Fun fact: more than 41 percent of hurricanes in the US have passed through Florida, making Florida one of the most hurricane-ravaged states in the country. Okay maybe that's not so much a fun fact but more and more people are moving to Florida then ever before. Florida is home to the second-longest coastline, about 1,350 miles, among the states. Because the state of Florida juts into warm, tropical waters, that leaves it in the path of hurricanes that make their way across the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.
The Forgotten Coast of Florida is no exception to being mangled by tropical storms, as many towns along the Forgotten Coast are rebuilding from 2019's Hurricane Michael, the strongest hurricane to make landfall in the Florida panhandle, and the third strongest storm in US history. Despite the level of devastation, this storm brought to the coast, locals continue to rebuild with perseverance. Because the State is so prone to storms, you can bet they are well-equipped to deal with them too.
Continue to read to find some tips to get you through a hurricane when living on Florida's Forgotten Coast.
1. A Plan
When a hurricane is set to hit the Sunshine State, it is always best to be ready for the outcome days before. Whether you decide to stay home and weather the storm in the comfort of your home, or you decide to evacuate, you will have to be ready to leave at any moment's notice. Coastal locations are always prone to mandatory evacuation. Orders to evacuate come from historical flood maps, based on the strength of the storm.
Related: What to know about Flood Insurance
2. Prepare to Evacuate: Find Shelter!
It is always best to assemble supplies that can be ready for evacuation! Nonperishable foods, water, first-aid kits, etc... are all great things to have on hand, preferably in a "go bag" you can carry when evacuating. Having a battery-powered radio on hand to listen to local evacuation instructions and knowing where your local shelter is will help you in the long run. Before leaving your home, make sure it is secure by closing and locking windows and doors. Unplug all of your electronics. If there is a flood that can be predicted, it is best to unplug your fridge and freezer as well as shut off water, gas, and electricity before vacating.
3. How to Shelter in Place at Home
You should ensure your property is clear of rubble; trim trees and bushes, collect and store loose outdoor items, shop for window coverings, and find a safe place for your vehicle. Windows should be covered with shutters or plywood, something to keep the glass from damage. If your plan is not to evacuate, make sure you have a "safe room" you can stay in when/if the storm hits your location, preferably an interior room of your house. Lastly, having a generator on hand is great if your power should go off, but never run it inside your home.
4. Survival Kit
Having a battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a weather radio with a tone alert can let you in on what is going on during a storm. Make sure you have extra batteries. Can opener for imperishable foods. Cash and traveler's check and change. Change of clothes, especially warm ones as it can get rather cold, especially if it should flood. Dust masks, because they filter out contaminated air. First-aid kit and book. Important documentation such as insurance policies, identification, and bank account records.
There are many different things you can add to your survival kit, your list of how to shelter at home, and your plan to get through a hurricane on the Forgotten Coast of Florida, check out our website.