Prepare for Storm Season in Florida

Hurricane Preparedness: Tips for Florida Seniors

Hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30. During this time, Floridians are on high alert, checking the weather reports daily for signs of tropical disturbances in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico.

Hurricanes can bring massive destruction, but fortunately, there are steps Florida residents can take to stay safe and protect their home and belongings.

Below are 10 hurricane preparedness tips for seniors and anyone who wants to stay ahead of the storm.

#1 – Make a plan. Will you have to evacuate? Start with an internet search of your city name and the phrase “hurricane evacuation zones” and find out if you live in an evacuation zone. Look for results on local government sites as they’re generally the most up to date. These sites will also have information about local shelters. A hurricane preparedness checklist will help you remember all the supplies you will need to prepare prior for a storm.

#2 – Build an emergency kit. Whether you evacuate or ride out the storm at home, you’ll need at least three days’ worth of food and supplies. It’s best to start preparing as soon as possible as stores will be crowded and supplies limited as the storm gets closer. Your hurricane emergency kit should contain:

    • Water — one gallon per person per day
    • Non-perishable food
    • Flashlights, extra batteries and bulbs
    • Battery-operated or hand-crank radio, extra batteries if needed
    • First aid kit
    • At least one week of all medications, medical equipment and supplies
    • Personal hygiene items like toilet paper, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, etc.
    • Pocketknife
    • Manual can opener
    • Copies of important documents like deeds, birth certificates, insurance policies, etc.
    • Several days’ worth of clothes and sturdy shoes
    • Whistle
    • Books, cards, puzzles and other non-electronic sources of entertainment
    • Extra set of keys
    • Sunscreen, sunglasses and hat
    • Umbrella
    • Pet supplies, including food, fresh water, medications and copies of immunization records; if you evacuate, you may need to board your pets as most shelters will only take in service animals
    • Store your supplies in waterproof bins. If you’re evacuating, consider a rolling suitcase.

Make sure your bags, as well as items like canes, wheelchairs and oxygen tanks, are labeled with your contact information. At home, place original copies of deeds, birth and marriage certificates, Social Security cards, passports, etc., in a waterproof safe or safe deposit box.

Communication Is Key Before, During And After A Storm.

#3 – Designated Meeting Spots. Establish designated meeting spots, including ones outside your neighborhood should you not be allowed to return home. Print everyone’s phone number and establish an out-of-town friend or family member who can serve as a point of contact. Find additional resources at

#4 – Document Care Needs. If you have a loved one who may need assistance during a storm, download and complete a caregiver emergency readiness pack and keep readily available. The documentation can be provided to shelters if and when you loved one is admitted.

#5 – Track local announcements. Educate yourself on how authorities will provide information to residents. If available, take advantage of advance registration systems in your area for those who need extra support during emergencies. Resources include:

Stay On High Alert When A Storm Is Imminent.

#6 – Consider a respite stay. If you’re concerned about your safety or the well-being of a loved one during a hurricane, consider a respite stay at a Florida assisted living community. Florida assisted living facilities are required to have backup power generators and will ensure yours or your loved one’s safety during a hurricane.

Sonata Senior Living’s backup generators are expanded to include capacity for cooking, heating and powering the elevators. We also go above and beyond by stockpiling a week’s worth of food and water for each resident, as well as providing regular updates to friends, family and loved ones during a storm.

#7 – Stay on alert. Things can change dramatically as a hurricane approaches. The U.S. government tracks the progression of storms at

#8 – Final prep. Keep your phones, computers and any backup energy sources, like portable cell phone chargers or small generators, charged while you still have electricity. Turn your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest settings and keep the doors closed. This will help food last longer if you lose power.

#9 – Get cash. ATMs and credit card machines may not work after a storm. Make sure you have cash, including small bills and coins.

#10 – Document. Take photos and/or videos of your home and possessions in case you have to make an insurance claim. Upload these to safe storage on the internet.