Florida is an attractive state for many reasons. Some reasons include nice weather, no state income tax, diversity, and plenty of outdoor activities. Whether you’re a retiree, a snow bird, or moving your family for a job, you’re likely to enjoy living in Florida. But one of the disadvantages is living in the state during hurricane season. Florida has been in the path of about 40 percent of hurricanes that touch land in the United States.
These storms bring strong winds and massive amounts of rain to the land, causing mandatory evacuations and extreme panic. Hurricanes can also cost citizens a lot of money to rebuild and restore. Florida’s most active storm season was in 2004, with five hurricanes touching land and causing chaos.
If you’re planning a move to Florida to enjoy all the state has to offer, you don’t have to let the possibility of hurricanes deter you. Here are three ways to prepare for hurricane season so you can make the most of living in the Sunshine State.
Increase Your Emergency Fund
Most financial planners will advise you to have an emergency fund with at least three to six months of expenses. Your emergency fund should be kept in an account that’s easily accessible if you need it, but also not so easy that you use it for non-emergent expenses. Some emergencies catch you off guard, while others you might expect.
If you live in Florida, you should increase your emergency fund based on the probability of a natural disaster. Unfortunately, most Americans are unable to cover a $1,000 emergency. But if you’re living in Florida during hurricane season, you should make it a priority to save as much as you can.
You should also consider the need for additional money for emergencies when creating a budget if you’re planning to move to Florida. A portion of any relocation assistance, salary increases from a new job, retirement funds, or extra money in your new budget should be earmarked for emergencies.
Build a Storage of Supplies
Everyone should have a stash of supplies for an emergency, but you will require more while living in Florida. You will need to make a list of essential items you would need if you were stranded due to a storm. Your basement, garage, or attic are great places to store your supplies. You will need non-perishable food items, water, flashlights, buckets, and other items to help you and your family survive the storm’s aftermath.
Some supplies will be specific to your family, like medications. Gathering these items early is important because there may be shortages once hurricane season starts. Once you are settled in your home, you should start working on your emergency storage immediately to prepare for the worst.
The best time to make of list of supplies is in a non-emergent setting when your mind is clear and calm. You should sit down with your family and write out everything you will need during an emergency that causes power outages and no water supply. You can find several emergency preparedness guides online to help you with your list.
Create an Escape Plan
Your escape plan is essential to saving the lives of you and your family during an emergency. Although their exact paths are sometimes unpredictable, hurricanes are natural disasters that allow a few days of warning before they hit. You should be prepared if the state government issues a mandatory evacuation notice. The best way to prepare is to have an escape plan.
Your plan will depend on your resources. Once you have a plan detailing where you would go and how you would get there, you can work on saving emergency money for the things you would need. If you have a house on the beach in Miami and a hurricane is headed in your direction, your plan might include boarding up windows and driving inland to stay with your family.
Hurricane season lasts from June to November, with September being one of the most active months. Your evacuation plan might even include leaving the state for one or two months, especially if you have friends or family in another part of the country. If you’re retired or work remotely, you could jump on a plane and set up auto shipping from Florida to escape the severe weather and have your car with you while you’re away.
Florida is a great state to live in and has a lot to offer its citizens. Most people move to Florida for the warm weather, beautiful beaches, and lower taxes. But one disadvantage of living in Florida is the active hurricane season. Almost half of the hurricanes in America have touched Florida land at some point.
The best ways to prepare for storms are to increase your emergency fund, keep emergency supplies on hand, and create an escape plan in advance. Once you have a plan in place, you can enjoy the beautiful state of Florida and have peace knowing you’re prepared for any storm that comes your way.