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Guide to Natural Disasters in Florida

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If you live in Florida, you’ll know that natural disasters can happen quickly and unexpectedly. The devastation caused can tear down homes and split up families. That’s why it’s crucial to prepare to avoid getting caught off-guard.

Learning what kind of disasters are likely in Florida and how to prepare for them can give you the best chance. Read on to find out what All Dry USA recommends to keep you and your loved ones safe. And if a disaster has already struck, call us to help with restoration and repair.

Natural Disasters In Florida

What Natural Disasters Occur in Florida?

Due to its location within the USA, Florida is at high risk for many different natural disasters. It can make preparing more stressful as you need to be ready for several scenarios. You’re facing a triple threat of water, wind, and fire-based disasters. All of which can require specific steps to ensure safety.

The major natural disasters in Florida are tropical storms, tornados, hurricanes, wildfires, and floods. Below we’ve outlined the steps you can take to prepare for each and tips on what to do during the natural disaster to ensure your safety.

Tropical Storms

Florida is prone to tropical storms due to its location between the Gulf of Mexico, the Strait of Florida, and the Atlantic Ocean. A tropical storm is a rapidly rotating system of storms that includes strong winds and many thunderstorms, all spiraling around the low-pressure center.

Preparation

  • Get metal shutters for your windows.
  • Stock up on food and clean water.
  • Ensure you have all the necessary medication.
  • Have a plan for both scenarios of staying put or evacuating.
  • Keep updated via the radio.

During

  • If you stay at home, do not leave the house until there has been an official message that the storm is over.
  • Stay away from windows.
  • Hide in a closet.
  • Stay up-to-date with the weather news.
  • Be prepared to leave at any time.

Tornadoes

A tornado is more than just strong wind. When a tornado occurs, the wind spirals into a column and becomes very dangerous and violent. It makes contact with the ground and a cloud and moves along the Earth, destroying things in its path.

Preparation

  • Learn your local tornado warning system.
  • Learn the signs of a tornado and be vigilant.
  • Create an emergency plan with the people you live with, including hide-out spots and evacuation plans.
  • Ensure your important documents are secured and safe.
  • Have an emergency supply kit.

During

  • Stay away from windows.
  • Stay in a room on the lowest floor of the house.
  • Get under something sturdy (like a table).
  • Cover yourself with a mattress.
  • Make sure your head is protected.

Hurricanes

A hurricane is a massive tropical storm. The wind speed will be over 63 knots and is significantly more violent. The average size is around 500 miles wide and 10 miles high, moving forward fast. It will bring with it extreme winds and rainfall.

Preparation

  • Make a plan that everyone in your house is aware of and has rehearsed.
  • Have an emergency supply kit.
  • Have a first aid kit to hand.
  • Listen for alerts on TV or the news.
  • Make sure your car is full of gas in case of evacuation.

During

  • Turn off main energy sources.
  • Stay inside.
  • Stay away from windows.
  • Keep a radio nearby.
  • Try and prevent water from entering your home.

Wildfires

Florida Wildfire

The critical aspects of a wildfire are that it is uncontrolled, unpredictable, and occurs unexpectedly. It tends to start in rural areas where there is combustible vegetation but can quickly move towards areas where people live and wreak havoc.

Preparation

  • Choose materials and plants for your home that will help combat fires.
  • Regularly clean dry leaves away from the roof and gutters.
  • Know how to use a fire extinguisher.
  • Have a ladder that will take you to the roof.
  • Have a long garden hose.

During

  • Be prepared to evacuate.
  • Listen to emergency officials.
  • Switch off the gas.
  • Remove kindling.
  • Ensure your area is wet.

Floods

When a flood occurs, land that is usually dry becomes submerged under water from rising tides or large waves, usually from a storm. The water usually moves very fast and can be incredibly dangerous. It can destroy buildings as well as seriously hurt people in its wake.

Preparation

  • Ensure you have flood insurance.
  • Keep all important documents secure and waterproof.
  • Be aware of how at-risk you are in your location.
  • Listen to the radio or news for updates.
  • Know where your local emergency shelter place is.

During

  • If staying inside, turn off all power and water
  • Only drink water you have boiled first
  • Do not walk, swim, or drive through the flood
  • Get to higher ground
  • Listen to the radio or news for updates

How to Prepare for Natural Disasters in Florida

Floods, severe storms, and power outages—these all rank high on the list of natural disasters and emergencies that affect Florida. The geographic location of Florida makes it enemy number one from mother nature’s perspective, so keeping vigilant and prepared is crucial.

Stock Up on Food, Water, and Medicine

Before any natural disaster, it is crucial to build a survival kit. Stock up on food, clean water, and medications.

Ensure the food is not perishable or fresh—instead, stockpile canned food, cereal, long-life milk, etc. As for the water, given the unpredictability of natural disasters, your regular water supply might get damaged or compromised, so buy bottled water—and lots of it!

Also, aim to have as much of your prescribed medications as possible, as you might not know how long you’ll be affected by the disaster. On top of your prescribed medicine, keep things like painkillers, anti-sickness, anti-diarrhea, etc., just to be safe.

Keep Important Docs Waterproof

Anytime you move to a place prone to natural disasters (such as Florida), you want to ensure your essential documentation is safe and secure. Put them in a waterproof bag or container, preferably something heavy, so they will have a better chance in strong winds.

Essential documentation includes passports, social security documents, insurance paperwork, medical letters, birth certificates, financial information, etc.

For other information that isn’t important official documentation but is important to you, it’s also wise to back up as much of it as possible on the Cloud. Create a digital backup of baby photos, wedding photos, etc., so you can access it from a computer after the disaster.

Have a First Aid Kit

A first aid kit is one of the most important things to have prepared. If someone gets hurt, your first aid kit could save their life. The kind of things you’ll need to have are:

  • Dressings
  • Plasters
  • Sterile wipes
  • Gloves
  • Eyewash
  • Burns kit
  • Disposable toilet bags
  • Antibacterial wipes

Having these items will mean you have help while waiting for the emergency responders. Hopefully, it won’t happen, but it’s good to prepare anyway.

Use Technology

We rely on technology these days, and having access to it can be make-or-break in an emergency. The first thing is to have a portable radio ready, so you can tune into the news to hear information from authorities on what to do.

Besides that, keep your phone charged in preparation for a natural disaster, and try to use it as little as possible.

It’s a good idea to have a small power bank around that you can put in your emergency kit. That way, you have a higher chance of accessing the internet to let people know where you are and access online guidance for disasters and emergencies.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Natural Disasters Are Most Common in Florida?

Unfortunately, Florida has natural disasters very regularly. The state had 135 major natural disasters between 1953 and 2019! The most commonly reported disasters were fires and hurricanes, so preparing for them as efficiently as possible is imperative.

What Was the Worst Natural Disaster in Florida?

The Okeechobee Hurricane of 1928 wiped out the area entirely and killed more than 2,500 people. It was so devastating that it’s one of the deadliest hurricanes in recorded history in the North Atlantic Basin and the fourth worst natural disaster in the United States.

Suffering From Natural Disaster Damage in Florida? ADU Can Help

Experiencing a natural disaster can be seriously traumatic. The chances of injury are high, and its effect on your mental health will be long-lasting. Your home and possessions will likely have been damaged if not destroyed.

At All Dry USA, we want to make a difference and help. We do damage restoration and repair services, handling everything from water damage repair to mold removal and remediation. Get your home back to its former glory and become your safe space again. That way, you can concentrate on becoming physically and mentally well again without having to worry about your home!

Get in touch now to see how we can help you!

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