It’s hurricane season and so far we’ve been lucky. Dorian wreaked havoc in the Bahamas*, but it missed Jacksonville. That should be a reminder for all of us in Florida to be prepared for the next storm. Now that the storm has passed, it’s a perfect opportunity to make sure you’re prepared for the next disaster.

Make a Plan

The first thing to do when it comes to being prepared is to have a plan, and practice it. It’s great to have all you need at home to shelter in place for three days, but if you aren’t at home when the disaster strikes you’re going to be out of luck. As part of your preparedness planning plan on how you will reunite with your family in the event a disaster strikes while everyone is out. Have everyone’s contact number memorized and have a designated call center away from the disaster. It could be as simple as making sure everyone knows to call and check in with Grandma who lives in Arizona, away from the disaster, then she can related info to everyone else. Decide where to meet and make sure younger kids know how to get there. Then practice the plan so everyone feels confident about what they need to do.


If you’re in an evacuation area then pack up and get out. More lives have been saved by evacuating than any other emergency preparedness method. Don’t hunker down, get out, stay safe.

Go Bag

It’s a good idea to have a Go Bag, or Bugout Bag ready at all times. This should be a bag that is easy to carry – like a backpack, is waterproof, and can fit enough food and necessities for a few days. The bag should also include any medication, a flashlight, extra batteries, and a first aid kit.

For the Home

In the event of a hurricane, if you’re in the direct path of the storm you’ll want to cover up windows and doors with plywood. Bring inside anything outside that could become a projectile. Anchor things that can’t be brought inside. Make sure you have enough water to last each person in the home at least three days, five days is even better. Assume power will go out. Have battery powered lights on hand or candles in a pinch. Make sure you have matches (store them in a plastic zip lock bag to keep them dry).

Stay Tuned

While the power is on stay tuned to local news and weather. Keep devices like cell phones and tablets charged so they can be used when the power goes out to stay in touch.

*Help for the Victims of Dorian

If you’d like to help the victims of Dorian in the Bahamas you can donate to the Red Cross, Global Giving and World Central Kitchen just to name a few.