Hurricane Season is here again! Before you hit the delete key and proclaim, “Been there. Done that.” do you know your Hurricane ABCs? This list of thoughtful tips will help you “jump start” your hurricane plans and avoid last minute scrambling. Be sure to explore the Broward County Hurricane Preparedness website, A-Z Guide or Hurricane Preparedness Guide for more details. All you need to know is right at your fingertips!
Make plans for all of your animals
, both large and small. Prepare a Pet Survival Kit - even if staying at home.
Boats: The U.S. Coast Guard coordinates an orderly evacuation of boats to safe harbor so that bridges can be “locked down” for vehicular evacuations. Listen for announcements well in advance of the storm.
Ensure cell phones
are fully charged and emergency contact numbers are pre-programmed. Have a back-up plan for recharging, such as a car charger. Texting rather than calling saves battery power and text messages often go through when calls won't.
Debris: After the storm, keep yard waste and house-hold waste separate. Be patient. Debris pick-up varies by municipalities based on hauler contracts.
Emergency Calls: Call 9-1-1 only in the case of a real emergency. Your hurricane related questions can be answered 24/7 by calling 3-1-1, the Broward County Call Center, and the Hurricane Hotline in a storm or 954-831-4000.
Food: Stock up on food items that don’t require cooking or refrigeration. Be careful to only eat foods that are fresh and not spoiled. Check out the Hurricane Shopping Kit Guide so you can be prepared.
Before you purchase a generator, total the amount of watts needed to run the items you plan to power so you can select the appropriate size. Have plenty of gas for your generator and vehicles. Use a generator
Home Damage Assessment Program: Before the storm, print theHome Damage Assessment photos. Bookmark the Home Damage Assessment application on your cell phone or other mobile device at http://gis.broward.org/mda. After the storm, report damage on the mobile app or by calling 3-1-1.
Insurance: Examine your policies to ensure you have adequate coverage; know what is and what is not covered. Keep your insurance documents in a place that is safe from flooding and damage.
Jugs: Don’t recycle all of your empty water jugs. Keep several and use them to expand your supply of potable water.
Kit: Is your hurricane kit ready to go? Use the Hurricane Shopping Guide to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.
Get the latest hurricane information available by subscribing to Broward County Emergency Updates
in your email or by following the County on Twitter@ReadyBroward
Mobile Homes: All mobile home owners must evacuate when the evacuation order is given. Have a relocation plan in mind prior to the storm season.
Notify Others: Choose an out-of-state family member/friend as a single point of contact for all family members. Be sure to notify all who need to know.
Outdoor Structures: Remove all furniture, lawn ornaments and plants; store them indoors.
Power Lines: Consider all downed power lines live. Report them to FPL at 1-800-4OUTAGE or call 9-1-1.
Refrigerators and Freezers:
Keep refrigerators and freezers
plugged in and turn up to the coldest setting. Keep door(s) closed as much as possible.
Shelters: If your home is safe, shelter in place. If you don’t feel safe, relocate with family/friends outside the evacuation zone. If you must go to a shelter, call 3-1-1 to confirmshelter locations and openings.
Telephone: Phones come in all different shapes and sizes with various capabilities. Don’t forget to include a land line among your options. Wireless landline phones do not work when power is off.
Understand: It is important to understand the difference between a hurricane watch and warning. A hurricane watch is an announcement that hurricane conditions pose a threat within 48 hours, while a hurricane warning is declared when hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours.
Vulnerable Population Registry: This database of registered residents who are at risk due to disability, frailty or health issues, regardless of age, who elect to stay at home in the event of a hurricane or other emergency, helps public safety officials plan their response to an emergency. Each city uses the Registry differently and being on the Registry does not guarantee that assistance will be provided.
Include one gallon of water
per person per day for at least two weeks in your Hurricane Kit.
The unknown number of hurricanes this season. The number really makes no difference, since all it takes is one. Stay Ready. Set. Safe.
You: Take personal responsibility for emergency preparedness. Remember that “the first 72 are on you.”
Zero:The number of days left until the start of hurricane season, which extends from June 1 through November 30.