Hurricane Preparedness Guide

Home preparedness

  • Take pictures of your home (both interior and exterior) for your homeowner’s insurance company.
  • Hurricane winds can cause trees and branches to fall, so before hurricane season trim or remove damaged trees and limbs to keep you and your property safe.
  • Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property.
  • Reduce property damage by retrofitting to secure and reinforce the roof, windows and doors, including the garage doors with either boards, shutters, or hurricane resistant items.
  • Remove debris or items that could become projectiles.
  • Remember to keep generators and other alternate power/heat sources outside, at least 20 feet away from windows and doors and protected from moisture; and NEVER try to power the house wiring by plugging a generator into a wall outlet.
  • Protect areas where wind can enter. Windows and doors should be secured with County-approved storm shutters. Another option is to board up windows with 5/8-inch plywood. Tape does NOT prevent windows from breaking.
  • Protect electronics with surge protectors and waterproof coverings.
  • Bring in lawn furniture or other outdoor items not tied down that could become airborne.
  • Withdraw cash from the bank and get fuel for your vehicle, generator and other gas-powered tools.
  • Listen to local officials for updates and instructions. Follow evacuation orders from local officials, if given.
  • Check-in with family and friends by texting or using social media. Communicate with Managers.
  • Turn your refrigerator or freezer to the coldest setting and open only when necessary. If you lose power, food will last longer. Keep a thermometer in the refrigerator to be able to check the food temperature when the power is restored.
  • Do not go outside until the storm has passed and authorities have indicated that it is safe.
  • Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe from evacuation.
  • Watch out for debris and downed power lines.
  • Ensure that the water is safe to consume.
  • Be careful with candles, fires, and generators.
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters. Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of fast-moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Avoid flood water as it may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines and may hide dangerous debris or places where the ground is washed away.
  • Photograph the damage to your property in order to assist in filing an insurance claim.
  • Do what you can to prevent further damage to your property, (e.g., putting a tarp on a damaged roof), as insurance may not cover additional damage that occurs after the storm.

Automobile & Transportation preparedness

  • Keep your gas tank full in case of evacuation or power outages. Store extra in a safe manner, be cautious of container and storage for possible fatal fumes.
  • Car supplies include jumper cables and cell phone chargers.
  • Do not drive through flooded areas. Six inches of water can cause a vehicle to lose control or possibly stall. A foot of water will float many cars.
  • Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.
  • If a power line falls on your car you are at risk of electrical shock, stay inside until a trained person removes the wire.
  • The emergency could impact the physical stability of the roadway avoid overpasses, bridges, power lines, signs and other hazards.
  • Keep car away from trees and a possible falling debris.
  • The Waze Connected Citizens Program allows residents to share travel suggestions among drivers using Waze. Download the free Waze mobile application today. Source: https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes

Emergency & Evacuation Assistance Program (EEAP)

  • Residents who require evacuation assistance should register for the Emergency & Evacuation Assistance Program (EEAP) before hurricane season to ensure help will be given following an evacuation order. Assistance may also be provided after an emergency. This program is for individuals with functional and access needs who live alone or with families who:
  • cannot evacuate on their own due to medical or specialized transportation needs
  • are homebound or bedridden, unable to walk and do not have transportation options
  • are on life-sustaining medical equipment that requires electricity
  • require assistance with daily living activities
  • Specialized transportation, safe shelter, medical monitoring and wellness checks are among the services provided for eligible residents. A caregiver or companion should accompany the evacuee throughout the emergency period to ensure the evacuee’s needs are met in a timely manner.
  • Pre-registered residents in the EEAP will receive priority. Visit the Evacuation Assistance webpage found at miamidade.gov/hurricane or call 311 to receive an application and learn more about the program.
  • Residents in nursing homes, assisted living facilities or group homes must follow their own facilities’ emergency plans. Facilities implement their mutual aid agreements should they need to evacuate.
  • Source: https://www.miamidade.gov/hurricane/library/guide-to-hurricane-readiness.pdf

Evacuations

  • The Miami-Dade County Mayor can issue an order directing the evacuation of specific areas of the county deemed to be in danger, based on a hurricane’s track and projected storm surge.
  • All mobile home residents should evacuate when any evacuation order is issued, regardless of their Storm Surge Planning Zone.
  • Residents are encouraged to stay with family or friends who live inland in a nonevacuation area.
  • Evacuation centers should only be considered as a shelter of last resort. Once an evacuation order is given, a list of open evacuation centers will be announced, along with emergency bus pick up sites that will provide transportation to and from the centers. Details will be posted on miamidade.gov and available by calling 311.
  • If a designated pickup site is not located near you, use Miami-Dade Transit to get to a pickup location. Advise the bus operator of your intention to go to an emergency evacuation pickup site.
  • Not every evacuation center location will open for every emergency. Decisions are based on the National Hurricane Center’s forecast in order to determine when and where landfall will occur.
  • Each evacuee is allotted 20 square feet of space at an evacuation center, so bring only essential items. All evacuation centers meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements for sheltering. Service animals are permitted.
  • Source: https://www.miamidade.gov/hurricane/library/guide-to-hurricane-readiness.pdf

Evacuation Centers; what to bring

  • Bedding
  • Infant and child care items such as formula, diapers, toys, etc.
  • Cash
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Comfort materials such as books, magazines, etc.
  • Prescription and over-the-counter medications
  • Drinking water
  • Snacks
  • Extra clothing
  • Special items for elderly or disabled family members
  • It is strongly recommended to bring portable electronic devices — such as phones, tablets and battery packs — fully charged as there are limited outlets at evacuation centers.
  • Source: https://www.miamidade.gov/hurricane/library/guide-to-hurricane-readiness.pdf

Water Preparedness

  • Fill aluminum or plastic containers with potable water once a hurricane warning is announced.
  • Plan for at least one gallon per person, per day for three to seven days. In addition, keep other containers two-thirds full with potable water and place them in your freezer for ice after a storm.
  • Before filling your water containers, wash them out with soap and water and rinse them well.
  • Next, fill the container with a solution of one tablespoon of unscented household chlorine bleach — the kind used for laundry — per gallon of water. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then pour out the solution and rinse the container.
  • Source: https://www.miamidade.gov/hurricane/library/guide-to-hurricane-readiness.pdf

Food Preparedness

  • Non-perishable food might not sound particularly delicious to you, especially if you prefer the flavor of fresh, crisp meals. But even though most non-perishable food items out there aren’t winning any taste tests — or beauty contests, for that matter— these products could possibly save your life someday. We don’t know about you, but we think that’s a quality all of us can appreciate.
  • In a worst-case scenario you need healthy non-perishable food that will keep in order to sustain you and your loved ones for at least a few days. But even if you never personally experience such an event, it’s still valuable to inform yourself about the best non-perishable food out there. After all, it can also come in handy for fun activities like camping and backpacking. Additionally, your extra healthy non-perishable foods can be donated to families in need. On top of all that, it’s always good to have a general sense of preparedness when you’re stocking the pantry. You never know who — or what — may drop by for a surprise!
  • No one likes to think about the possibility of an emergency situation, but the truth is that being unprepared for a real crisis is so much worse than just dreading it. Even if you’re safe location-wise during a nightmare scenario, you and your loved ones will still need to eat until it’s safe to move elsewhere — and the last thing you want is to be scared and starving at the same time. That’s why stocking up on filling and healthy non-perishable food well in advance is an absolute must, especially if you live in an area that is at high risk for disasters.
  • Ready.gov recommends storing at least a three-day supply from its list of the best healthy non-perishable foods for emergency situations.
  • Source: https://www.firstforwomen.com/posts/non-perishable-food-159219

Best Non-Perishable Foods for Emergencies

  • Beef stew, chili, and similar meals with low salt, sugar, & saturated fats
  • Dried or canned legumes such as peas, lentils, peanuts, and beans
  • Pureed foods such as sweet potato, pumpkin, and applesauce
  • Canned fruit, especially with low sugar (but no artificial sweeteners)
  • Canned fish such as salmon, tuna, and sardines
  • Canned chicken, tuna, beef and turkey
  • Peanut butter (plastic jars are preferred)
  • Canned vegetables with low sodium such as green beans and corn
  • Grains that are whole, like brown rice, oatmeal
  • Snacks like granola, breakfast bars, or nuts
  • Condiments like salsa, oil, or salt-free seasonings
  • Canned tomato & pasta sauces
  • Baby formula
  • Jars of baby food & Infant cereal
  • Powdered or canned milk
  • Dry cereal
  • Pancake mix & syrups
  • Concentrated Juice Boxes
  • Dried noodles, pasta
  • Soups
  • Beef Jerky & other dried meats
  • Dehydrated foods
  • Dried fruits
  • Fruit drinks
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • High-energy foods such as raisins

Source: https://www.firstforwomen.com/posts/non-perishable-food-159219

Additional Preparedness items

  • Cash, Cash Alternatives & Documents

–            Have ready cash; power outages may cause ATM machines to be unavailable.

–            Traveler’s Checks are a good secondary alternative

–            Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container

  • Cooking

–            Fill and/or purchase propane gas canisters for your barbeque grill

–            Matches or lighter in a waterproof container

  • Lighting

–            Extra batteries; recharge any rechargeable batteries for light sources

–            Propane gas canisters & mantles for camping lanterns

  • Prescriptions & Medications:

–            Place additional orders for required prescription medications

–            Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives

–            Glasses and contact lenses solution

–            Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream

  • Sleeping & Clothing

–            Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person

–            Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes

  • Disinfectants & Others

–            Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper to disinfect water

–            Fire extinguisher

–            Paper and pencil

  • Hygiene Items

–            Personal hygiene items

–            Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils

–            Keep kits in a plastic or metal container and in an accessible location that is cool and dry

–            Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation

–            Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape

  • Pet Items

–            Pet food and extra water for your pet

–            Medications for your pet

  • Communication

–            Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert

–            Whistle to signal for help

  • Electronics

–            Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

  • Tools

–            Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

–            Manual can opener for food

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