Preparing for Hurricane Season

Preparing for Hurricane Season

By Eddie Vargas / Published June 2024

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As the Florida summer approaches, so does the Florida hurricane season! These powerful storms can cause widespread destruction, from flooding and power outages to property damage and loss of life. However, with proper preparation individuals and communities can minimize the impact of these disasters. Here are some tips to be ready for hurricane season.

Emergency Plan

     Develop a comprehensive emergency plan for your household and/or community. This plan should include evacuation routes, designated meeting points, contact information for emergency services, and a communication strategy for staying in touch with family and/or community staff/board members during and after the storm. This plan should be communicated to the community as well via eblast.

Gather Emergency Supplies

     Stock up on essential supplies well before a hurricane threatens your area. This includes nonperishable food items, bottled water, flashlights, batteries, a first aid kit, medications, and important documents (such as insurance policies, identification, community maps, etc.). You don’t have to wait until hurricane season has arrived to stock up on supplies! Don’t forget to include supplies for pets as well.

Secure the Property

     Take steps to protect your home and/or community amenities/building/common areas from hurricane damage. This may involve installing storm shutters or plywood over windows, reinforcing garage doors, trimming trees and bushes, and securing outdoor furniture and objects that could become projectiles in high winds. Vendors are an important part of this process; the hurricane preparation discussion starts months before hurricane season, especially for large communities.

Review Insurance Coverage

     Review your insurance policies to ensure you have adequate coverage for potential hurricane damage. This step should take place before the renewal period, and do not hesitate to ask the insurance representative to explain the policy in layman’s terms so that you and the board of directors fully understand the coverages. Keep copies of your policies and other important documents in a waterproof container.

Communication Is Key

     Stay informed about developing weather conditions by monitoring updates from reliable sources such as the National Hurricane Center, local news outlets, and official government agencies. Sign up for emergency alerts and follow any evacuation orders issued by authorities. Send eblasts to the community urging them to begin preparations and providing helpful tips and information. On-site managed communities should also have this information readily available at the clubhouse for homeowners.

Prepare Your Vehicle

     If evacuation becomes necessary, make sure your vehicle is in good working condition and has a full tank of gas. Keep emergency supplies in your car, including a flashlight, blankets, water, and nonperishable snacks. Plan your evacuation route in advance and have alternate routes in case of road closures. This is of the utmost importance for the coastal communities!

Secure Important Data

     Back up important electronic data and store copies in a safe, off-site location or in the cloud. This includes vital documents, photographs, and any other irreplaceable digital assets. Consider investing in a waterproof and fireproof safe for physical copies of important documents. Mini drives also come in handy as they are not large, can be kept safe easily, and have storage capabilities up to one terabyte.

Check on Vulnerable Individuals

     Reach out to elderly relatives, neighbors, and individuals with disabilities to ensure they have a plan in place and access to necessary resources. Offer assistance with preparations or evacuation if needed. A list of storm shelters will come in handy as well so that the information can be provided to the vulnerable individuals.

Prepare for Power Outages

     Hurricanes often cause widespread power outages that can last for days or even weeks. Invest in a portable generator and familiarize yourself with its safe operation. Stock up on fuel and consider purchasing a power bank or solar charger to keep essential devices charged. As a reminder, please do not wait until the hurricane warning is issued to go and purchase a portable generator; please plan ahead!

Stay Calm and Flexible

     Despite thorough preparation, hurricanes can be unpredictable. Stay calm, follow your emergency plan, and be prepared to adapt to changing circumstances. Keep a positive attitude and focus on ensuring the safety and well-being of yourself and your loved ones.

     By taking these proactive measures, you can increase your readiness for hurricane season. Remember, preparedness is key to minimizing the impact of disasters and protecting yourself and your community. Stay informed, stay vigilant, and stay safe.

Eddie Vargas

Orlando Divisional Director, Leland Management

     Eddie has been a licensed Florida community association manager for over 15 years with experience managing both homeowner and condominium associations throughout Central Florida, specializing in on-site managed communities. Eddie’s background in operations and management stems from several years as an operations manager for an Orlando-based country club. Eddie’s responsibilities include overseeing, training, and mentoring community association managers. Eddie is also the point of contact and a resource for our CAMs who manage communities with construction defects. For more information, call 407-258-4550, email, or visit