Plan Now! - Create your Hurricane Disaster Plan before the Storm
- Identify the type of hazards that could affect your family and your home (e.g., flooding, wind, storm surge)
- Determine the safest room in your home to protect you from these hazards in you decide to stay and ride out the storm in your home.
- Determine where you would go if you decide to evacuate your home prior to the storm, and the fastest route (and at least one alternative route) to get there (See If YOU EVACUATE below). Know where the closest hurricane evacuation shelter is located, even if you do not initially plan to go there.
- Designate an out-of-state contact person so all your family members have a single point of contact if you are separated (make sure all of your family members have the telephone number of the designated contact person).
- Post emergency telephone numbers by your phones and make sure your all of your family members know how and when to call 912.
- Determine what to do with your pets if you decide to evacuate.
- Carefully review your insurance coverage to ensure your home is protected from all types of hazards which may result from the storm (including flood, wind and storm surge). Check with your insurance agent if you have questions - do not assume any type of coverage is included under your homeowners insurance (many exclusion may apply which limit your coverage).
- Stock a Disaster Supply Kit (see DISASTER SUPPLY KIT below) with emergency supplies.
- Prepare by taking First Aid, CPR and disaster preparedness classes.
IF YOU EVACUATE …
- If you decide to evacuate or you are ordered to evacuate, do not wait or delay your departure - even slight delays in starting your evacuation can result in significantly longer travel times as traffic congestion worsens.
- If your designated evacuation location is a hotel or motel, make sure you have firm reservations before you leave. Hotel and motels will fill quickly once evacuations begin. If you are bringing pets, make sure the hotel or motel will accept them.
- Be prepared to wait in traffic and make sure you fill up your tank before you go. Do not risk running out of gas en route to your evacuation destination - consider alternate safe destinations rather than risk running out of gas.
- Bring your Disaster Supply Kit.
- If you are unable to stay with friends, family, or in a hotel or motel, then go to your nearest hurricane shelter.
DISASTER RECOVERY KIT
If a hurricane hits your area, you may lose power for your home and not have access for several days to daily essentials such as food, water, medicines or health care. For planning purposes, you should assume that you will not have access for several days to, among other things, grocery stores, pharmacies, electricity, natural gas, drinkable tap water, television, phone service, hospitals or health care facilities, banks or cash machines, clothing or pet stores, or gas stations. So, at a minimum, stock a Disaster Recovery Kit with the following:
- Clean Water - at least 1 gallon daily per person for 3 to 7 days
- Food - at least enough for 3 to 7 days
- non-perishable packaged or canned food and beverages
- specialty foods for infants, persons with medical conditions, and pets
- snack foods
- non-electric can opener
- cooking tools and fuel (e.g., propane gas for barbecue grills)
- paper plates and plastic utensils
- Blankets, pillows, and sleeping supplies
- Clothing - seasonal / rain gear/ sturdy shoes
- First aid kit, medicines, and prescription drugs
- Special Items - for babies, persons with medical conditions, and pets
- Toiletries, hygiene items, and moisture wipes
- Batteries (of varying types and sizes necessary to operate recovery kit items)
- Insect repellent
- Fans - battery operated
- Radio - Battery operated and NOAA weather radio
- Telephones - Fully charged cell phone with extra battery and a traditional (not cordless) telephone set; battery operated charger for cell phones
- Cash (with some small bills) and Credit Cards
- Toys, Books and Games
- Important documents - in a waterproof container or watertight re-sealable plastic bag (e.g., insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, social security card, pet care information)
- Vehicle fuel tanks filled
- Pet care items (keep records with important documents)
- proper identification, immunization records, medication
- ample supply of food and water
- bowls for food and water
- a carrier or cage
- newspapers and trash bags for clean up
- muzzle and leash
SECURE YOUR HOME
The most important precaution you can take to reduce damage to your home and property is to protect the areas where wind can enter. It is important to strengthen the exterior of your house so wind and debris do not tear large openings in it. You can do this by protecting and reinforcing these five critical areas:
- Straps (Roof to Wall Connection)
- Garage Doors
Contact the local building code official to find out what requirements are necessary for home improvement projects.
Flood damage is not usually covered by homeowners insurance. Do not make assumptions - check your policy or contact your insurance agent regarding whether your home is covered.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR PETS
Contact your veterinarian or local humane society for information on preparing your pets for an hurricane type emergency.
BEFORE A DISASTER
- Make sure that your pets are current in vaccinations. Pet shelters may require proof of vaccines
- Have a current photograph
- Keep a collar with identification on your pet and have a leash on hand
- Have a suitable pet carrier for each animal
- Remember your pets in your Hurricane Disaster Plan
DURING THE DISASTER
- Make reservations if you need to board your pets in a pet shelter - note that many may be filled on first come, first served basis.
- Animals brought to a pet shelter may be required to have the following: an identification collar, rabies tag, identification on all belongings, a carrier or cage, a leash, an ample supply of food and water, bowls, necessary medications, specific care instructions, and newspapers or trash bags for clean-up.
- If riding out the storm at home, bring pets indoor in advance.
AFTER THE DISASTER
- Walk your pets on a leash to allow them to become re-oriented to their home, and to avoid dangers such as debris, downed power lines, and stray animals.
- If your pets become lost after a disaster, contact the local animal control office to find out where found animals can be recovered.
- Remember that stress after a disaster may cause your pets to become more aggressive or defensive - a further reason to walk them with a leash.