Hurricane Preparedness

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Hurricane Preparedness

1. Move all furniture, including beds, away from windows. Electrical appliances should be off the floor, preferably in a closet.
2. Objects should be cleared from the floor and from the tops of desks and dressers.
3. Residents should place all valuables in a lockable closet or drawer, which should remain locked when the residents are not in the room.
4. Those who reside in facilities that have bathtubs are asked to clean the tub and fill it half full with water. In a hurricane there is the risk of loss of water supply. If this should happen, the water in the tubs will be needed for washing and flushing toilets. Fill smaller containers with water for drinking purposes. If additional drinking water is needed, it will be made available as soon as possible.
5. Close all windows tightly. Venetian blinds should be raised all the way to the top. Curtains or drapes should be closed.
6. Each person should provide his/her own flashlight in case of power failure. Do not use candles or other flame-type lighting under any circumstances. Use battery powered light only.
7. If you are instructed to go to a shelter, take blankets, a flashlight, clothing, prescription medications, and snack items, etc.

During a Hurricane

1. It is essential that everyone stay indoors throughout the entire hurricane. Do not leave your area until directed to do so by public safety or housing and dining personnel.
2. Stay away from dangers such as glass windows and unsecured furniture or objects.
3. Power failure is likely to occur during a hurricane; therefore, do not use elevators.
4. Do not attempt to travel between floors, but if you must, use the stairs.
5. Do not attempt to open windows or doors to see what is happening outside.
6. Telephone calls should be made only in case of emergency so that telephone lines will be clear when needed.

After a Hurricane

1. Check for injuries. Do not move a seriously injured person unless he or she is in immediate danger of further injuries. If you need emergency assistance, call 911.
2. Be aware of any structural damage around you. Always check for hazards such as:
a. Fire or fire hazards.
b. Damaged electrical wiring.
c. Downed or damaged utility lines. Stay away from downed lines, even if power appears to be off.
d. Fallen objects in closets and cabinets. Displaced objects may fall when you open the door.
e. Telephones. Make sure each phone is on its receiver. Telephones off the hook can tie up the telephone network.
f. Potentially harmful materials and/or medicines that may have spilled.

Survival Preparation at Home

It’s important to understand the need to be independently capable of survival in the aftermath of a hurricane, blackout or some other catastrophic event. After a major catastrophe, emergency services may not be immediately available, roads may be blocked, electricity and water may be cut off for a period of time, restaurants and stores may not be open and gas stations may be closed or out of gasoline. Life could suddenly become quite primitive.

The US Department of Homeland Security, the National Preparedness Coalition and the Red Cross each state that you and your family should prepare to survive independently for a period of at least 72 hours (3 full days) after a disaster. Hurricane Katrina was an excellent example of how true this can be. Katrina made landfall Monday morning, later in the day it became apparent that levees had been breached, which completely changed the government’s initial response plan. The end result was that relief supplies rolled into town on Friday morning, just beyond the 72 hour time-frame that we are told to prepare for.

Some questions you might ask yourself include:

– Can you and your family survive independently for a 72 hour period at any point in time without electricity, public utilities, filling stations, grocery and convenience stores or emergency services?

– How long would it take your family to evacuate if needed?

– Does your family know where to go or where to meet if you are separated and an evacuation order becomes necessary and cell phone technology has failed?

While it is for you to determine your own level of preparedness, this document has been developed to help you and your family, prepare for and survive a major event such as a hurricane or some other unforeseen event.


In an emergency, you may not have time to search, nor remember all the paperwork and records that you will either need or want in the aftermath of an event. It’s a good idea to gather your important paperwork and keep it in one central spot in a protective container that is easily retrieved when needed, preferably in your shelter area near your other emergency materials.

Important Records include, but may not be limited to the following:
– Birth certificates
– Passports
– Social Security Cards
– Life Insurance Information/Policies
– Marriage license
– Tax returns
– Mortgage and Car loan paperwork and payment book
– Information regarding your personal debt and assets
– Contact information for relatives and friends
– Email addresses, phone numbers and home addresses

Survival Preparation at Home

The following list of items is intended as a guide to help you plan, protect and provide for your family in the event of a storm or some other catastrophic event. Once assembled, you might choose to pack your emergency supplies in duffle bags and store them in a safe, easily retrievable place such as your shelter area or a closet near the entrance to your home. If packed in such a manner, your supplies will also be ready to carry out the door quickly should there be a need to evacuate.


– NOAA weather radio that runs on both ac and dc power
– A tornado outbreak in the early morning hours February 2, 2008 proved how valuable and necessary a weather radio is. There were 21 fatalities.
– Hand held two-way radios (2 mile range minimum)
– Hand held battery operated television
– Battery operated police/fire/rescue scanner
– Large rechargeable flashlight/spotlight with car charger
– Large battery operated flashlight
– Hand held plastic flashlights
– Large 4 inch diameter candles that won’t tip over (in case you lose power)
– First aid kit, which includes; bandages, gauze, bandage wraps, tape, scissors, antiseptic spray, hydrogen peroxide, antacids, aspirin, thermometer, and rubbing alcohol. (also a snake bite kit)
– Dust masks, preferably NIOSH N95 Approved (for pandemic use also)
– Latex (or non-latex) surgical gloves
– Hand sanitizer
– Clear Goggles
– Rolls of toilet paper
– Sunscreen
– Mosquito Repellent
– Whistle and/or air horn
– Unscented household bleach (for purifying water)
– Two fire extinguishers
– Work gloves (for clearing debris)
– Hiking boots or closed toed, strong soled shoes (for walking in debris)

Food, Cooking and Eating

– Cases of bottled water, at least one weeks supply (stores for two years)
– Canned and dry foods, at least one weeks supply (rotated annually)
– Manual can opener
– Plastic Utensils (forks, spoons, knives)
– At least one sharp kitchen steak knife
– Plastic sandwich bag full of Wet Wipes
– Coleman stove with extra propane fuel
– Box of wooden matches (in plastic sandwich bag)
– Disposable butane lighters

Survival Preparation at Home

– Home Repair or Shelter
– Large blue tarp and large plastic sheeting (for patching or tenting)
– Duct tape
– Large trash bags (for disposing of debris or protecting items against a water leak)
– Tools

– Pillows
– Comforter or blankets
– Plastic pocket ponchos
– Coats or Jackets
– Deck of cards (to relieve boredom while the power is out)
– Puzzles and Games (to relieve boredom while the power is out)
– Bath or beach towels (for drying off)
– Camping tent (if you have one, in the extreme event that an evacuation takes place)

Evacuation Preparation
– State of Florida map
– United States map
– Hand held solar powered calculator
– Compass
– Small pocket note pad
– Pens
– Cooler(s)
– Extra duffle bags and backpack (in case of evacuation and there is time to pack additional
things such as food, photos or clothes)

Just in Case
– Extra empty plastic sandwich bags and freezer bags
– One extra large battery for flashlight
– Extra D batteries
– Extra AAA batteries
– Extra cell phone battery and charger (in case there’s power)
– Car charger for cell phone (in case electricity is out)

Luxury items that may prove useful depending on your own person situation include:
– Chain saw
– Generator

Please pay attention to all safety precautions when working with chain saws or generators. During the 2004 hurricane season, a total of 117 Floridians lost their lives. Some died as a result of the actual storms, but the great majority of them were killed after the storms had passed due to accidents with generators or while cleaning up debris and damage.

Survival Preparation at Home


Once a storm has actually been forecasted to impact our area, there are some remaining steps you should take to ensure that your family is prepared. History has taught us to prepare in advance; grocery stores, gas stations, ice and ATM machines will be very popular at the last minute.

Obtain Cash – If there is a power failure, merchants may not be able to accept credit cards or debit cards for purchases. You may not be able to obtain cash if automatic teller machines have been affected by power outages or network problems.

Fill your gas tank – Gas stations may lose power, or may not receive a delivery, which can cause them to simply run out of gas. If you need to go anywhere after the hurricane, such as get to work, make a run for supplies, or even evacuate, you’ll at least have an acceptable range of travel distance available to you.

Store ice in your freezer – Prepare and consume any food stored in your freezer in the days leading up to a hurricane. If there is no electricity to keep it frozen or cook it, frozen food will spoil quickly in your freezer while the power is out. A freezer full of ice could help you keep some food and drink items cold in a cooler in should the power go out. Use Tupperware containers and ice cube trays to make ice and ice blocks, then store the ice and ice blocks in plastic freezer bags in your freezer. A common practice is to adjust the temperature in your freezer to its coldest setting in the 24 hours prior to a hurricane. This will help maintain the temperature a little longer should the power go out. Pack drinks in a cooler with ice ahead of when the storm is expected to occur. A good cooler will keep ice longer than your refrigerator or freezer if the power goes out and for a time, you will at least have something cold to drink.

Do your laundry – By doing all of your laundry in the days leading up to a storm, you will leave yourself in a better position after the storm. You may not have power after a storm to wash your clothes, but it’s likely that you will still have to go to work after the storm.

Obtain extra prescription medicine – If you are on prescription medication, it may be a good idea to get an extra supply in the days leading up to the hurricane. After the storm, your local drug store may be damaged or closed and unable to refill your prescription.

Take a photo inventory – Ensure that you have a photo or video record of your home and belongings in case the worst happens. It will help you greatly when working with your insurance company.