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With Tropical Storm Idalia heading our way, it’s good to be ready and here are the best items to have on hand to prepare for a hurricane.

There’s lots of talk about Tropical Storm Idalia. After last year, here in Fort Myers, we hear a storm starting with an “I” and it brings back thoughts of what we went through 11 months ago with Ian. According to NBC2, here in Southwest Florida, we are under a Tropical Storm Warning. Idalia is expected to become a major hurricane, possibly a Cat 3, in the Gulf by Wednesday with landfall up near the Panhandle. While we won’t get the worst of it here, we are expecting wine and rain with 2-4 feet of storm surge expected.

When will the storm hit?

Today is the literal calm before the storm. Tuesday and Wednesday are the days when we’ll see the heaviest rain. With that, again the storm surge is possible. Flash flooding could also be a concern. There’s also a chance for tornadoes Tuesday night through Wednesday morning.

What can I do to prepare?

Hurricane season here in Florida runs June 1-November 30. It’s always good to be prepared. While the threats to us here in Southwest Florida aren’t severe, it’s better to have what you need and not need it than to not have it and wish you did. Right now is also a good time to stock up. There’s a tax holiday here in Florida on hurricane supplies, so you can get what you need tax free. Here’s a list of the best items to have on hand to prepare for a hurricane.

  • Water

    I was shopping this weekend and saw some people panic buying. There’s no need for that. The recommended amount of water to have on hand is one gallon per person per day, for at least three days.

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  • Non-perishable food

    In case power goes out, you’ll want things you can eat easily that won’t spoil. You’ll want a minimum of a three-day supply per person and a manual can opener.

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  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio

    This is so important because if power goes out and you no longer have access to TV or internet, this would be your only option for updates. We learned last year during Ian radio is #1 for hurricane info.

  • Flashlights and extra batteries

    You can put candles on the list as well. Anything that will provide light if power goes out.

  • A full tank of gas and a road map

    Gas was VERY hard to come by last year and many stations had a limited supply, so having gas in the tank, at least enough to get you out of town should you need to evacuate is important. Also, to have gas for a generator.

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  • WaterProof Containers

    These can be extremely helpful for storing important documents like photos, social security card, insurance information, etc. A good place to keep cash as well. 

  • Entertainment items

    We’re all so attached to our phones and tablets, but if power goes out and you can’t charge them or don’t have internet, you’ll need other things to keep yourself occupied. Games, crossword puzzles, toys and drawing pads/crayons can keep you busy.

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  • Child care and Pet care items

    Make sure to have food, wipes, extra clothing and diapers for kiddos. Make sure you have food, water and pet bags for your four-legged family members too. 

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  • Plastic Sheets/Tarps

    After a hurricane, you can use plastic sheets or tarps to cover any holes or damage to your roof until it can be fixed. Also good to have supplies to hold them down if there are any other heavy winds that come through. 

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