The Beacon Council projects that the total population of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties, which is around six million now, will climb close to seven million people by 2025.
The population has advanced during the COVID-19 pandemic with a series of relocations to Florida, where thousands who have likely not experienced a threat during hurricane season now must prepare to do so.
MORE HURRICANE SEASON COVERAGE
So each hurricane season represents an opportunity to reevaluate our hurricane supply kits, or, for many this year, to create your first.
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There are some "must-have" items that should be in your kit as we get ready for the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season.
You’ll need enough food and water to sustain you and your family. That includes at least one gallon of water, per person, per day. Buying bottled water is not necessary, filling up from your tap is just fine.
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It’s important that your food is non-perishable, and that you have the means to prepare it. Some items may require a can opener, so be sure you have one packed away.
One key thing to do while shopping for your kit is to check the expiration date. This way you can ensure the maximum life span for your items, minimizing your expense.
Think ahead about your supply of prescription medicine, and that you’ll have enough on hand, before, during and after a storm.
Your most vital paperwork should be stored in sealed bags to protect it and keep it dry. This includes automotive, renter’s or homeowner’s policies. If you think you might need it, make sure you have a copy on hand.
Find external power sources for your phones and tablets. This is an item you may not have considered 5 or 10 years ago, but is essential today.
Don’t forget items that children may need for entertainment, such as cards, games and crayons.
You’ll want to store these items separately, preferably in a sealed container.
If the power goes out, flashlights or battery powered lanterns become extremely important. Check that you have replacement batteries on hand, too.
If you’re a homeowner, make sure any needed tools for clean-up are accounted for and ready. This can include rakes, shovels, gloves, tarps, tape and heavy-duty garbage bags.
If you have or plan to use a generator, the best time for a tune up is not before a storm, it’s before the season starts.
Most injuries related to tropical systems don’t happen during the storm, they happen after.
The greatest threat comes from operating equipment you’re not familiar with, like chainsaws or generators. The hidden danger? Injury or even carbon monoxide poisoning.
"Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless and you don’t know that you’re being overcome by it until, many times, it’s too late," says Miami Beach Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Juan Mestas.
Getting ready for a storm is stressful but getting your hurricane kit together doesn’t have to be.