Picture of earth with Hurricane Season Ahead Warning signThere’s a lot to love about living in coastal Florida – sun, no snow, beaches, fishing, boating – you get the idea. All those wonderful benefits unfortunately come with the occasional hurricane or tropical storm. As those of us that have been through a couple storms have learned – planning for hurricanes or tropical storms is best done in advance. Below are our favorite tips on storm prep and links to a variety of area planning guides and websites on emergency preparation.


Favorite Tips from the Five Star Team

  • Make a “go” box. Put important documents like passports, birth certificates, insurance policies, titles, etc. in one box/folder. Include phone numbers for utility companies, service contractors, insurance agents, etc.
  • Know your zone, have an evacuation plan, and let family and friends know your plan.
  • Store exterior items. Trash bins, hanging plants, and items can fly and be dangerous if left on a lanai or dock. If you really love that chair or hanging plant then bring it inside or you may never see it again.
  • Fully charge your cell phone and consider having portable battery backups for mobile devices.
  • Know where your flashlights are and be sure the batteries work and have extra batteries on hand.
  • Have some candles around and have lighters and matches in a waterproof container.
  • Fill or pick up any prescriptions prior to the storm.
  • Have extra cash on hand. If power is out and internet is still down stores will not be able to use credit card machines.
  • Fill your vehicle’s gas before the storm arrives.
  • If you have a portable generator you may want to have some extra gas on hand. Be sure to test your generator on a regular basis to make sure it is in working order.
  • Plan for your pets. Have extra supplies and vet records handy. Check out the pet disaster guide in Charlotte County’s guide – link below.
  • Fill propane tanks for your grill. It’s a great way to cook when there’s no electric.
  • Raise your boat life as high as possible and be sure to double up lines on your boat. When securing your boat remember to allow for storm surge.
  • Fill bathtubs, sinks, and some extra containers with water.
  • Stock up on non-perishable food and a non-electric can opener.
  • Think about freezing some extra ice in bags. It can always be used for cooking, cleaning, etc. after it melts.
  • Have extra lawn or garbage bags for yard clean up. Extra cleaning supplies may be useful also.
  • Having extra sunscreen and bug spray is a good idea as you may be spending time outside on clean up after a storm.

Links to Local Area Guides

City of Punta Gorda: https://www.ci.punta-gorda.fl.us/residents/emergency-preparedness

Charlotte County: https://www.charlottecountyfl.gov/departments/public-safety/emergency-management/hurricanes.stml

Charlotte County Planning Guide: https://www.charlottecountyfl.gov/core/fileparse.php/476/urlt/charlotte-county-disaster-planning-guide.pdf

DeSoto County: https://desotobocc.com/departments/emergency_management

Lee County: https://www.leegov.com/hurricane

National Weather Service: https://www.weather.gov/safety/hurricane-plan

Sarasota County: https://www.scgov.net/government/emergency-services/hurricane-preparedness