How to Prepare for Hurricane Season

Hurricane Season is here from June 1 to November 30. Now is the time to prepare for the arrival of a hurricane. Remember that if a storm hits our area,you must be prepared to be on your own for the first 72 hours. During this time, City crews will be very busy trying to clear primary roads and restore order. It is your responsibility to be prepared to be on your own for the first three days after a storm without water, electricity and any other modern convenience.

The following information will assist you in your preparations for the arrival of a hurricane.

To Do List:

  • Prepare a household hurricane plan of action
  • Learn the storm surge history and flood zones of your area
  • Learn safe routes inland
  • Determine where to move your boat in an emergency
  • Check for loose rain gutters and down spouts
  • Check insurance coverage
  • Secure your home
  • Check first aid kit
  • Obtain plastic containers for storage of important papers, valuables and medical supplies
  • People with special needs requiring evacuation assistance should register in advance with Miami-Dade County by calling 311
  • If you have a generator, keep it maintained year round. To keep moisture out of gas, start your generator monthly
  • Test generators, lanterns, portable stove, radio, grill and flashlights
  • Check your electrical meter. Make sure that the pipe connecting cable into your home is securely attached
  • Trim tree limbs. Call FPL to trim trees near power lines
  • Prepare hurricane supplies

Hurricane Supply Checklist:

  • Portable cooler with ice
  • Canned/pre-packaged goods (non-perishable), two-week supply
  • Canned/pre-packaged beverages (non-perishable), two-week supply
  • Baby foods/juices/milk (non-perishable), two-week supply
  • Baby diapers, two-week supply
  • Bottled water, two gallons per person, per day
  • Manual can opener and disposable eating utensils
  • First Aid kit/manual
  • Medicines, two-week supply
  • Toiletries/personal hygiene items/toilet paper/soap, two-week supply
  • Pillow, blanket or sleeping bag
  • Towels, washcloths
  • Extra clothing
  • Portable radio/extra batteries
  • Flashlights, extra batteries
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Basic tool kit (hammer, nails, etc.)
  • Birth and marriage certificates
  • Medical and immunization records
  • Insurance policies (property, health/dental)
  • ID cards (drivers license, Medicare, health/dental member cards)
  • Cards/games/books

When a Hurricane Threatens…

A Hurricane Watch is issued for a coastal area when there is a threat of hurricane conditions within 24-36 hours. A Hurricane Warning is issued when hurricane conditions are expected in a specified coastal area in 24 hours or less. Hurricane conditions include winds of 74 miles and hour (64 knots) and/or dangerously high tides and waves. Actions for protection of life and property should begin immediately when the warning is issued. If local authorities recommend evacuation, you should leave! Their advice is based on knowledge of the strength of the storm and its potential for death and destruction.

When a Hurricane WATCH is Issued…

  • Check often for official bulletins on radio, TV, or NOAA Weather Radio
  • Fuel your car. Fill propane gas tanks. Fill coolers with ice
  • Get cash
  • Moor small craft or move to safe shelter
  • Secure lawn furniture and other loose outdoor materials (i.e., trash cans, plants).
  • Take TV antenna and satellite dish down. Remove and cover chimney caps and wind turbines.
  • Drain swimming pool one foot and add extra chlorine
  • Turn off electricity to pool equipment and cover pool pump
  • Tape, board or shutter windows to prevent shattering
  • Wedge sliding glass doors to prevent lifting from tracks
  • Have hurricane supplies ready.

When a Hurricane WARNING is Issued…

  • Stay tuned to radio, TV or NOAA Weather Radio for official bulletins and info about shelter locations
  • Board up garage and porch doors
  • Move valuables to upper floors
  • Bring in pets
  • Fill container (bathtub) with several days of supply of water
  • Turn up refrigerator to maximum cold and only open when necessary
  • Use phone only for emergencies
  • Make arrangements with friends or family if you will need to evacuate

If you stay in your home during a hurricane…

  • Take refuge in a small, interior room without windows, or in a closet or hallway. Close all interior doors
  • Beware of the hurricane eye. When the eye passes, wind and rain may stop anywhere from a few minutes to more than an hour. The wind will then suddenly begin again from the opposite direction

If you are in an evacuation area LEAVE…

  • Miami-Dade County recommends that all residents east of Ingraham Highway and Old Cutler Road should evacuate for hurricanes of Category 2 or greater
  • Residents of high-rise buildings should also consider evacuating. Storm surge can cause erosion that might undermine the supports of the building
  • High-rise buildings are susceptible to conditions that can cause uncontrollable fires. Unless your high-rise has an emergency generator, the elevator will not work in a power failure
  • Some emergency generators will run lights only and will not power the elevators. Leave early-in daylight if possible
  • Shut off water and electricity at main stations and turn off gas appliances
  • Eat before leaving; shelters may not serve food for the first 24 hours
  • Take hurricane supplies
  • If you have pets, take them to a kennel or a friend, or prepare a “safe room” for the pet. Shelters will not accept pets. (“Safe room” should be an interior closet or bathroom. Place towel or blanket in a corner and leave plenty of food and water.) Lock up house
  • Drive carefully to nearest designated shelter using recommended evacuation routes
    Bring proof of residency (driver’s license/utility bill) and other important papers

After a Hurricane…

  • Be careful!
  • Beware of outdoor hazards
  • Stay clear of downed power lines and adjacent lines
  • Be alert for poisonous snakes, often driven from their dens by high water
  • Beware of weakened bridges and washed out roads. Look out for weakened limbs on trees
  • Drive only when necessary
  • Guard against spoiled food and do not drink or prepare food with tap water until you are certain it is not contaminated
  • Do not use the telephone unless absolutely necessary. The system is usually jammed with calls during and after a hurricane

Important Contact Information

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