How should I prepare for a hurricane in my UCF apartment?

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Lofts at Eden
Stay away from windows and have food stored at your Lofts at Eden apartment in the event of a hurricane.

Florida experiences hurricane season every year from June 1st to November 30th, but every year these guidelines seemed to get pushed. When the winds of a tropical storm reach a sustained 74 mph or higher, it then is referred to as a hurricane. Florida may go a year or two without experiencing one of these storms, but it is always a good idea to have a plan and be prepared just in case. This isn't just your afternoon thunderstorm, these monstrous weather systems can cause flooding, down power lines, blown transformers, which leads to massive power outages. The National Hurricane Center is a great place to track hurricanes and get information on how to prepare yourself and your Orlando apartment.

What supplies do I need?

When a hurricane warning is issued, it may be too late to gather supplies. Many stores will either be closed or have empty shelves. Start by making an emergency kit. Having plenty of water is one of the most important things. Non-perishable foods is a must. This is anything that can last a long time and doesn't need a fridge. If the power does go out, that means no refrigeration to keep your perishable items cold. Speaking of power outages, you will need a way to light your UCF apartment. Make sure you have battery operated flashlights or lanterns. That being said, make sure you have an extra supply of batteries. Fill your car's gas tank up before the storm hits. If there is damage or debris in the roads, the gas stations will not be able to refuel. Stock up on non-prescription medicines such as pain relievers and antacids. If you have pets, buy extra cat or dog food to make sure they have enough to ride out the storm.

How do I prepare my UCF apartment?

Find out from the office of your apartment community if they provide hurricane shutters. If they don't, make sure to ask if you would be allowed to put up your own. If your UCF apartment community doesn't allow any type of shutters, make sure to remove any belongings or valuables away from the windows. If your apartment has a patio or balcony, bring as much as you can indoors. Outdoor furniture and other items can be damaged or moved by the wind and rain. If you have an exterior storage closet, make sure the items in it are waterproof. If not, bring the items into the apartment until the storm passes. If your extra outdoor storage space has doors, make sure they are securely closed. The wind from the storm could potentially open them and blow your items away or damage them. An important thing to know is if your apartment is in a flood zone. In these areas first floor apartments may experience some flooding. If your apartment has a private garage, make sure you take full advantage. It will help keep your car from getting damaged from debris or other larger objects picked up by the strong winds. Now would also be a good time to review your renters insurance policy, if you have one. Double make sure that your personal property is adequately insured in case any damage is caused.

What else should I know about hurricanes?

Coastal areas can experience storm surges. This is when water from the ocean is pushed ashore by the tropical system. Although your Orlando apartment is at least an hour away from the nearest beach, inland areas can experience flooding, which can cause structural damage and wash out roadways. Due to large amounts of rain, rivers and lakes can start to rise and currents can become dangerously fast. Tornadoes can also occur during a hurricane. They are not typically long lived, but can cause massive amounts of damage. It's important to have a game plan if and when it comes time to evacuate. Orlando is home to many state roads, highways and interstates such as, Florida's Turnpike, Interstate-4 and State Road 50 to name a few. Check for towns and places to stay along the evacuation route you choose to take. Create alternate routes, as downed trees and flooding can force you to take other roads.

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