home supplied with fresh electricity.

Some generators are smaller, and might only supply enough power to keep your fridge powered up, and to run a fan or two to circulate the air in your home. Others are much larger, and can basically power your entire household, as long as you’ve got the gasoline to keep up with the power demands.

This is another one of those supplies that tends to fly off the shelves very quickly during hurricane season, so consider purchasing one in the off-season, when there’s less demand.

Tip #7 – Store your important documents safely

This is really something that you should do regardless of where you live, but it’s especially true in Florida due to the potential flooding from hurricanes. We all have extremely important documents in our home, like social security cards, birth certificates, passports, etc. that MUST be secured. To do this properly, you’ll need to consider investing in document storage containers that are water and/or fire proof. This small investment up-front will save you a TON of headaches in the future, I promise.

The good news is, these types of document storage containers are readily available at many stores, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding one and getting your documents secured ahead of time.

Tip #8 – Identify your “shelter room”

If you’re going to ride out the hurricane at home, you want to make sure that you know which location in your home is the safest. Ideally, you want to be in a space on the first floor of the home, centrally located in the home, away from windows and doors. Sometimes, bathrooms or closets can make for good places in the home to seek shelter, but not always. If the bathroom has a skylight, for instance, that’s a no go.

Tip #9 – Get your trees trimmed

Florida properties often have beautiful greenery in bloom year-round to admire. Palm trees, for instance, adorn the front and back yards of many Floridian abodes and are just a delight to witness. Here’s the thing about palm trees, though: the fronds need to be trimmed every once in a while. If you don’t do the proper maintenance, these fronds can become loose and fall off the tree. Coupled with high winds and rain, these fronds could potentially fly off the tree and smash into your house, or even your car. No Bueno.

Tip #10 – Move your car inside your garage

I know, I know, I just told you about those pesky palm fronds hitting your car. How dare they. Here’s the thing, though: you could avoid this issue entirely if you just put the car in your garage during the storm. Don’t have enough room? Too much stuff stored in there? Make a temporary space for the car, and re-arrange your garage after the storm has passed. It’s only a minor inconvenience, and providing shelter for your vehicle could save you a lot of headache later, with insurance claims, car repairs, you name it.

Some of you may say, Lyndsey… I don’t have a garage on my property. I hear you. If that’s the case, you could try to find another secure location to store your vehicle if needed. During some storms, you may find that local parking garages will allow residents to park their vehicles inside, sparing them the worst of the wind and rain, as well as localized flooding. Pretty smart, right?

Tip #11 – Gas up your vehicles ahead of time

There’s nothing worse than needing to evacuate, and having no gas in your car. When there’s a storm headed your way, you’ll notice that long lines start to form at the gas stations, and many stations run out of fuel entirely. To avoid the panic of trying to get gas for your car at the very last minute, fill up your tank and keep it topped off as storms show signs of approaching Florida. That way, you’re not left waiting in a 2-hour line of cars trying to get fuel. This goes for generator fuel as well. Also, make sure you are only storing fuel in your vehicle or in authorized containers!

Every day I work with people like you who are relocating out of state, especially to Florida. Who do you go to get answers to all your questions? Where do you begin? My goal is to provide answers related to relocating to Florida, the Florida lifestyle, real estate and otherwise. So welcome!

New videos every WEEK – SUBSCRIBE to this channel if you want to learn about real estate, home ownership, or living in SARASOTA – SUBSCRIBE






I am so grateful for all you subscribers, both clients and Realtors, so thanks for watching my videos! Lyndsey is a Sarasota area Realtor with Keller Williams. She loves Sarasota, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate.


#LyndseySellsSarasota #ListwithLyndsey #SarasotaFL #Sarasota #Relocation #Florida

DISCLAIMER: All content provided on and the Lyndsey Ashley YouTube channel/social media platforms are for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Lyndsey Ashley social media makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. Information provided is subject to change, please consult Lyndsey directly or another licensed real

Relocating to Sarasota?
Download our FREE Relocation Guide!

Let's Talk Real Estate!

label_importantlabel_importantGet A FREE Home Valuation!