According to the National Hurricane Center, the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season was as active as predicted, producing 17 named storms. Of the 10 hurricanes, Hurricane Irma proved to be the most destructive and costliest. While initial tracks had Irma traveling up the east coast of Florida, the storm traversed the state’s western coast instead. But, as homeowners in Jacksonville know, that didn’t stop Irma from unleashing her wrath in our part of the state.
The combination of storm surge and rainfall flooding from Irma broke records in Jacksonville, destroying millions of dollars in property and displacing thousands of lives. If you haven’t already prepped your home for the 2018 hurricane season, which starts on June 1, read on to learn how.
Know the Area’s Evacuation Zones
The highest storm surge during Hurricane Irma pushed the St. Johns River to heights not witnessed since 1846. Northeast Florida’s shallow and conclave coastline makes it vulnerable to storm surge, and powerful onshore winds can decimate it. Make sure to find out which evacuation zone in Duval County you reside in and plan accordingly.
Prepare an Emergency Kit
Your basic disaster supplies kit should at the very least include these items:
- One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days
- At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Flashlight and battery-powered radio with extra batteries
- First aid kit and a whistle to signal help
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener for food
- Cell phones with chargers and backup batteries
Put Together an Emergency Plan
Follow these detailed steps to plan ahead for the worst. The steps include:
- Put together a plan by talking with your family.
- Consider the specific needs of your household.
- Fill out a family emergency plan – PDF included.
- Practice your family plan with your household.
Another step to preparing your home for hurricane season is to elevate your air conditioner off the ground. This will prevent you from running into live wires if your home floods and reduce damage to your AC system. Contact Cool R Us at 904-222-6603 for information about our free HVAC maintenance offer with the purchase of a unit elevation.
Image provided by City of Jacksonville Beach