What Floridians Should Be Doing Over The Next 24 Hours:
The saying goes, “Cool heads prevail”. Such is the case with storm prep. One of the great luxuries of living in the age of technology is that our ability to collect and disseminate crucial information has never been faster or easier.
To that point, we know Irma is a dangerous storm, currently a category 4! We know Irma is projected to affect Florida in some capacity. Knowing all this so far in advance gives us the luxury to “Not panic”, and to get ourselves ready over the next few days for whatever the outcome of Irma may be.
- Read the emergency plan in place for your business, clients & employees.
- Communication is key.
- If you are planning on shutting down, communicate this & keep everyone in the loop.
- Shutdown and move all computers, faxes, scanners, monitors, etc away from the windows and wrapping them in garbage bags.
- Secure files, and ensure they are way from windows.
- Perform a full online and onsite backup! Please let us know if you want us to stop by the office and do an onsite backup for you to take offsite.
- If available we will double check that the online backups are up to date. Please let us know if you need an Online Backup Solution. Click here to setup and account with ibackup.com
2. For those debating leaving for higher ground: From what I understand from my sources, hotels on the central west coast ( Tampa, Bradenton ) are being reserved at breakneck speed by people in South Florida / The Keys who plan to leave Friday. If you are even remotely thinking about leaving, you better make your hotel reservations now, not Thursday or Friday. Same goes for plane reservations for those heading out of state.
3. For those staying and putting up their hurricane panels / shutters: If you can’t or do not plan on doing it yourself, there is limited time to hire handymen. I spoke to a gentleman earlier who already has his Thursday and Friday booked solid. The Firm PM Group in South Florida and FirmRE.biz are a great way to find handymen that can do this task for you. Again, start the calling tomorrow. Friday will be too late.
4. Boarding of pets: Make your reservations for pets today! Expect that they will be booked up by Wednesday. I imagine this will be the case all over south / south west Florida. If you plan to board, contact your veterinarian today!
5. Take pictures of your valuables. One of the best insurance tips out there is to catalog your household goods, art, furniture, etc. This will make processing any insurance claims that less stressful.
6. Generators: If you have a generator, chances are you have not run it in years.
A. Drain old oil / gas: Every generators manual is available online by googling it. There will be instructions on how to bleed your lines. Replace with new oil & gas.
B. Do a test run: Make sure your generator is working as it should.
7. Get gas: The mobile station in Boca on 441 today had 45 minute waits for gas around 6pm. This is only going to get worse. Best times are early morning and later at night.
8. Cash on hand: Make sure you have cash on hand. In the event of extended power loss, ATMs won’t be operable and cash may be king for some of your expenses. Rule of thumb, at least 1 weeks expenses in cash.
9. Catalog your supplies: If you are staying, make sure of what you have and what you don’t have. When I spoke to the manager of Home Depot earlier, he said they sold out of generators. Same goes for water, batteries, flashlights, etc. If you don’t have the necessary supplies, consider Amazon, Jet, Target, Office Depot, HomeDepot online as they can usually ship overnight. This MUST be done by Thursday to ensure overnight shipping by Friday.
10. Medicines: The majority of us take some medication. It is crucial that you’re refill time doesn’t coincide with this weekends storm. Make sure you have enough of whatever medications you are taking. ( this goes for your pets as well. My older dog lollipop is on 2 meds, and I have stocked up )
For more tips on preparing your business, refer to the links below for a complete set of guidelines.
These are the things you need to do in the next 24 hours. I will be updating this list as we head towards the middle & end of the week.
As always, we are here to help you and your business prepare the most efficient way possible ahead of this hurricane.
Here is a pretty accurate list for you to browse through.
Irma is currently a category 4 hurricane! A potentially serious threat to Florida. Use this long weekend to make sure you have the basic supplies needed to protect you, your families, pets, residents and businesses.
National & Florida Emergency Links:
National Hurricane Center – http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/
Florida Division of emergency management: http://www.floridadisaster.org
List of all hurricane shelters in Florida by county – http://floridadisaster.org/shelters/
Florida Department Of Environmental Protection ( They have a surprisingly comprehensive list of links to Florida resources for after a storm hits ) http://www.dep.state.fl.us/mainpage/em/info.htm
Links to all Florida Utilities: http://www.psc.state.fl.us/ConsumerAssistan…/FindYourUtility
Ready . Gov – https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes
FEMA – https://www.fema.gov/
FEMA Disaster Claims: https://www.disasterassistance.gov/
Hurricane Supply List Links:
Comprehensive list of items you will probably need before, during and after a storm: http://www.mynews13.com/wea…/hurricane-center-checklist.html
Kids have their own special hurricane supply kits as well! https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/34326
Don’t forget your pets – they have a supply list too! http://www.petmd.com/…/pet-emergency-kit-items-natural-disa…
Because we rely so much more on our electronic gadgets such as smartphones and tablets, we must be prepared for extended periods without electricity. The latest addition to the “Must Have” for your supply list is a USB Battery Back up / Power Bank. Here’s a list of the best:
One of the best investments I ever made was a generator. During Wilma, we didn’t have power for a week. I was the most popular kid on the block because I was the only one in the cul-de-sac who had hot coffee in the morning. Here’s a list of the top generators in all price ranges: https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/generators.htm
Preparing your pets for a storm: http://www.petmd.com/dog/care/evr_multi_hurricane_safety_tip
Protecting your business: http://hurricanesafety.org/prepare/prepare-your-business/
5 Hurricane preparedness myths to avoid: http://gizmodo.com/…/5-common-myths-about-hurricane-prepare…
If you have a generator, you have to prep it for use: http://www.generac.com/…/5-portable-generator-maintenance-t…
Preparing your roof prior to a hurricane: https://www.floridaroofing.com/…/5-ways-to-prepare-your-roo…
Every time there is a Tropical Storm / Hurricane, people die of carbon monoxide poisoning. Here’s how to prevent it during and after a storm: https://www.cdc.gov/features/copoisoning/
80% of the homes affected by Harvey did not have flood insurance according to preliminary reports. Here are some insurance tips: http://www.iii.org/article/preparing-hurricane
Does your family have an emergency communication plan? There’s a downloadable PDF at the bottom of this link that can be very useful in the event of a storm. https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan
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