How to Prepare for Hurricanes

How to Prepare for Hurricanes

Hurricanes named with the letter “E” approached faster than previous years. The record pace this year only breaks 2020’s hurricane season.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts an increasingly active 2021 hurricane season.

So how should you prepare for hurricanes?

Hurricane damage can be avoided. Or in most places, preparing for storms can help minimize damage.

Florida has the third-largest population in the United States. That means there’s a lot of people who need to get ready for approaching storms. And that means it’s important to plan ahead.

Don’t worry. We’re here to help. We’re not worried, because we’ve endured hurricane seasons as long as we’ve been around.

So here’s our hurricane checklist to help make sure you don’t have to worry, either.

Supplies for Storm Preparation

Collecting necessary supplies is one of the easiest things to do, so it’s a great place to start.

Most of these things are non-perishable, and it’s common for families to stock up and stay ready throughout the whole season. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Water
  • Non-perishable foods, like cans, boxed snacks, and things that won’t go bad
  • Manual can-opener
  • Flashlights (and batteries)
  • First aid kit
  • Back-up cell phone batteries
  • Tools

Experts recommend a three-day supply of food and water, and at least one gallon of water a day per person.

But in addition to the necessities, we recommend including fail-safe boredom tactics in case the power goes out for a while. You might want to consider adding in a combination of:

  • Puzzles
  • Cards
  • Coloring books
  • Board games

You might have a lot of these items laying around. But in case you don’t, it’s a good time to take stock. We recommend finding a durable, large container to store these.

Safe-Proof Your Home to Avoid Hurricane Damage

Securing your home is an integral part of how to prepare for hurricanes. Like an emergency list, there are supplies you can collect in advance.

Even if a storm is a low category, it’s good to have these even if you don’t end up using them this time. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Plywood for windows and doors
  • Fabric panels or forms of insulation
  • Flood barriers, like sand bags
  • Garage door braces
  • Hardware to install and remove the material
  • A generator

And when you look for these supplies, it’s important to make sure you get the right hardware. You’ll want the bolts and screws holding your plywood or shutters strong enough to outlast a storm. We recommend this last-minute hurricane fastener kit. You can store that with the rest of your hurricane prep kit.

If you have storage space, these things can be purchased in advance and stored as long as needed.

What to Clean to Prepare for Hurricanes

H2: What to Clean to Prepare for Hurricanes

We’re not talking about Sunday cleaning.

There are several things that can make a huge difference in avoiding storm damage. As you cross things off of your hurricane preparedness list, you’ll want to consider tackling these tasks:

  • Trim trees and shrubbery
  • Clean and clear gutters
  • Secure garbage cans and any free-standing objects
  • Drain some water from your pool

Doing these ahead of time can save you from damage that lasts long after a storm passes.

Trimming trees avoids broken branches that might fly into something. Clearing gutters and draining water helps avoid floods and water damage. Free-standing objects have the chance to not fly away or into something, like your car.

Get Ready for Hurricanes Before They Happen

Knowing how to prepare for hurricanes can be overwhelming. Even if you grew up going to hurricane parties, a good reminder never hurts.

So grab your supplies, secure your home, and make sure your exterior can’t damage something it doesn’t mean to. Fill up on gas and grab some toilet paper, but remember: it usually seems a lot scarier than it is.

If you’re worried about your rental property, there are some ways to have a handle on that, too. Read more about how to find the right people to help keep your investment property safe.

Things to Look for when Screening Tenants

Throughout your time as a Landlord, you may deal with a lot of tenants. It is the problematic tenants that give you the most stress and may cause you to lose both time and money, rather than gain. From one Landlord to another, you can avoid all of these unnecessary headaches by steering clear of potential tenants that display these four red flags that most Landlords seem to brush off:

The Lush Tenant. As a Landlord, I have seen my fair share of problematic tenants, so certain red flags jump out at me automatically. I once had a potential tenant who came to my property for a scheduled appointment to view the house. When he got out of his car and came to shake my hand I got a nice big smell of what seemed to be alcohol. The potential tenant wreaked of both alcohol and cigarette smoke. This was a red flag to me. Now do not get me wrong, alcohol and smoking may not necessarily mean that they will be throwing frequent parties and such, but it may be a strong indicator that they may treat your house the way they treat their own bodies. It is probably a very good idea to stay clear of anyone who seems to always be drinking or smoking, unless you want your house smelling that way.

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How to get your Property Rented Quickly

Getting your property rented isn’t always easy. There are many factors that go into obtaining a good tenant quickly. For instance, our market in St. Petersburg, Florida is very competitive. To catch the attention of a quality tenant you need to get your product in front of them quickly. Also, you want to make sure that your property is easily accessible, rental ready and priced correctly.

Marketing for your tenant – The Internet

There are several methods to attract a tenant to your unit. Some of our favorites are the different internet listing sites. There are 100’s of internet sites such as:, Hot Pads,, Zillow, Trulia, Rent My House, Rentlinx and many more. A good property management company will already have a sophisticated listing integration program and will be able to get your rental property viewed by 1000’s of potential renters.

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How to Help an Unhappy Tenant

A tenant’s rent is usually the largest monthly payment they make and a Landlord’s house is usually the most valuable investment they have. With these two things in mind, when there is a problem, things can get very passionate. As an owner or property manager you need to know how to defuse difficult situations. When a tenant has a problem and is angry, this is not the time to be emotional.

Listening is Key

Ask what the problem is and then listen. Do not interrupt or ask them to please calm down. They need to feel like you are listening and truly care about them. This is not always easy, especially if you disagree, but remember, we have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Your purpose is to diffuse the situation, not make things worse.

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Being A Savvy Tenant in A Demanding Rental Market

In the Pinellas County rental market – housing is in high demand and finding a nice property can be extremely challenging especially when you are competing against other possible tenants. Maneuvering through the rental market is easier if you are a proactive renter.

Locating A Property

The internet is the most useful tool in today’s market, but unfortunately many of the websites that pull them are out of date. As soon as you locate a property call immediately. Emailing can slow the process down and cause you to lose a potential property. If you cannot reach someone and there is an address – drive by the property. Often times there will be additional information on the sign that you can obtain. When you reach the property manager – put your “best foot forward” and always be polite and courteous. Continue reading