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Storm Center

When a storm hits, you need to be ready and it's never too early to prepare.

Prepare Now!

The official “Hurricane Season” begins on June 1 and ends on November 30 each year, although hurricanes can occur outside this timeframe as well. Make sure you and your family are ready!

When it comes to tropical storms, Florida homeowners need to be prepared. Hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean are now more than twice as likely as they were several decades ago to grow from a weak storm into a major Category 3, or higher, hurricane in just 24 hours. When you are dealing with that level of risk and unpredictability, you need a plan to reference and fall back on.

Hurricane Readiness Checklist

  • Storm surge and flooding during a hurricane pose the greatest risk to life. That’s why it’s critical to know your flood zone.
  • Florida’s evacuation zones are categorized alphabetically from A (the most vulnerable) to F (most likely to evacuate last).
  • Follow this link to find out what zone your home is in and to get regular updates on evacuation orders: Know Your Zone, Know Your Home
  • Always remember: While homeowners insurance covers wind, rain, and hail damage, it does not cover flood damage. For that, you need a separate flood policy.
  • Contact your insurance agent if you’re looking for help finding a flood insurance policy that will work for you.

  • If a tropical storm or hurricane is headed your way, conditions can change quickly. That’s why it’s essential to stay informed about evacuation orders.
  • Monitor your local news and pay attention to alerts from authorities. If your area receives an evacuation order you should prepare to leave immediately.
  • The longer you delay, the harder it will be to get out in a hurry and the more dangerous it will be for first responders to reach you in an emergency.
  • Plan your evacuation route. Determine ahead of time where you’ll go to wait out the storm, and plan a route across higher ground to get there. Become familiar with evacuation route street signage in your area and check these official maps for further details.
  • Have everything ready to go in advance so you can depart in a hurry when you need to.

  • Protect all doors and windows from impact with shutters or plywood.
  • Make sure to fortify the garage door, especially if your garage is attached to your home. You can purchase vertical braces for your garage door that can help it withstand high winds.
  • Check your roof for any loose or missing shingles or other damaged areas that could lead to leaks.
  • Clean your gutters so that rain waters are directed away from your home and don’t back up.
  • Seal any cracks or openings with caulk. Seal up holes where cables, pipes, and wires enter and exit the house.
  • Pay particular attention to cracks around bathroom, kitchen, and dryer vents, wall lights, wall outlets, electrical boxes, and circuit breaker panels.
  • Take in or tie down loose items such as patio tables, chairs, umbrellas, and grills to cut back on flying debris.
  • Cut down or trim perilous tree branches around your home.
  • Pile sandbags at least 2 feet high to protect against floodwaters.
  • Unplug electronics and appliances to reduce the likelihood of damage from an electrical surge.
  • Test your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.
  • Be on the lookout for damage to any gas utilities.
  • If you have one, check your generator. Make sure it’s regularly maintained so it can serve its purpose if the power goes out.
  • Secure your car during the storm.
    • Park in a garage or a sheltered enclosure if you can.
    • Fill the tank ahead of time in case gas stations are closed.
    • If you leave the car outside, avoid parking under trees or power lines.
    • Leave the parking brake off so it isn’t damaged if the car is moved by flood waters.
    • A tarp or a car cover can help protect the vehicle from minor dings or scratches.
  • Secure your boat during the storm.
    • If your boat is on a lift, take it off and put it on a trailer. Move the trailer as far inland as possible and avoid leaving it near trees or power lines.
    • Use heavy-duty straps or chains to secure it to the trailer or to sturdy ground anchors.
    • If you can, take the boat to an indoor dry storage facility.
    • Remove any loose items like canvas covers, bimini tops, cushions, electronics, and other gear. Store them separately in a safe place.
    • Seal any vents, windows, and hatches with waterproof tape to prevent water intrusion.
    • If your boat is docked, add extra dock lines made of nylon or polypropylene and use chafe protection to prevent them from wearing against the dock. Allow for a storm surge by lengthening dock lines and adding spring lines to absorb shock.
    • If your boat is in a marina, follow their guidelines closely.
  • Secure your solar panels during the storm.
    • Double check that they’re properly mounted and secured.
    • You can purchase hurricane straps or other emergency covers for your panels, though make sure they’re properly attached.
    • If you can, shut down the system before the storm to protect against electrical surges.
  • For sheds, gazebos, and other secondary structures, you should remove any loose items or debris. Remove any fabric or other items that are likely to cause wind resistance, and anchor the structure as best you can using ground anchors or brackets.

If your home is flooded or significantly damaged by wind, you’ll want to have as complete a record as possible of all your possessions. Here are some ways to be prepared.

  • Make a home inventory. List all your valuable possessions, including electronics, appliances, furniture, jewelry, artwork, collectibles, and other important items. If you can, list them room by room.
  • Include detailed descriptions of each item, noting brand, model, serial number, purchase date, estimated value, and any unique features or identifying marks.
  • Take photos of rooms to show the overall layout and placement of items.
  • Store records on the cloud, on an external hard drive, or in a safe, off-site location.

Make sure to have these items on hand!

  • Flashlights
  • Sandbags
  • First Aid Kits, including
    • Sterile bandages
    • Gauze
    • Antibiotic ointment
    • Aspirin or other pain relievers
    • Thermometers
    • Hand sanitizer
  • All necessary prescription medication
  • Bottled water
    • (1 gallon of water, per person/pet, per day for 5-7 days)
  • Non-perishable food, such as:
    • Canned goods
    • Peanut butter
    • Nuts and seeds
    • Jerky
    • Granola bars
  • Baby Supplies
    • Bottles and Formula
    • Baby wipes and rash cream
    • One weeks worth of diapers
  • Extra batteries of different types
  • Can opener (non-electric)
  • Battery or hand-crank powered radio
  • Physical maps of your area
  • Extra cell phone chargers
  • Pet food
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Tooth brushes, toothpaste
  • Extra cash
  • Books, games, or puzzles for children
  • Umbrellas, boots, and other rain gear
  • Personal documents stored in a waterproof container, including:
    • Driver’s licenses
    • Vehicle registration
    • Insurance cards
    • Credit and debit cards
    • Social Security cards
    • Birth and marriage certificates
    • Wills, deeds, and other legal documents

Emergencies throw off all our normal routines, which can be particularly hard on pets.

  • Look up pet-friendly shelters and hotels in advance.
  • Store several days’ worth of pet food.
  • Have leashes, doggie bags, and other necessary equipment ready.
  • Make sure pet ID tags are visible.
  • Have animal vaccination and medical records readily available.

Remember: For you, it’s a hurricane. For others, it may just be an ordinary day. Be sure to:

  • Set bills to auto-pay or pay in advance.
  • Establish emergency contacts.
  • Get the Post Office to hold your mail if you’re away.

After the Storm

Every storm comes to an end. Whether you’re returning home after an evacuation or you’re peeking your head out the door after the rain stops, here are some important things to keep in mind.


Stay Safe During Clean-Up

  • Be on the lookout for:
    • Downed power lines
    • Cracked or otherwise perilous tree limbs
    • Flood debris
    • Active leaks that could lead to further water damage
    • Mold growth
  • Avoid walking through flood water whenever possible.
  • Avoid drinking tap water until you’re sure it’s safe.
  • Open closets and cabinets carefully in case their contents have shifted.
  • During clean up, wear personal protective equipment, such as:
    • Work gloves
    • Heavy boots
    • Face masks or respirators
    • Safety glasses
  • Check for damaged roof tiles, holes that let any light through, stripped-away siding, etc.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • If possible, work with a partner and take breaks to avoid exhaustion

How to Choose the Right Contractor

  • Get recommendations from friends, family, and neighbors.
  • Check online reviews on websites like Google, Yelp, or Angie’s List.
  • Contact your local Better Business Bureau or Chamber of Commerce for reputable contractor recommendations.
  • Check that the contractor is licensed, registered, and insured. You can usually check this online through Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
  • If you can, try to get at least three written estimates from different contractors. Be wary of estimates that are significantly lower than others, as they may indicate low-quality work or potential scams.
  • Make sure each estimate includes a detailed description of the work to be done, materials used, and timelines.
  • Ask for references from past clients and contact them to get feedback on their work.
  • Discuss the payment terms and schedule. Avoid paying a large amount upfront, and never pay in cash.
  • Inquire about the warranty or guarantee they offer for their work.
  • Beware of red flags such as:
    • High-pressure sales tactics
    • Large upfront payment demands
    • Unmarked vehicles or lack of contact information
  • And lastly: trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, trust your instincts and move on to another contractor.
  • If you need a recommendation, Loggerhead has partnered with the Accuserve Contractor Network.

Know Your Policy Coverages

Review Policy Limits and Endorsements

Review your policy limits and endorsements to ensure you have the right coverage to repair/replace your home in the event of loss.

Review Personal Property Coverage

Have you updated the personal property coverage on your policy? It is important that the amount selected for this coverage is enough to repair or replace damaged items.

Hurricane Deductible

Make sure you have the funds set aside to cover the deductible you have chosen on your policy. If your home is damaged and you are unable to pay the deductible, it will prolong the recovery process.

Consider Flood Insurance

Most Homeowner policies exclude coverage for flood and storm surge related damage, whether driven by wind/hurricane or not. Know your flood zone and consider purchasing a flood specific insurance policy.

Loss Assessment

Choose the appropriate amount of coverage for loss assessments.  When damage occurs to common areas, homeowner associations may charge all members for uninsured repair costs.

Ordinance or Law

Choose the appropriate level of coverage for code upgrades, often referred to as ordinance or law.  Local building codes may dictate the method of construction which can increase repair costs.  The older the home, the more code upgrades are likely to impact repairs.

Outdoor Enclosures

Consider adding hurricane coverage for aluminum framed screened enclosures, carports and sheds.  These frequently damaged items require additional coverage for hurricane loss.

Food Spoilage

Consider adding coverage for food spoilage.  Areawide power outages often follow tropical events and result in loss of refrigerated goods.

Additional Resources

Learn More About the
Claims Process

At Loggerhead, we’re committed to making sure that the process of filing a claim is as smooth and convenient as possible.

How to Report a Claim