Tallahassee, Florida -- It's been years since the Tampa Bay area has seen a hurricane, but even in places where they're still clearning up from a storm, families don't have a plan in place to take steps to protect their homes before this season.
The group FLASH, the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes--conducted a survey earlier this year and found that 87% of people who didn't experience sever weather last year had no plans to buy flood insurance. 93% didn't plan to install hurricane shutters or emergency plywood shutters. And 93% didn't plan to strengthen their roofs with hurricane straps or clips or high-wind shingles.
"Even the people affected by events like Superstorm Sandy last year, while they were prepared to do the easy things like getting the water and food together, they weren't embracing the things they needed to do to protect their home," said Leslie Chapman-Henderson, President and CEO of FLASH. "And the reason that's important is because for many of us, our home is our shelter and our shelter has to stand up when the wind blows."
FLASH has developed a program called Mitigation 2.0--offering simple, faster and upgraded access to information about disaster mitigation. Part of Mitigation 2.0 is the FLASH Weather Alert app which works on iPhones, iPads and Android phones. It gives you up-to-date weather conditions and mitigation information that walks you through the kind of information you need to make your home safe.
"We've put the to-do list together in three buckets," said Chapman-Henderson. "So one is if you have a whole weekend to get ready, here are the things you can do over the weekend. Another list is things you can do in one day. And then, unfortunately, many people wait until the last minute so we even have a checklist of things you can do if you only have an hour."
The cost for theFLASH Weather Alert app is $7.99 and can be found in the iTunes app store or Google Play.