In fall of last year, Jeremy and I told our family, friends, and coworkers that we were moving to Florida. The most popular question was, “You really want to move to Florida after Hurricane Irma?” Well, yes, we still do, caring friends. It’s called the Sunshine State, right? It can’t all be natural disasters. So, the planner that I am (or maybe just OCD?), I immediately researched a hurricane preparedness checklist, started talking with Florida natives, and brainstormed a checklist.

I mean, as our first hurricane season as Floridians, we decided that we would be gosh darned if we were caught unprepared! Fortunately, preparing for hurricanes is normal life for native Floridians. The volume of resources starting coming our way.

And as a goal to live a simple, happy life, sometimes you just need to plan for the scary stuff. It’ll give you an ease of mind before and during.

Random things you learn during your first monsoon season

I started asking a lot of questions when I started my new job about Florida weather. There were many scoffs and were told by multiple sources,

“It rains like clockwork in the late afternoon. Expect it around 3 or 4pm. And you might want to keep extra rain boots in your car for afternoon flooding… You know what? Pack extra clothes in your car, too. The rain can come out of nowhere.”

I also learned that lighting is no joke in Florida. I never heard on the Maryland news of someone being struck by lightning, but within my first six months in Florida, I heard of at least two instances already (and there was still many more months of monsoon season left to go! The season technically goes until November.). So, as soon as you see lightning, take action and move somewhere safe.

Check List? Check!

Starting in early June, our energy provider shared checklists that really kick-started my formulated plan. Here’s what I gleaned applicable for our small family:

  • Three-day supply of water (1 gallon/person/day)
  • Three-day supply of nonperishable food (including a manual can opener)
  • Crank-powered radio
  • First-aid kit
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Documents: I included the hard to replace items; like, social security cards, birth certificates, dog info on his latest shots, etc.
  • Emergency numbers: In case our phone dies, we have written down an emergency vet in our area, and numbers for family in St. Pete and Fort Lauderdale.
  • Plenty of pet supplies: This includes toys to keep River preoccupied.

I bought most of our food and water from Costco, because #savings. And found many of the other supplies – like the crank radio – from Amazon (btw – it can be like a shopping black hole looking at emergency survival kits online…).

Since our needs are different than yours, here are some additional good resources to create your own hurricane preparedness checklist: NHSIRed Cross, and Ready.gov.

Finish your Hurricane Preparedness Checklist with an Emergency Plan

We’ve never had to create an emergency plan before. Whew! We’re officially adults. We’re lucky to only have ourselves, River, and our two little birdies to worry about. While others may have lots of coordination with schools and daycares, our plan is a little short:

  • If we’re apart, then our apartment is our home base when phones don’t work.
  • Keep our documentation ready-to-grab and in a dry case.
  • Stay home if enforced by our city, otherwise evacuate and head north to family when the roads are still safe.

I know we’re noobs to the Floridian life, so is there anything we missed? Please let us know in the comments. Thanks!

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