September 12, 2023
If you’ve been here for any length of time, you know Tampa Bay is an incredible place! The white beaches and palms are some of the most beautiful in the Sunshine State. And thrill-seekers will likely get their fill of coastal quests like wave-running and parasailing.
But if you’ve made it through a summer, you know seaside adventures are not the only risky encounter we face. Our warm ocean waters and thunderstorms can mix off the coast of the crystal sea and move in to disrupt this scenic paradise. With enough gale-force winds and rain, tropical storms turn into hurricanes that have historically taken their toll on the state.
Here’s what’s unique about Floridians. We are storm survivors – as gritty as the cigar rollers fighting against Spain in the 1800s. We know how to prepare ourselves for battle, and there is no difference when it comes to hurricanes. If you’re a Florida newcomer, you may not know exactly how to handle this season—that’s where I come in. I am Florida-born, and I’ve seen my share of storms. I’ve got you, friend, and I am here to help, especially now that we’re in the busiest part of the season (which runs through November).
And if you’ve lived here a hot minute, it’s easy to become a little complacent on hurricane prep. We’ve been fortunate in Tampa Bay to dodge some bullets in recent years, but these storms are nothing to sneeze at. Many parts of Tampa Bay are close to or surrounded by water, so we’re susceptible to flooding even without a direct hit.
So, do stock up on your favorite hurricane snacks and take a minute to learn (or remind yourself) about steps to protect your home and family for this hurricane season.
Keep a full week’s worth of food, bottled water, and medicine stored if power and water are temporarily shut down during or after the storm. Check out the Florida Disaster Division of Emergency Management for a Supply Kit Checklist for a comprehensive list of supplies.
Damaging winds and water can tremendously affect your biggest investment. Trim any trees and clear out gutters ahead of time. Just before the storm arrives, bring in trash cans, outdoor furniture, and decorations. Cover windows and secure doors. Also, consider investing in hurricane windows, shutters, or roof straps. No one who has been through a significant storm has ever regretted investing in their home’s safety features! A 5-Day Heloc can get the funding you need to get the job done before the next storm hits.
Hurricanes often leave a wake of damage, including temporarily unavailable water and power. You can do a handful of tasks beforehand to help during and immediately after the storm. Fill bathtubs and other large sinks with water for flushing toilets. Get cash from the ATM before the storm hits if they aren’t operating afterward. Keep your cell phone charged and limit the use of it. Have a couple of battery-operated or solar-powered chargers available to prevent running out of juice. If your power goes out, check out the CDC’s Guide on How to Handle Sudden Power Loss.
Leaving your house in an emergency is never a fun or desired decision, but sometimes it’s the safest option. Before the storm, make a plan to stay with friends or relatives on higher ground in the event that you have to leave your home. Fill up your car with gas in advance so you aren’t waiting in long lines at a fuel pump on the eve of the hurricane. You may even want a full gas can or two on hand for your car or gas-powered tools you may need for cleanup.
My four-legged coworker, Owen, is the love of my life, and making sure he is safe from the storm is a high priority. If you have pets, you’ll also want to protect your important bonus family members. Know which area hotels are pet-friendly, if you need to get to higher ground or leave your neighborhood. Build a pet emergency kit with a week of pet food, meds, and medical records, and place it in their pet carrier with a favorite toy and soft blanket. With a few simple steps, your fur friends will be ready to weather the storm with you.
Knowing how to prepare for Hurricane Season 2023 can bring peace of mind even amidst the storm’s chaos. While it’s a small price to pay for living in such a gorgeous slice of paradise, staying informed and ready to brace for impact is critical.
Having spent years surviving hurricanes, I am happy to be a resource to help you get ready. If you think upgrades can help keep your home investment safe, Moonlight Mortgage is here to investigate the best products to finance whatever you need to keep your home safe, secure, and beautiful for years to come! Let’s get in touch!