Byline: Alejandra Parada 

You don’t want to wait until last minute to protect your loved ones from a hurricane that can be dangerous and possibly deadly. Listening to hurricane warning messages–usually 36 hours before a storm hits–and figuring out a basic hurricane protection plan can save you a lot of time, money and worry. 

Below are five tips to keep your family, friends, pets, and belongings protected: 

Have an Evacuation Plan

First, contact the National Disaster offices for the closest shelter in your city. Make sure your pets are allowed into the emergency shelter of your choice, if not contact your local Humane Society for information on animal shelters. If the hurricane is heavier than expected, make sure to have an evacuation plan, meaning contact an out-of-state friend or family member that your family can call if separated. 

Gather Important Documentations

Have the following items at hand:

  • 1.  Driver’s license or personal ID
  • 2.  Passport
  • 3.  Social Security card
  • 4.  Proof of residence (deed, lease or utility bills)
  • 5.  Insurance policies, including home, auto, flood, and wind
  • 6.  Birth and marriage certificates
  • 7.  Stocks, bond and other business certificates
  • 8.  Personal checkbook, credit cards, overall anything important in your wallet
  • 9.  Wills, deed, and copies of recent tax returns 

Don’t make the mistake of running back in a damaged house to search for these materials. Remember personal belongings are irreplaceable, but people are not. 

Review Your Insurance Policies

Check if your home and auto insurances are up to date, in case any damages were to happen, confirm the following details: 

  •                Are you covered for additional living expenses?
  •                Do you have flood coverage?
  •                Do you have enough coverage for your valuables? 
  •                Do you have comprehensive car coverage? 

Consider Installing A Backup Generator  

When a hurricane is headed your way, electricity can be lost due to heavy winds, downed power lines and excessive rain. Your family doesn’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on disaster supplies if you invest in a standby generator. You’ll be able to keep your refrigerator on, eliminating the need to eat canned foods or dry fruits and vegetables. You’ll have the whole house working like normal, including being able to charge your cell phone, laptops, and any technological device. Also, you can feel safe knowing your alarm system is still working. Even though portable generators are cheaper, sometimes gas stations don’t have enough power to get gas out of the ground to run it during a hurricane. Standby generators, which are installed into your home permanently, don’t require gasoline.  

Stock Up On Essential Disaster Supplies

Have an emergency supply kit and stock your pantry up with at least a month worth of non-perishable items, such as:

  •               Safety kit
  •               Ropes, tarps, plastic bags as tools for repair
  •               Necessary medicine, including medicine and contacts    
  •               Personal hygiene items like toilet paper, tooth brush and tooth paste
  •               Fill up all cars, trucks, motorcycles, and any driving vehicles with enough gas just in case you are asked to evacuate. 

For more information on hurricane safety, please visit