Actions to Take When a Hurricane Threatens for Individuals & Business Owners

When a hurricane threatens your community, be prepared to evacuate if you live in a storm surge risk area. Allow enough time to pack and inform friends and family if you need to leave your home.
Secure your home:
  • 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 inch exterior grade or marine plywood, built to fit and ready to install.
  • Buy supplies before the hurricane season rather than waiting for the pre-storm rush.
 Stayed tuned in:
  • Check the websites of your local National Weather Service office and local government/emergency management office.
  • Find out what type of emergencies could occur and how you should respond.
  • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or other radio or TV stations for the latest storm news.
  • Follow instructions issued by local officials.
  • Leave immediately if ordered!
If NOT ordered to evacuate:
  • Take refuge in a small interior room, closet or hallway on the lowest level during the storm.
  • Put as many walls between you and the outside as you can.
  • Stay away from windows, skylights and glass doors.
  • If the eye of the storm passes over your area, there will be a short period of calm, but at the other side of the eye, the wind speed rapidly increases to hurricane force winds coming from the opposite direction.
Stay informed. Visit www.floridadisaster.org to find Florida’s Division of Emergency Management. Text FLPREPARES to 888777 to receive updates via text or use the Florida Emergency Information Line 1-800-342-3557. For live updates on Hurricane Irma, follow the State Emergency Response Team @FLSERT on Twitter and Facebook. VISIT FLORIDA is also providing weather updates and official source links for visitors to keep up with the latest changes here.Register your business with FLVBEOC. Register to report your open/closed business status, complete a business damage assessment survey and request or offer resources. Businesses may also report their status to esf18@em.myflorida.com and via the Private Sector Hotline 850-410-1403.

Know before you go. For up-to-date traffic information, visit FL511.com or call 511. Use GasBuddy to find gas stations with fuel.

Learn re-entry requirements. Governor Scott has issued an Executive Order that rescinds all weight and driver restrictions for highways so water, food, fuel and emergency supplies can be quickly brought to Florida. After the storm, individuals and businesses seeking to provide essential commodities and services to impacted areas will be allowed re-entry by possessing and presenting specific documentation to local officials. Learn what you need.

Provide emergency accommodations and have compassion for cancellations. Those seeking available lodging may find and reserve a room here. Reserve by brand here. During this emergency, lodging operators are strongly encouraged to waive cancellation fees and to not require minimum stays for evacuees. In preparation for FEMA’s potential activation of the Emergency Lodging Assistance program, lodging operators are encouraged to sign-up here.

Extend hospitality to pet evacuees. FRLA strongly urges its members, and the industry at large, to consider waiving normal pet restrictions and fees for evacuees seeking shelter and safety during this catastrophic storm. Search for pet-friendly lodging on BringFido.com or PetFriendlyTravel.com.

Follow power outages. Find a map of statewide power outages here. FPL customers can use the FPL Power Tracker map, and report or track outage information at www.FPL.com/outage or call 1-800-4-OUTAGE (1-800-468-8243).

Food safety tips. In the wake of Hurricane Irma, there may likely be power outages and flooding.  Both pose a risk to the integrity of food and water. For a guide to food safety during severe storms, visit the USDA or Florida’s Division of Hotels and Restaurants to learn guidelines for emergency recovery.

Free WiFi access. Comcast has opened more than 137,000 free Xfinity WiFi hotspots throughout the state for individuals in need, including non-Xfinity customers, to help residents and emergency personnel stay connected. Find a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots here.

Report price gouging. As the entire state of Florida is under a declared state of emergency, Florida’s price gouging law applies statewide. Learn how to comply and/or report violations online or via the Attorney General’s Price Gouging Hotline at 1-866-966-7226.

Filing insurance claims. Florida’s Division of Consumer Services offers assistance to insurance consumers in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma by offering the insurance Consumer Helpline 1-877-693-5236Learn more.

For additional information and continued updates, visit FRLA’s Hurricane Resource Center for a comprehensive guide of tips on how to stay safe during the storm and how to recover and rebuild.

Most of all stay safe our Florida family, friends, colleagues and clients!
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Sources: AAHOA, Visit Florida, FRLA