Hurricane Season is Upon Us. Are You Ready?

Hurricanes are strong storms that can be life-threatening and cause serious hazards such as flooding, storm surge, high winds and tornadoes.The state of Florida has a long history of hurricanes and tropical storms making landfall. All Florida residents and visitors must ensure they have a plan in place to keep their families, loved ones, and property safe before a new hurricane strikes.

Being prepared means being equipped with the proper supplies you may need in the event of an emergency or disaster. Keep your supplies in an easy-to-carry emergency preparedness kit that you can use at home or take with you in case you must evacuate.

At a minimum, you should have the basic supplies listed below ;)

  • Water: one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)

  • Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for at home).

  • Flashlight

  • Battery powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather radio, if possible)

  • Extra batteries, various sizes

  • First Aid Kit

  • Medications (7 day supply) and medical items

  • Multi-purpose tool

  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items

  • Copies of personal documents (medication list, pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)

  • Cell phones and chargers

  • Family and emergency contact information

  • Extra cash

  • Emergency blankets

  • Manatee County Evacuation Map - Know your Evacuation Zone!

  • Manatee County Shelter locations

  • Additional Map(s) of the area and other possible evacuation routes

Consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit.

Suggested items to help meet additional needs are:

  • Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc.)

  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers, wipes, etc)

  • Games, books, and activities for children

  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)

  • Two-way radios

  • Extra sets of car and house keys

  • Manual can opener

Before the Storm

  • Assemble your emergency preparedness kit

  • Create household evacuation plan, that includes your pets.

  • Stay informed about your community’s risk and response plans.

  • Download the Emergency App (or NOAA app) for iPhone or Android

  • Keep insurance policies, documents, and other valuables in a safe-deposit box, or on a flash drive. You may need quick, easy access to these documents. Keep them in a safe place less likely to be damaged if a hurricane causes flooding or high levels of storm surge.

Preparing the Home

  • Protect windows with permanent storm shutters or invest in one-half inch marine plywood that is pre-cut to fit your doors and windows.

  • Identify a place to store lawn furniture, toys, gardening tools and trash cans (away from stairs and exits) to prevent them from being moved by high winds and possibly hurting someone.

  • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts to prevent flooding and unnecessary pressure on the awnings.

  • Remember that standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding but flood insurance does.

  • Listen to local area radio or TV stations for the latest information and updates.

  • Be prepared to evacuate quickly and know your routes and destinations.

  • Find a local emergency shelter.

  • Check your emergency kit and replenish any items missing or in short supply, especially medications or other medical supplies. Keep it nearby.

  • Fill plastic bottles with clean water for drinking.

  • Fill bathtubs and sinks with water for flushing the toilet or washing the floor or clothing.

  • Fill your car's gas tank, in case an evacuation notice is issued.

  • Turn off propane tanks and unplug small appliances.

  • Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind, such as bicycles and patio furniture.

  • Move your furniture and valuables to higher floors of your home.

  • Turn off utilities if told to do so by authorities to prevent damage to your home or within the community. If you shut your gas off, a professional is required to turn it back on.

  • Unplug small appliances to reduce potential damage from power surges that may occur.

  • Bring your companion animals indoors and maintain direct control of them. Be sure that your pet emergency kit is ready to go in case of evacuation.

After a Hurricane

  • Let friends and family know you’re safe - Register yourself as safe on the Safe and Well website

  • If evacuated, return only when authorities say it is safe to do so.

  • Continue listening to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio for updated information and instructions.

  • Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding.

  • Pay attention to how you and your loved ones are experiencing and handling stress. Promote emotional recovery by following these tips.

  • Do not use water that could be contaminated to wash dishes, brush teeth, prepare food, wash hands, make ice or make baby formula.

  • Watch animals closely and keep them under your direct control.

  • Help people who require additional assistance—infants, elderly people, those without transportation, large families who may need additional help in an emergency situation, people with disabilities, and the people who care for them

  • Stay out of any building that has water around it.

  • Keep away from loose or dangling power lines. Report them immediately to the power company.

  • Follow these tips for inspecting your home’s structure and utilities & systems after a hurricane.

  • Take pictures of home damage, both of the buildings and its contents, for insurance purpose

Above all else, stay safe!

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