Get a Plan
The hurricane season begins in early summer and lasts through late fall - June through November. It is important for you to know what to do in case of emergency. Your personal plan of action details who does what, where you go and what you take along. Practice drills will help prepare you in the event you need to implement your plan.
By following the steps provided here, and adapting them to fit your specific situation, you will be better prepared for a disastrous storm:
- Determine your destination (to a relative, friend, motel, hotel, or public shelter).
- On a map, outline the quickest and safest route needed to get to your destination. Remember, bridges and low-lying areas may be unsafe for travel during a storm.
- Register those in your family who needs special assistance for a county special needs program.
- If you have a pet, you may want to register it at a pet-friendly shelter if you need to evacuate the area.
- Review your insurance policies and coverage.
- Take photos and/or video footage of your property. Store this information with your important papers. Make copies of the documents and photographs and leave them with someone you trust.
- Visually inspect your home and property. Make any repairs necessary (check roof for loose shingles; the gutters and drains to ensure proper drainage; trees for loose branches; the grounds for debris or items such as lawn furniture that could blow away).
- Purchase plywood, rope, extra nails, and tarps for protecting windows and doors.
- Prepare an emergency supply kit.
- Learn where important switches and shut-off valves for gas, electricity, water, and other services are in your home.
- If you are going to shelter in place, make sure your home has shutters and other protective measures that you may need to utilize in case of disaster.
- Identify a safe area in the interior of your home without windows for you and your family to shelter in place.
Planning to Stay or Go
When planning, the important decision is whether you stay where you are or evacuate. You should plan for both possibilities. Use common sense and remember all of the Keys are vulnerable to flooding. If any emergency, local authorities may or may not immediately be able to provide information on what is happening and what you should do. You should watch TV, listen to the radio, or check the internet often for information or official instruction as it becomes available.