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Florida International University - Electrical and Computer Engineering
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What to do Before a Hurricane

  • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
  • Know your surroundings.
  • Learn the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone. This will help you know how your property will be affected when storm surge or tidal flooding are forecasted.
  • Identify levees and dams in your area and determine whether they pose a hazard to you.
  • Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate.
  • Learn the location of your designated evacuation center so you can go there if you cannot stay with friends or family that are outside the storm surge planning zones. Be sure to check these on a yearly basis as they may change.
  • Learn the location of gas stations and stores that have generators and can operate during blackouts.
  • Make plans to secure your property:
  • Cover all of your home's windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8" marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
  • Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.
  • Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well pruned so they are more wind resistant.
  • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
  • Reinforce your garage doors; if wind enters a garage it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage.
  • Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
  • Determine how and where to secure your boat.
  • Install a generator for emergencies.
  • If in a high-rise building, be prepared to take shelter on or below the 10th floor.
  • Consider building a safe room.

For more detailed information on how to mitigate your house against wind damage and information on how to potentially lower your insurance, please click here:

"Make Mitigation Happen" by the Florida Division of Emergency Management

Quick videos that hit on the most important points of hardening a home against severe wind events can be viewed here:

Protect your home in a FLASH DIY

Flood Damage & Flood Insurance

Hurricanes cause heavy rains that can cause extensive flood damage in coastal and inland areas. Everyone is at risk and should consider flood insurance protection. Flood insurance is the only way to financially protect your property or business from flood damage. To learn more about your flooding risk and how to protect yourself and your business, visit the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (NFIP) Web site, http://www.floodsmart.gov, or call 1-800-427-2419. For more detailed information on how you can protect your property, view FEMA's printer-friendly handout: Avoiding Hurricane Damage.