Hurricane hitting Florida city

With an estimated one million people moving to Florida between 2020 and 2023, it’s likely that many new residents are facing their first hurricane season. Even those who have lived here for a couple of years may be a little rusty on hurricane prep since in 2023, Florida was only hit by one hurricane.

There’s no guarantee we’ll be so lucky this year. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting an active hurricane season in 2024, with 17-25 named storms, 8-13 of which will become hurricanes (storms with winds 74 mph or higher), including 4-7 major hurricanes (category 3, 4, or 5 with minimum winds of 111 mph).

Hurricane season runs June 1 through Nov. 1, with the peak usually occurring between mid-August to mid-October. If you’re new to Florida, here are the basics of hurricane season preparation. (Even if you’re a Florida hurricane season veteran, don’t be complacent. We should all be prepared!)

6 things new Florida residents should do to be ready for Hurricane Season

Learn your evacuation zone

Your evacuation zone is different from your flood zone. Evacuation zones are based on storm surge flooding, not wind speed. Go to to find yours, or check your county’s emergency management site for the most up-to-date information.

Make a disaster plan

Depending on your evacuation zone, you may or may not have to evacuate if a hurricane is coming our way. Now is the time to decide where you’ll go if you do need to evacuate. Make arrangements with a friend or relative who doesn’t live in an evacuation zone, or locate a shelter you can go to. Tip: Keep your vehicle gas tanks no lower than half full. It can be hard to get gas when many people are trying to evacuate.

Collect hurricane supplies

At least one week’s worth of supplies for everyone in the household, including pets, is a good rule of thumb. Include food, water, and medications in your supplies. For an example view this detailed list of recommended hurricane supplies. If it’s likely you’ll need to evacuate, decide what you’ll need and how you’ll take it with you.

Note: There are two sales tax holidays this summer that can ease the financial burden of collecting hurricane supplies: June 1-14 and August 24-Sept. 6. Click here for a list of tax-exempt purchases.

Prepare your home and yard

Evaluate your landscaping and trim any branches that could damage your home. Consider how you’ll store or secure any outdoor items when a storm approaches. Decide if you want to install hurricane shutters or if you’ll need to board up windows. Any decisions and actions you take now will make it less stressful for you and your family when a hurricane approaches.

Document the contents and condition of your home and your belongings
If you don’t have one already, create a home inventory with a detailed list of your belongings. If possible, keep receipts for expensive items like furniture or appliances. At the very least, take a video and still photos with your phone of your home and property and save them securely.

Being able to provide proof of value of your belongings may affect how much you receive from your insurance company if you have a loss.

Understand your homeowners insurance and deductible

If your home is damaged by a hurricane, what costs will you need to cover and what will your insurance company pay? Remember that your hurricane deductible is a percentage of the policy dwelling limit, not a flat dollar amount.

Also remember, homeowners insurance does NOT cover flood damage. For that, you’ll need a separate flood policy—and now’s the time to get that if you need it. Don’t wait until a storm approaches. Once a storm is approaching, insurance companies will not bind coverage!

Make sure to have your homeowners insurance policy number and the phone number of your insurance company on hand. Contact them ASAP if you have hurricane damage.

Prepare now for the 2024 hurricane season

Even though the 2024 hurricane season has already begun, we still have time to prepare before the first storm makes landfall. Do not wait until one is brewing in the Gulf to make plans and preparations.

If you need homeowners or flood insurance, please call the experienced agents at L & M Insurance Group at 813-672-4100.  L & M Insurance Group is an independent insurance agency in Riverview, Florida. We’ve been serving clients in Riverview, Tampa, Brandon, Valrico and surrounding communities for more than 20 years.

Get Insurance Quotes from L & M

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