Last Updated: May 15, 2024

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With its year-round warm weather, relatively low cost of living, lack of state income tax, and excellent healthcare opportunities, it’s no wonder so many seniors are choosing to retire in sunny Florida.

However, it is imperative for seniors to also consider the realities of living in the Sunshine State, one of which is the annual hurricane season. And for seniors living in Florida, preparing for hurricane season should be a top priority.

When is Hurricane Season in Florida?

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In Florida, hurricane season spans from June 1-November 30, with the peak of the season occurring between mid-August and late October. While all parts of the Florida coastline have been affected by at least one hurricane since 1850, the areas most susceptible to tropical storms are the southeast coastline and the panhandle.

We all remember last September 2022, when Hurricane Ian caused immense devastation in many areas including southwest Florida and the Gulf Coast.

Seniors are the most vulnerable to the aftermath of hurricanes for numerous reasons, including challenges with health, mobility, awareness, and access to resources.

Unfortunately, due to their unpredictable nature, hurricanes cannot be avoided entirely. But, there are safety precautions seniors can take to prepare for the storms and protect themselves from as much damage as possible.

Be sure to share these tips with your senior loved ones so they can be prepared and stay safe this hurricane season.

Be sure to also check out our Resources for Seniors in the aftermath of a hurricane.

8 Tips for Seniors to Prepare for Hurricane Season

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1. Stay Informed.

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The first step seniors can take to prepare for hurricane season is staying informed. Sign up for local weather updates and warnings on sites like Alert Florida or WESH 2 News.

Familiarize yourself with the terms used in forecasts, such as “hurricane watch,” which means the conditions for a hurricane are possible within 48 hours, and “hurricane warning,” which means hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours.

2. Prepare an emergency kit.

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Your emergency kit should contain at least a week’s worth of non-perishable food, bottled water, medications, flashlights, batteries, a battery-operated radio, first aid kit, important documents (such as IDs, medical information, and insurance policies), and cash. Don’t forget any other special necessities such as hearing aids or supplies for babies such as diapers and formula.

3. Secure your home.

Making sure your home is secure in a hurricane is imperative for damage prevention and safety. Consider getting hurricane shutters installed or having pre-cut plywood for your windows on hand. Remove loose items from your yard that could become projectiles in high winds, such as lawn furniture, grills, tools, and more. Know how to turn off your gas, electricity, and water in case of an emergency.

4. Have a safety and evacuation plan.

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Know your local evacuation zones and plot out a safe evacuation route. Have a plan in place for where you can go if evacuation is necessary. Some options can include a friend’s or relative’s house or a designated shelter (remember to look for a shelter that is pet-friendly if you have a pet).

5. Maintain communication.

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Make sure you have a way to communicate with family and emergency services in a storm. This includes being mindful of how you can communicate during a power outage. A charged cell phone with an extra battery, a portable charger, or a traditional, non-electric telephone can be crucial. Try to preserve battery power on your cell phone as much as possible by refraining from using unnecessary apps and streaming services.

6. Review your insurance.

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Review your homeowner’s insurance policy in advance to ensure it covers hurricane damage and flooding. Flood insurance is typically not included in standard policies, so you might need to add it.

7. Manage medications.

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It is crucial – especially for seniors – to ensure you have a sufficient supply of all necessary medications before a storm hits. Aim to have at least a two-week supply on hand, as hurricanes can disrupt pharmacies and transportation for long periods of time. In addition to your medications, keep a list of all your prescriptions, including the dosage and prescribing doctor. This list can be invaluable if you need to replace lost medications or if medical personnel need to know what medicines you’re taking.

8. Gather medical records and important documents.

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Keep a written record of important phone numbers, including your doctors and pharmacy, and any important health information. Include information like allergies, chronic conditions, and any medical treatments you receive.

In case of flooding, gather your important documents, such as your birth certificate, passport, insurance card, and social security card. Be sure to keep these important documents safe and secure. Store them in a waterproof and fireproof box or bag, and if you have digital versions, make sure you have a backup copy. This way, they are protected from potential damage and readily accessible when you need them.

Hurricane Safety Support

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Hurricanes can be intimidating, but with the right preparation, Florida seniors can weather the storm safely. By taking these measures in advance, seniors can go into hurricane season with more confidence and peace of mind about their safety.

Seniors should not have to face emergencies alone. Florida Senior Consulting is here to ensure your senior loved ones’ well-being before, during, and after a disaster.

At Florida Senior Consulting, we’re committed to helping our seniors navigate all aspects of life in Florida, including hurricane preparedness.

Last year, during Hurricane Ian, we provided numerous Florida seniors with generators to restore their power, helped clean up damage at seniors’ homes, and even stayed over at a local assisted living community to make sure all residents were safe and their families were kept up-to-date about their well-being.

Click here to watch a video testimonial from local seniors about Florida Senior Consulting’s efforts during the hurricane.

We care about your senior loved ones, and we are ready to help in times of uncertainty and need. We’ll step in as their extended family members, make sure they have everything they need, and give you reassurance about their safety.

Contact us today at (800) 969-7176 or visit FloridaSeniorConsulting.com for more detailed assistance tailored to your circumstances and needs. Our services are at no cost to you.

Senior living on your terms. The choice should be yours.

 

Contact Florida Senior Consulting

(800) 969-7176