11 Essential Florida Traveler Tips to Prepare for Hurricane Season

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Have you ever been on a beach vacation when a hurricane warning was issued? It's a scary thought — being a tourist caught in the path of a powerful storm far from home.

With hurricane season underway, Florida travelers need to know what to do if a tropical system threatens during their stay.

This guide covers the top hurricane prep tips every visitor should follow. From evacuation planning to assembling a travel kit, these simple steps can help keep you safe if severe weather strikes.

A flooded street after catastrophic Hurricane Irma hit Fort Lauderdale, FL.

1. Stay Informed About Weather Updates and Understand Hurricane Terminology

Regularly check local weather forecasts and listen to evacuation orders. It's crucial to familiarize yourself with hurricane terminology to understand the severity of storms:

  • Tropical Depression: Cyclones with winds of 38 mph or less.
  • Tropical Storm: Cyclones with winds between 39 mph and 73 mph.
  • Hurricane: Cyclones with winds of 74 mph or higher.

Use reliable sources like the National Hurricane Center for real-time alerts and updates.

2. Plan Your Evacuation Strategy and Familiarize Yourself with Local Routes

Identify how vulnerable your location is to hurricanes and plan your escape routes accordingly. Know the locations of official shelters or safe inland areas.

Familiarizing yourself with local evacuation routes and procedures is crucial, as Florida's Division of Emergency Management recommends.

And in case you need it, we also have a public transportation guide for going around Florida: Traveling Across Florida – A Comprehensive Public Transportation Guide.

3. Assemble a Comprehensive Travel and Hurricane Kit

A survival kit is useful to have in the event of an emergency such as floods,fires,earthquakes,hurricanes and other natural disasters

Pack a travel-specific kit that is light and portable with essentials such as batteries, radio, water, and snacks. Also, prepare a more extensive hurricane kit, including:

  • Non-perishable food for three days.
  • At least one gallon of water per person per day for drinking and sanitation.
  • A first-aid kit and any necessary prescription medications.
  • Personal hygiene and sanitation items.
  • Flashlights and extra batteries.
  • A battery-operated radio.
  • A waterproof container for cash and important documents.

For more detailed information on food and water safety during and after hurricanes, visit the FDA's food safety page and the CDC's guide on staying safe during a power outage.

4. Maintain a Full Gas Tank and Prepare for Utilities Disruption

Close-up car dash board petrol meter, fuel gauge, on black background with over full gasoline in car or vehicle.

Keep your vehicle's gas tank full and prepare for possible power outages by charging electronic devices in advance, withdrawing cash, and stocking up on water for sanitary purposes.

5. Carry Extra Cash

American dollar usa packs on money background

Power outages can disable ATMs and card transactions. Having extra cash on hand can be crucial for purchasing necessities during emergencies.

6. Document Belongings and Travel Documentation

Photograph or video your belongings and vehicle to facilitate any potential insurance claims (and try to have backup copies online or on other devices). This documentation is critical in proving ownership and condition of items lost or damaged.

7. Adhere to Official Evacuation Orders

Always follow evacuation orders issued by local authorities promptly. Their guidance is based on the best available safety information.

8. Understand Your Accommodation's Evacuation Plan

Upon check-in, inquire about the hotel or rental’s hurricane evacuation plan. Know where the nearest shelters are and the quickest routes to get there.

9. Keep Electronics Charged

Dock of adapter plug for smart phone electronic gadget charge energy battery

Ensure that all electronic devices are fully charged, and consider carrying power banks or portable chargers. These devices are essential for communication and emergency updates.

10. Waterproof Your Important Documents

Place passports, travel insurance papers, and other critical documents in waterproof bags to protect them from water damage.

11. Learn the Basic Hurricane Safety Rule: "Run from Water, Hide from Wind."

This means evacuating from areas that could be hit by storm surges or floods and finding a safe, sheltered place to protect yourself from the hurricane’s winds.

Don't Let a Hurricane Ruin Your Florida Vacation

Being well-prepared with a strategic plan and a practical kit can significantly enhance your safety and response capacity should a hurricane threaten you during your visit to Florida.

And don't worry; we believe Florida is still safe to visit. You can read about our thoughts here: Is Florida Safe To Visit?

Always prioritize your safety by staying informed and ready to act swiftly on local advice. Remember, preparedness saves lives and aids a quicker, safer recovery after a storm.

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