Preparing For A Storm

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Planning Is The Key

Storm experts and long-time residents agree that getting ready before a storm is critical for your safety and comfort during and after a storm. Gathering important supplies now means you won't be caught in long lines or worried you'll run out of time. Having a plan, sharing it with your family, and being prepared will greatly lessen the impact of any storm.

These steps will help you prepare for a hurricane:

Build a 72-Hour Survival Kit

An emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:
• Cash (ATMs may not work)
• Cellular phone & car charger
• Drinking water/containers (1 gallon per person per day, minimum 3 days)
• Prescription medicine (2 week supply)
• Batteries (2 spare sets for each device)
• Flashlights
• Battery-operated AM/FM radio 
• Manually-operated can opener
• First aid book & kit including bandages,
antiseptic, tape, compresses, & aspirin
• Gasoline & oil for generator/car, fuel for outdoor grill
• Water purification kit
• Three day supply of non-perishable foods
• Pet food/supplies
• Baby supplies (medicine, sterile water, diapers, formula, baby food, bottles)
• Disposable plates, cups, bowls, utensils
• Clean-up supplies (mop, broom, buckets, towels, sponges, rags, disinfectant, etc.)

Duplicate Important Documents

Also keep copies off-site, either in a safety deposit box or with someone you trust. Documents may include:

  • passport
  • drivers license
  • social security card
  • wills
  • deeds
  • financial statements
  • insurance information
  • marriage license
  • prescriptions

Inventory Valuables

This can be done through inventory lists, photographs, or video. Keep copies of this information off-site with your other important documents.

Designate an Out-of-Area Contact Person

Try to select someone that is far enough away to not be affected by the same emergency. Provide this person with the names and contact information of the people you want to keep informed of your situation. Instruct family members to call this person and tell them where they are. Write down all contact numbers and information on an Emergency Contact Card. Long distance phone service is often restored sooner than local service.

Designate a Safe Room

Select a safe room in the event that you are home during a hurricane (in non-mandatory evacuation situation). The safe room should be centrally located in the house, with no windows, at ground level, or in a basement. Safe rooms are typically bathrooms or closet rooms. Make sure your safe room has adequate ventilation.

Plan an Escape Route

Discuss the options you have in the case your home is no longer safe. If possible, plan to stay with a friend or relative who lives out of state or further inland. Please note that many in-state hotels tend to be full during the event of a hurricane. If you are bringing a pet, check with the hotel first or visit PetsWelcome.com for a list of pet-friendly hotels. Area Shelters are not designed for comfort and should be used as a last resort. Please see our list of Evacuation Procedures for more information.

Create a Pet Plan

Pets are members of the family, and storm conditions mean they will require special consideration to stay safe and healthy. If you plan to evacuate, plan on taking your pet with you or make prior arrangements for their care. DO NOT plan on letting your pet fend for themselves during and after the storm!

When Planning, Consider Special Needs

Children, seniors, people with disabilities, and family members that don’t speak English may need extra attention during a hurricane. If you, or someone you know, requires special assistance during an evacuation, register with the local emergency office of the disadvantaged person. Palm Beach County has a Special Needs Program (for citizens with certain medical problems during a major hurricane. FloridaDisaster.org features safety tips and hurricane facts especially for kids. Learn about emotional coping during a hurricane at NCTSNet.org.