Prior to the hurricane
Prior to the hurricane
When a Hurricane Watch is announced, it means hurricane conditions are a real possibility for Florida. It does not mean a hurricane is imminent. When a Hurricane Watch is issued, listen for further advisories on a local radio or television station. Based on the Hurricane’s projected path, evacuation orders may be issued during the watch period.
This is the time to begin preliminary precautions:
. Fill your car with gas. Make sure the battery is in good condition. Review county and state roadway maps.
. Check your battery-powered equipment. Your radio could be your only link with the outside world during and after a hurricane.
. Lower or secure TV and radio antennas (CB or HAM) to prevent antennas coming in contact with electrical wires. Remove all items from the yard and open patios. Board up windows. Close shutters, awnings, windows, and drapes.
. If you plan to stay home, check your supply of emergency food and water. Emergency food supplies should include: canned fish or chicken or meat; fruits (fresh and dried); soups; juices; milk (fresh or powdered); dry cereal; cookies; and bread. Include any other non-refrigerated food necessary for your family. Small families should purchase single serving size containers. Obtain and fill clean containers with drinking water. Do not store drinking water in used milk containers.
. Pack your valuables in waterproof containers. Valuables include jewelry, titles, deeds, insurance papers, licenses, stocks, bonds, inventory list, etc., in waterproof containers. Place valuables in a safety deposit box. If you do not have a safety deposit box, keep your valuables with you. Keep important papers with you at all times.
. Refill prescription drugs. Obtain an extra supply of special medication.
. Make arrangements for the safety of your house pets. Pets are not allowed in designated emergency public shelters.
. Make arrangements for the safety of your boats. You should look for a protected off-shore location. No matter where you are, you definitely should try to get your boat out of the water during a hurricane.
Remember, if the situation warrants a mandatory evacuation, drawbridges will be closed to boat traffic.
. Fill clean plastic containers, cooking pots, or clean bathtubs with drinking water.
. Turn your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting. This will preserve food as long as possible in case of a power failure.
. Do not drain your swimming pool. Keep the swimming pool full to approximately 12 inches below the edge, to compensate for expected rainfall.
. Wedge sliding glass doors to prevent them from being lifted from their tracks. Brace your garage door. Protect appliances and furniture. Elevate them above floor level and cover them with plastic.
. Stay tuned to local radio and television stations for official weather statements and emergency instructions for your specific area.
. If county authorities advise or order evacuation of your area, LEAVE IMMEDIATELY.
. If you plan to go to an emergency public shelter, take these items: drinking water in a plastic container, nonperishable food, medicine, blankets, a complete change of clothing, personal hygiene items, flashlight with extra batteries and bulbs, quiet toys or games for children, plastic trash bags, eating and cooking utensils (plastic or paper), manual can and bottle opener, and a portable radio with extra batteries. Remember alcoholic beverages, pets, and weapons are not allowed in emergency public shelters.
. If you leave your home, shut off gas and electric at the main power source. Shut off water lines into your home. Lock all windows and doors before leaving your residence. Call relatives and friends and let them know what you are doing and where you are going. This will reduce phone system overloading from them trying to get in touch with you.
. If you live inland, away from the beaches and low lying
coastal areas and your home is well constructed,
stay home and make emergency preparations. Do not stay if officials recommend evacuation.
. Be alert for tornado watches and warnings. Hurricanes often spawn tornadoes. If your area receives a tornado warning, seek inside shelter immediately. Stay away from windows.
. If you stay in your residence, avoid using electric appliances. Seek refuge in a small, interior area such as a hallway, closet, or bathroom.
. If your evacuation route is impassible and you become trapped on low ground, seek refuge in a third or fourth floor hallway of a high rise building.