Living in South West Florida should mean we are all prepared for hurricane season, but all too often it’s a mad dash to be ready right before the storm hits. Planning ahead can avoid problems later when the emergency supplies are in high demand and the lines at the store are a mile long.

4 ways to prepare for a hurricane.

  • Have a basic emergency home kit. Non-perishable food items and bottled water are the first things to sell out before a storm, but with planning ahead you can stock up and maybe even find a good deal. Make sure to account for every member of the family, whether it's cans of baby food, special dietary restrictions or a bag of pet food for your furry family members. Other things to have ready: cash, a manual can opener, blankets, batteries, flashlight, portable charger and crank/battery operated radio.
  • Have a plan. Does your family know what to do if a storm hits and your family is not together? If the kids are at school or you are at work, you’ll need a plan on how to connect with each other and where to meet. The Florida Division of Emergency Management offers the “Get a Plan” site, where they offer personalized advice and recommendations to develop a plan based on your family and location.
  • Do your homework. Ready.gov offers an in-depth guide about what to do before a hurricane arrives, the hours leading up to it and after the storm has passed. Besides being prepared for what’s to come, it can offer peace of mind to know what to expect in the event of a hurricane.
  • Accommodate for your family’s special needs. By registering on the Florida Special Needs Registry, first responders are able to make informed decisions on how to help you in the event of an emergency. Additionally, it’s important to be aware of what your county’s special needs emergency shelter offers.   

If a hurricane is approaching your area, remember to call or text the 2-1-1 Information and Assistance Helpline. Available 24/7/365, 2-1-1 serves as a resource helpline to Collier County. In the time of a natural disaster, 2-1-1 can help you find shelter and housing information, evacuation routes, sand bag locations, medical or hygiene items and more. You can contact them by dialing 2-1-1, texting your zip code to 898211 or via chat on HERE.