Chapter 1: Getting Started with Quick Tips
Hurricanes are powerful storms that start in the ocean but bring threats such as strong winds, flooding, tornadoes, heavy rainfall, storm surges, and rip currents to coastal and inland areas. In the United States the primary hurricane threat occurs along the eastern and gulf coast from hurricanes that develop over the Atlantic ocean, typically between June and November each year.
Hurricane frequency and severity continues to grow over time, with damages consistently breaking $60 billion annually. Knowing how to prepare with these tips can help keep you and your family safe.
Know you Evacuation Zone
Plan how you will leave and where you will go if ordered to evacuate. It’s important to also practice your plan with all members of your household including pets. Identify several places where you can stay that are in different directions so you have multiple choices in an emergency.
Have a Go-Bag Ready with Supplies
Keep a Go-Bag ready with items that you’ll need to evacuate quickly. It should be easy to carry and kept in a place that’s easily accessible.
Sign up for SMS Emergency Alerts
Sign up for your local SMS weather alerts. Florida residents can sign up to receive emergency alerts and other public safety notifications for your community at AlertFlorida.
Monitor local weather reports and news channels to stay storm aware.
Fill up your vehicle with gas early
Don’t let your gas tank get below half way full ahead of the storm so you’re always ready to leave quickly. Keep your go-bag and other emergency supplies in your car.
Helpful Apps to download on your Phone
- Florida Storms - offers a simple way to stay informed of potential weather and other hazards, backed by real-time credible information from the nearest Florida public radio station.
- Florida 511 - Get up-to-the-minute, real-time traffic conditions and incident information for the State of Florida
- FEMA - Your source for information about everything from evacuation to clean up and shelter efforts in your area. This is a must-download.
- Red Cross - monitor for more than 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts in your town, and other cities that matter to you. Available in English or Spanish.
- Byte to Bites -help people find local food pantries, soup kitchens, farmers markets and locations where they can use Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. After a disaster, people may have limited transportation options and the app can be helpful in finding the nearest food distribution location.
- Gas Buddy - Find the nearest gas stations and compare prices
Tips from a Local: Unique tips from a native of the Southeast after weathering dozens of hurricanes and tropical storms.
- If you’re sheltering in place with pets then put a kiddie pool in the garage with sod in it. Most pets will not and cannot go out during a hurricane to go to the bathroom. The sod will act as a safe and dry place for them to go to the bathroom.
- Freeze a tupperware of water and place a quarter on top of the ice. After the water is frozen, place a quarter on the top. This trick will let you know just how long your food was without proper temperature control. This is especially useful if you choose to evacuate. If your power goes off and comes back on before you get home you will be able to estimate just how long your food was exposed to unsafe temperatures by how far down the quarter made it before the water refroze.
- Have a few clean gallon jugs to freeze water in. When a storm is expected to hit, put a few gallon jugs of water in the freezer. This will help keep important things cold (such as medicine). You can move them to coolers or leave them in the freezer to keep the items near it cold. Bonus, If they thaw then you have extra drinking water.