Florida Keys real estate is booming more than ever before, there is no question about that. Many are seeking the serenity and beauty that living in the Keys brings or are escaping the north or other areas of the country. If you are new to the Keys, there is one thing that is sure to be foriegn to you - hurricane season. The time to prepare and understand what it means to be prepared for a hurricane is not when a category 5 hurricane is en route. The time to prepare is now, and the more you understand about hurricane season the more you will enjoy living in the Florida Keys all year!
First things first. Hurricane season runs from roughly June 1 - November 30, though it is not unheard of for a rogue storm to pop up either before or after this window. As the waters heat up towards the end of summer you enter the peak season - usually mid-August through the end of October. This is when you usually see the most powerful storms.
Before hurricane season starts, it is important to make a plan. Decide at what point you will evacuate, and learn the evacuation route. Roads will be packed during an evacuation and the earlier you leave and the better you know the route the better. Take pictures or videos of your property and store them in a safe, waterproof place. This will be important should you need to make an insurance claim after the storm. Make sure your shutters are hurricane-ready, and all parts are there in case you need to purchase new things like screws or additional panels. Many older Florida Keys homes may not come equipped with shutters, so before a storm rolls in purchase your plywood and supplies needed to secure them. Stores will run out of plywood when a hurricane approaches, so it is better to have them on hand already.
Keep a box of hurricane supplies ready all season. Good things to include are non-perishable foods, water bottles, extra batteries, candles, and lighters. When major storms threaten the Keys, store shelves will be bare in no time! Keeping these things stored all season will save you a major headache when the hurricane warnings go up!
Should you choose to evacuate, you will need re-entry stickers for your vehicle in order to be able to get back into Monroe County following the storm. Get your re-entry stickers before hurricane season starts so that you can return home smoothly.
Hurricane season can be a stressful time, but simply staying prepared and knowing what to expect will go a long way to making hurricane season a breeze. For more information, visit Monroe County Emergency Management.