Fannie Hillman + Associates
Kirk Wright, Fannie Hillman + AssociatesPhone: (407) 435-2368
Email: [email protected]

Hurricane Prep, A Comprehensive Plan

by Kirk Wright 08/29/2019

Well it is time again, here in Florida, to prepare to hunker down for Hurricane Dorian. If you are anything like me and don't have your own plan in place you might appreciate the following e-mail I received from my primary care physician, Dr. Matthew Rensberry (Anchor Direct Primary Care). This is the type of value added service I have come to appreciate since enrolling in Dr. Matt's direct health care services. I hope you and yours remain safe next week as Dorian rages through and that you find Dr. Matt's note valuable.

In his e-mail to his patients, he writes:


It looks like we are going to experience some wind, rain, and flooding in the next few days. Here is the resource for our local weather updates: Whether Hurricane Dorian hits Central Florida directly or not, it is a good time to review home emergency preparedness.

Comprehensive home emergency preparedness includes a family emergency plan, home first aid kit, emergency kit, vehicle readiness, financial readiness, and more. In this email, I will review each to some degree.

1) Family Emergency Plan (I am attaching a Family Disaster Plan to fill out from the American Red Cross):
- Have a family communication plan in place for during and after any event. Review and practice this plan
- Have a list of all important phone numbers written down
- Include home and vehicle emergency kit contents and locations in your plan
- Store all important documents (birth certificates, passports, insurance policies, financial documents) in a fire-proof safe
- Have at least 1 person be responsible for first aid and CPR
- Make sure all family members know how to shut off utilities

2) What to have in your Home Disaster Preparedness Kit (I am attaching a list of what to have for emergencies from FEMA):
- Water: 3 gal for each individual who would use the kit (additional 4 gal per individual or pet for use if confined to the home)
- Food: 3-day supply and minimum additional 4-day supply per individual or pet for use if confined to the home
- Keep protein-packed foods you can cook without electricity, such as tuna, peanut butter and granola bars
- Infants: Formula, diapers, bottles, pacifiers, powdered milk, and drugs not requiring refrigeration
- Elderly: Special foods, denture, eyeglasses, medications, other essentials.
- Kitchen accessories: Manual can opener, mess kits or disposable cups, plates and utensils, utility knife, sugar and salt, aluminum foil and plastic wrap, resealable plastic bags
- Electronics: Flashlights, extra batteries, portable radio
- First Aid Kit (See below)
- Clothing: Complete change of clothes for each individual and sturdy shoes or boots
- Blankets or sleeping bag for each individual
- Sanitation and hygiene items: Shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, comb, lip balm, sunscreen, contact lenses, any regular medications, toilet paper, soap, hand sanitizer, liquid detergent, feminine hygiene supplies, plastic garbage bags, disinfectant, bleach, medium-size bucket with lid
- Other essentials: Paper, pencil, needles, thread, small A,B,C class fire extinguisher, plastic sheeting and duct tape in case of broken windows or a leaky roof, tool kit with basic tools, in case you need to shut off utilities
- Entertainment: Games (preferably non-electronic), books
- Paper local map
- Extra set of keys and personal ID
- Other: Cash/coins, copies of credit cards, copies of medical prescriptions, matches in waterproof container, small tent, compass, and shovel, whistle to signal for help
- For pets:
- Food and water for at least 3 days for each pet
- Leashes, harnesses carriers as needed
- Current photo and descriptions of pets to help with identification in case of separation

3) Vehicle preparedness – Know where the nearest shelter is and the different routes you can take to get there if you must leave your home.
- Maintain a full tank of gas
- Have these items in your Car Emergency Kit:
- A properly inflated spare tire, wheel wrench and tripod jack
- Jumper cables
- Tool kit and a multipurpose utility tool
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Reflective triangles and brightly colored cloth to make your vehicle more visible
- Compass
- First aid kit (See below)
- Nonperishable, high-energy foods, such as unsalted nuts, dried fruits and hard candy
- Drinking water
- Reflective vest in case you need to walk to get help
- Car charger for your cell phone
- Fire extinguisher
- Duct tape
- Rain poncho

4) What to have in your Home First Aid Kit:
- 2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
- 25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
- 1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
- 5 antiseptic wipe packets
- Medications:
- 5 antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram)
- 1 package of aspirin 325 mg (for pain, headaches, chest pain)
- 1 package of diphenhydramine 25 mg (for allergic reactions)
- 1 tube hydrocortisone cream
- All regularly used prescription medications
- 1 emergency blanket
- 1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve for CPR)
- 1 instant cold compress
- 2 pairs of non-latex gloves (size: large)
- 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets (approximately 1 gram each)
- 1 3 in. gauze roll (roller) bandage
- 1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
- 5 3 in. x 3 in. sterile gauze pads
- 5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
- Oral thermometer (non-mercury/non-glass)
- 2 triangular bandages
- Tweezers
- Emergency First Aid guide

5) Here are some Safety Skills everyone in the family should be familiar with:
- Know how to shut-off Utilities
- Electricity
- Locate your electrical circuit box. Shut off all the individual circuits before shutting off the main circuit.
- Water
- All household members should learn how to shut off the water at the main house valve. This is not the street valve in the cement box at the curb which is more difficult to turn and requires a special tool.
- Natural Gas
- If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and get everyone out quickly. Turn off the gas, using the outside main valve, and contact the gas company from somewhere else.
- CAUTION: If you turn off the gas for any reason, a qualified professional must turn it back on. NEVER attempt to turn the gas back on yourself.
- Learn to Use a Fire Extinguisher
- Stand a few feet from the fire, start blasting and move toward the fire. The instructions on the extinguisher will tell you how far away to start.
- Move the extinguisher’s stream in a sweeping motion.
- Aim at the base of the fire, not at the flames.
- Fires that seem to be out can reignite, so watch for a bit after extinguishing the fire
- First Aid & CPR

6) Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR instructions from the American Red Cross)
- Before Giving CPR
1. Check the scene and the person. Make sure the scene is safe, then tap the person on the shoulder and shout "Are you OK?" to ensure that the person needs help.
2. Call 911 for assistance. If it's evident that the person needs help, call (or ask a bystander to call) 911, then send someone to get an AED. (If an AED is unavailable, or a there is no bystander to access it, stay with the victim, call 911 and begin administering assistance.)
3. Open the airway. With the person lying on his or her back, tilt the head back slightly to lift the chin.
4. Check for breathing. Listen carefully, for no more than 10 seconds, for sounds of breathing. (Occasional gasping sounds do not equate to breathing.) If there is no breathing begin CPR.
- CPR Steps for Adults
1. Push hard, push fast. Place your hands, one on top of the other, in the middle of the chest. Use your body weight to help you administer compressions that are at least 2 inches deep and delivered at a rate of at least 100 compressions per minute.
2. Deliver rescue breaths. With the person's head tilted back slightly and the chin lifted, pinch the nose shut and place your mouth over the person's mouth to make a complete seal. Blow into the person's mouth to make the chest rise. Deliver two rescue breaths, then continue compressions. Note: If the chest does not rise with the initial rescue breath, re-tilt the head before delivering the second breath. If the chest doesn't rise with the second breath, the person may be choking. After each subsequent set of 30 chest compressions, and before attempting breaths, look for an object and, if seen, remove it.
3. Continue CPR steps. Keep performing cycles of chest compressions and breathing until the person exhibits signs of life, such as breathing, an AED becomes available, or EMS or a trained medical responder arrives at the scene. Note: End the cycles if the scene becomes unsafe or you cannot continue performing CPR due to exhaustion.

7) Other resources

FEMA has a mobile app with these features:
- Receive real-time alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations nationwide.
- Share real-time notifications with loved ones via text, email and social media
- Learn emergency safety tips for over 20 types of disasters, including fires, flooding, hurricanes, snowstorms, tornadoes, volcanoes and more.
- Locate open emergency shelters and disaster recovery centers in your area where you can talk to a FEMA representative in person.
- Prepare for disasters with a customizable emergency kit checklist, emergency family plan, and reminders.
- Connect with FEMA to register for disaster assistance online.
- Upload and share disaster photos through Disaster Reporter.
Download the FEMA app here:

The CDC has recommendations for safety after a disaster in helping with cleanup. Read more here:

About the Author

Kirk Wright

I bought my first home in a small community on the shores of Lake Simcoe about an hour north of Toronto, Canada. Ironically, I couldn't wait for my mortgage statement to arrive each month so I could study it and mail in my payment (am I dating myself?). The statement would arrive. I'd scan the principal, revel in its reduction, then ask my REALTOR® what home values were doing in our neighborhood. It was intoxicating - principal down, home value up, repeat.

This home (actually a cottage) was my castle. I drilled a well to have running water year round, built a picket fence, painted the exterior, removed the shag carpet "insulation" off the walls and planted some flowers. It's difficult to convey how beautiful this home was to me.

Ultimately all the sweat was worth it 'cause I used the equity from the sale of that little property to fund my move to Orlando in 2001, my wedding and the down payment on our first home in the Milk District in Orlando.

Two years later we fell in love with a home in Winter Park's Dubsdread Heights neighborhood between Dubsdread Golf Course and Little Lake Fairview. Equity in our first home enabled us to refinance and pull out the necessary cash to use as a down payment on this second home. Now we were multi-home owners and landlords too!

Becoming a landlord brought the same sort of pride that came with buying my first home. Our tenants were wonderful, they LOVED the Milk District and never stopped thanking me for renting our home to them. In return, they paid us rent that covered the mortgage plus a little bit more. How awesome is that?

A year later our tenants were ready to become home owners themselves and moved to south Orlando. We put the house up for sale and our REALTOR® helped us secure nearly twice what we paid for it 3 years earlier. The American Dream was alive and well.

A number of years later we were in a position to buy our "forever" home, a beautiful home listed guessed it, Fannie Hillman + Associates. It is located in Orlando's Ivanhoe Village where culture, dining & nightlife are only as far as the end of the block. We kept our Dubsdread home and purchased the Ivanhoe Village property and became landlords once again.

For 16 years I helped local business owners grow their business using advertising and marketing and now I am thrilled to be part of the Fannie Hillman + Associates team as a REALTOR®, making my passion my career.

I look forward to using my experience to help you buy or market and sell your home.