Hurricane season is no stranger to Floridians; in fact, it lasts for most of the year. From June 1st to November 30th, the risk for hurricanes is possible and with tropical storms constantly forming in the Atlantic and Gulf, Floridians are on constant watch for when those storms grow a little strong.

So, while watching the news and tracking the weather, don’t forget other aspects of preparing for hurricane season such as knowing your evacuation route and which evacuation region your home is located in. Those along the coast are often the first to be advised for evacuation as well as those living in mobile or manufactured homes. It is important to have a plan ready—some hurricane paths may provide ample warning while others may change their predicted path and give residents little warning for the need to evacuate.

Here are a few tips to become prepared for an emergency evacuation.

  1. Home Escape Plan. This also proves to be quite useful to establish for many reasons other than hurricane seasons. Having a well-developed home escape plan is also useful if there is a fire in your home, burglar, or tornado. To create a home escape plan, walk through your home with all members of your family and identify areas that are ideal for leaving out of—doors, sliding glass doors, or windows. If you have a second story, also identify a safe way to exit the higher level should the stairwell ever be compromised. Ideally, a safety ladder should be kept near as second story window to minimize injury caused by jumping from the window.
  2. Emergency Meeting Spot. The ideal home escape plan for one family member may not be the same for another located on the other side of the house or upstairs. In addition, there may be family members who are not home at the time of an emergency. Identify a safe location to meet outside of the home—that is close enough to walk but far enough away to be out of danger.
  3. Communication Plan. In addition to having a plan for getting out or your home and to meet the other residents, you should have a way to speak to or communicate in some for to family members or friends who do not reside with you. IN times of an emergency, plans can change frequently, so select a single point of contact and provide them with your updates and have them relay the message to the rest of your family.
  4. City Escape Plan. The last thing you need to check off your emergency escape planning list it to know and be familiar with your designated evacuation route for your neighborhood or city. Emergency evacuation routes are often marked on the side of the road with road signs, but you may not even realize they are they. These routes help to maximize the number of individuals that can be evacuated from an area with increased safety and reduced traffic jams or obstructions.

Lastly, you should ensure you have adequate home owners, renters, and car insurance to protect yourself financially after making sure that the personal safety of yourself and family are not compromised.