The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 through November 30. Hurricanes may impact all of Florida, including inland areas. Losses may be caused by flooding, wind, wind-driven rain, tornadoes, falling trees and flying debris. The following guidelines will help you and your family prepare for a storm.
Before the Storm
- Designate an out-of-state friend or family member as an emergency contact for loved ones seeking information on you and your family during the storm and its aftermath.
- Check your insurance coverage. Place your important documents—including deeds, identification and insurance papers—in one waterproof bag.
- Understand your home’s vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind.
- Determine where you will ride out the storm in a “safe room” in your home. The room should be one away from windows. Bathrooms and closets may be your best options.
- Identify a meeting place outside your home (car, backyard) if severe damage forces you to evacuate.
- Determine nearby shelter locations in the event you need to
- Prepare for what to do with your pets if you need to evacuate. Not all shelters welcome pets. Make sure your pets’ registration and vaccinations are current, and keep a copy of this documentation with you in a waterproof bag.
- Buy flashlights, battery-powered cellphone chargers, a battery-powered radio and extra batteries.
- Stock up on emergency supplies to last your family for three to seven days:
- Bottled water: 1 gallon per person per day
- Nonperishable food items: Canned meats, fruits, vegetables, soups; protein and granola bars; dried fruits; nuts and nut butters; cereal; crackers
- Baby supplies: Formula, food and diapers
- Manual can opener
- First-aid kit
- Prescription medications, over-the-counter medications and pain relievers
- Toiletries: Soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, toilet paper, feminine-hygiene products
- Disposable paper plates, cups and utensils
- Insect repellant and sunscreen
- Cleaning supplies: Soap, liquid detergent, disinfectant and bleach
- Pet supplies, including food and water
- Bring in or secure patio furniture, plants and all loose items on your balcony or porch.
- Secure a supply of cash (including small bills) as banks, ATMs and credit-card processing may not be available immediately after the storm.
- Fill your bathtubs with water for bathing and/or boiling.
- Fill your car’s gas tank.
During the Storm
- Turn off or unplug any nonessential electrical equipment.
- Turn your refrigerator up to the coldest setting in order to preserve foods as long as possible if the power fails. Avoid unnecessary opening and closing of the refrigerator doors.
- Keep your windows closed.
- Listen to your radio for updates and storm tracking.
- Use your telephone for emergencies only.
- In case of broken windows or damage to your home, retreat to your “safe room” and take cover.
- Stay indoors until the “all clear” from authorities is issued.
After the Storm
- Listen to your radio for emergency updates and news reports.
- Use the phone only to report life-threatening emergencies.
- Stay off the streets until given the “all clear” from authorities. If you must go out, watch for fallen objects, downed electrical wires, weakened walls, bridges, roads and sidewalks.
- Use caution when assessing damage to your home and property.
- Once you have assessed the damage, if necessary, contact your insurance company and/or FEMA.
For additional information on hurricane safety, please visit the following resources:
- Hurricanes—Be Informed: https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes
- Hurricane Seasonal Preparedness Digital Toolkit: https://www.ready.gov/hurricane-toolkit
- Hurricane Safety: https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/hurricane.html
- Survival Kit Supplies: https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/survival-kit-supplies.html
- FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency): https://www.fema.gov/
- American Red Cross: https://www.redcross.org/