Living in Florida, especially South Florida, it's more important than ever that residents are well prepared for the severe weather that affects our coastline! As we officially begin Hurricane Season (June 1 - November 30) Take charge of your safety by making a hurricane plan ahead of time and stocking up on vital supplies.
Gearing Up On a Budget: Purchase an extra can or box of nonperishable food or other supplies for your hurricane kit during each trip to the grocery store, making use of coupons and sales when available. Store fuel in an approved container, holding five gallons or less, in a cool, dry, ventilated and secure area, away from appliances. Keep it out of the reach of children. Combine resources with family, friends and neighbors to save money buying in bulk, then divide the items up. Fill containers 2/3 full with tap water and keep them in your freezer for ice after a storm. Make bed rolls from your existing comforters and blankets. Remember pet supplies and any special needs your family may have.
Before The Storm: Properly pruning trees and shrubs before a hurricane approaches can reduce the debris generated during a storm. Proper tree pruning also increases the likelihood that a tree can weather a storm. Make sure to consult or hire a certified and licensed arborist prior to pruning trees. Dispose of small trash items and yard waste with your twice-weekly garbage collection service. If you receive automated waste cart service, all waste must fit in the green waste cart and the lid must close. If you receive manual collection service, small trash items may be set out in bags, cans or bundles with your household garbage. Items should weigh no more than 50 lbs. each and bundles of trash should measure no more than 4 ft. in length. Schedule a bulky waste pickup before a storm threatens by calling 311. Remember, you must schedule your pickup first before placing trash at the right-of-way. Drop off trash at one of 13 Neighborhood Trash and Recycling Centers. Residents who receive waste collection services from Miami-Dade County can dispose of tree cuttings and other household trash at one of Miami-Dade County’s 13 TRCs. Centers are open daily from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m
During A Hurricane: Monitor your radio or television for weather updates and instructions from public safety officials.
Stay indoors, preferably in a room with few or no windows.
Take your emergency kit and disaster supplies with you if you move from room to room.If flooding threatens your home, turn off electricity at the main breaker.
Use flashlights, not candles or kerosene lamps, as your light source.
If you lose power, turn off all major appliances.
Avoid using the phone and do not take a bath or shower during the storm.
Fight the temptation to go outside during the “eye of the storm.” There’s only a brief period of calm before hurricane force winds return.
Keep children informed about what’s happening and watch for signs of stress.
Keep animals in their carriers.
Get in the tub or under your mattress if your home begins to come apart.
After A Hurricane: Remain inside until local authorities say it is safe to go outside. If you must go outside, watch for fallen objects and downed electrical wires. Continue to monitor the radio or TV for advice and/or instructions from local government. Call 311 or visit the Solid Waste Management webpage for information on waste collection services and hurricane debris pickups.
Inspect your home for damage, assuring that it’s safe to stay there. Check for gas leaks, if applicable.Stay out of areas of heavy storm impact; do not sightsee. Obey all curfew and emergency orders when issued.
Stay away from downed power lines and report them to FPL.
Do not operate charcoal grills, propane camping stoves or generators indoors. See more tips on generator safety.
Do not drive or walk through standing water. It may be much deeper than you realize and there may be hidden hazards.
Place piles of debris on the right-of-way, away from fences, mailboxes, drains, power lines and low-hanging wires. Do not place debris in vacant lots or in front of commercial properties, nurseries or farmland.
Follow local guidelines for trimming, debris removal and reporting pre/post-storm hazards and keep numbers handy in the event power is out and computer access is not possible. Contact Village of Pinecrest 305.234.2111, Palmetto Bay 305-259-1234 or 311 for all other Miami dade neighborhoods.
If you live on a property that is not adjacent to a public road right-of-way, do not move debris to the nearest right-of-way until instructed to do so by the County.
Contact your insurance agent. Take pictures of damage. Keep good records of repair and cleaning costs.
If you live in a gated community, do not remove debris from your property to a staging site within the community or to a public road right-of-way adjacent to the community until instructed to do so by the County.
Be patient and careful. Clean up after a storm can take time.
Report lost or damaged garbage or recycling carts for replacement by calling 311. Discard any refrigerated food that you suspect is spoiled.
If you want to support relief efforts being done in other affected areas, monetary donations to established voluntary organizations (such as the American Red Cross) is the primary way to help.
Some other useful resources:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Hurricane Preparedness Tips
The Weather Channel’s Hurricane Tracker
Florida Division of Emergency Management: What should I do BEFORE, DURING, and AFTER a hurricane?
FEMA: What should I do BEFORE, DURING, and AFTER a hurricane?
Pet and Animal Emergency Planning
In Florida Hurricane awareness is a part of life! Be prepared and Stay Safe!