Here is a list of what you should do to make sure your family is prepared:
Maternity Patients: If you are 38 (or more) weeks pregnant during hurricane season, click here for an important message.
What Should I Do...
...Before Hurricane Season Starts?
- If you or someone you know have a medical condition that requires a greater level of care than a mass shelter can provide, register at a Special Medical Needs Shelter.
- Contact the local emergency management office or American Red Cross chapter, and ask for the community hurricane preparedness plan. This plan should include information on the safest evacuation routes and nearby shelters.
- Plan an evacuation route.
- Have disaster supplies on hand.
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries
- First aid kit and manual
- Emergency food and water
- Non-electric can opener
- Essential medicines
- Cash and credit cards
- Sturdy shoes
- Make sure that all family members know how to respond after a hurricane.
- Teach family members how and when to turn off gas, electricity, and water.
- Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1, police, or fire department and which radio station to tune to for emergency information.
- Check into flood insurance.
- You can find out about the National Flood Insurance Program through your local insurance agent or emergency management office. There is normally a 30-day waiting period before a new policy becomes effective.
- Homeowners polices do not cover damage from the flooding that accompanies a hurricane.
- Develop an emergency communication plan.
- In case family members are separated from one another during a disaster (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), have a plan for getting back together.
- Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the "family contact." After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance. Make sure everyone in the family knows the name, address, and phone number of the contact person.
...During a Hurricane Watch?
A Hurricane Watch is issued when there is a threat of hurricane conditions within 24-36 hours.
- Listen to a battery-operated radio or television for hurricane progress reports.
- Fuel car.
- Turn refrigerator and freezer to coldest settings. Open only when absolutely necessary and close quickly.
- Store drinking water in clean bathtubs, jugs, bottles, and cooking utensils.
- Review evacuation plan.
...During a Hurricane Warning?
A Hurricane Warning is issued when hurricane conditions (winds of 74 miles per hour or greater, or dangerously high water and rough seas) are expected in 24 hours or less.
- Listen constantly to a battery-operated radio or television for official instructions.
- If in a mobile home, check tiedowns and evacuate immediately.
- Call the Broward Health Hotline at 954-355-5111 for updates on our medical facilities
- If officials indicate evacuation is necessary:
- Leave as soon as possible. Avoid flooded roads and watch for washed-out bridges.
- Secure your home by unplugging appliances and turning off electricity and the main water valve.
- Tell someone outside of the storm area where you are going.
- If time permits, and you live in an identified surge zone, elevate furniture to protect it from flooding or better yet, move it to a higher floor.
- Take pre-assembled emergency supplies, warm protective clothing, blankets and sleeping bags to shelter.
- Lock up your home and leave.
...After the Storm?
Check for gas leaks – if you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and quickly leave the building. Look for electrical system damage – if you see sparks or broken or frayed wires, or if you smell hot insulation, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. Check for sewage and water line damage – if you suspect sewage lines are damaged, avoid using the toilets and call a plumber. Stay tuned to local radio for information.
- Help injured or trapped persons.
- Give first aid where appropriate.
- Do not move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. Call for help.
- Enter your home with caution. Beware of snakes, insects, and animals driven to higher ground by flood water.
- Take pictures of the damage, both to the house and its contents for insurance claims.
- You can obtain safe water by melting ice cubes.