While we love the year-round temperate climate of Southwest Florida, we know that with the sunshine, comes the risk of hurricanes. If there is a silver lining to this type of weather phenomenon, it’s that we have time to prepare.
Hurricane season runs from June 1 – November 30 each year and the Lee County Tax Collector wants you to be ready in case a storm heads our way. Below is a list of important documents you should have ready to take with you in case of evacuation.
In addition, Lee County has a robust website to help you plan. From the All Hazards Guide which helps you find your evacuation zone, locate shelters and learn about flood preparation, to the Family Emergency Plan which includes checklists for important documents, supplies to build your hurricane kit, and insurance preparation, it’s a one-stop shop for information and resources.
Fingers crossed this season will be on the quiet end for us, but taking time to prepare now will bring peace of mind later.
Preparing a disaster preparedness kit is a wise choice. You have no way of knowing when a potential disaster will strike, and having the supplies ready to go will keep your family safe, financially secure and stable during the difficult days ahead. In addition, it's important to have the following documents in a safe, place: both hard copies and electronically in your e-mail, cloud or on a thumb drive.
❑ Birth certificates
❑ Social Security cards
❑ Driver’s licenses
❑ Marriage papers (marriage license, divorce decree, prenuptial agreement, etc.)
❑ Adoption papers
❑ Child custody agreements
❑ Government civilian and/or military records (ID numbers, discharge records)
❑ Citizenship documents (green cards, visas, citizenship or naturalization certificates)
❑ Diplomas and certifications
❑ Pet documentation
❑ Vehicle documentation (certified copies of titles, VIN numbers, registration papers)
❑ Real estate documents (certified copies of deeds for home and business, mortgage notes, chain of title documents)
❑ Appraisals (receipts or appraisals for valuable items or major purchases)
❑ Inventory of items in your home (photos of valuables, listing with each item’s description, brand, model, serial number)
❑ Tax information (tax returns, personal and business property tax statements)
❑ Financial information (bank or credit union statements, credit or debit card statements, account numbers, bank contact information)
❑ Investment documents (portfolio summaries, stock certificates, bonds, CDs)
❑ Business incorporation documents (articles of incorporation, bylaws, etc.)
❑ Insurance information (cards and summaries for health, homeowners, auto, life, etc.
❑ Bills and other obligations (bills, mortgages, loans, account and contact info)
❑ Last will and testament
❑ Living will
❑ Powers of attorney
❑ End-of-life arrangements (letter of instruction, organ donor designation, funeral and burial contracts, obituary, death notice)
❑ Insurance information (copy of health insurance card and policy summaries)
❑ Medications list (including schedules and dosages)
❑ Immunization records
❑ Allergy info
❑ Medical records