As Hurricane Dorian makes its way closer to Florida’s coastline, you may be feeling somewhat nervous.  This is especially the case should you be coming from a country that doesn’t experience hurricanes or tropical storms.

Your first concern will be the airline.  Confirm if your flight has been cancelled, delayed or scheduled to be diverted to another airport.  Airlines will hold off providing any information until the last minute. Keep on top of your airline to ensure that you are made aware of any changes to your flight plans.  This will enable you to prepare before you set off.

If you are staying in a hotel, the staff are well trained and will be prepared for what’s to come. Thereby keeping you informed and ensuring that all their guests staying in the hotel are well looked after and safe.

If you are staying in a vacation home you may be feeling slightly out of your depths. Don’t worry.  Your Vacation Home Property Management team are at hand to ensure that the home is made secure and that all guests staying in the homes are well informed on the precautions they need to take.

Here are some points to highlight should you be staying in a Vacation Home:

Stay Informed – Follows instructions issued by the local authorities, including evacuation orders should it come to it.

Prepare before the Storm – Stock up on the following items: Water (usually 1 gallon per person).  Non-perishable foods.  Medicine and first aid kit (kept dry in a zip-lock bag).  Batteries and flashlights.  Cash (US currency – as post storm some stores may only be able to accept cash due to disruption in power).  Emergency bag (packed with pillows, blankets, change of clothes, cash, passports and toiletries).  Games and puzzles to keep the family occupied during the storm (try not to use mobile phones or tablets as you will want to keep the batteries to these devices fully charged in case of an emergency).  Fill your car up with gas/petrol.

Prepare the home – With regards to the home itself, the Property Management team will be out preparing the home for the storm. They will remove all outdoor furniture, BBQ’s, plant pots etc and place them inside the home or garage. Please remember that they are doing this for everyone’s protection as all these items can become flying debris. Do not start to unpack the items. The Property Management team will be back once it is safe to do so and replace all items to their original positions.

Take Shelter – Your safest place during the storm is in your vacation home. Find a safe room in the centre-most part of the building on the ground floor with as may walls between you and the storm as possible.  Approximately 2 hours before the storm is due to hit your area, start making your way to your designated safe space in the Vacation Home along with pillows, blankets, food, water, first aid kits, emergency bags along with games and puzzles.

During the Storm – Don’t be tempted to go outside during the storm in order to get “the most epic hurricane video of your life”.  This is only putting yourself in danger and can result in very serious consequences.

Now, the most important thing of all is once everything has calmed down and you think that the storm is over, DO NOT venture outside. As you are aware the eye of the storm can bring calm conditions and can trick everyone into thinking that the storm has past over. This is not the case, the worse is yet to come as the next part of the storm moves in with winds now circulating in the opposite direction usually causing more damage then the initial part.  Stay indoors until you have been given the “all clear” by the local authorities.

After the Storm – There is a possibility that electricity and water supplies will be disrupted. Flooding may occur due to the storm surge and heavy rainfall. Asses the home and notify the Property Manager of any damage you may notice. Be aware of debris and fallen trees in the roads causing road closures. Should you need to get out and about listen to the local traffic advice.

Stay and keep informed on every aspect of the storm and ensure you are prepared. Keep safe!