In 2016, Florida saw the first large-scale hurricane event in a decade. Every hurricane season should be treated as a serious threat. Taking simple precautions can help residents stay healthy and safe when weather-related hazards impact the state.
“Last year’s active hurricane season served asa reminder about the importance of planning ahead for emergencies,” State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. Celeste Philip was quoted as saying in a recent press release. “I strongly encourage everyone to have an updated emergency plan and an emergency supply kit that is specific to your needs and the needs of your loved ones.”
Here’s how to prepare for the 2017 hurricane season:
- Determine the risks to home, property or business;
- Develop or update an emergency evacuation plan and review the plan carefully with your family. Don’t forget to include your pets in your plan;
- Make sure you have adequate insurance by contacting your insurance company or agent;
- Assemble a disaster supply kit;
- Strengthen your home and complete any needed repairs;
- Identify your trusted sources of information for any severe weather event or hurricane. Credible and timely information is important when taking the appropriate actions in the event of an emergency; and
- Complete a written hurricane plan and keep it in a safe, easily accessible location.
Everyone living in Florida should have an emergency preparedness kit that meets their specific needs. Some items you may want to include in your kit are:
- Water - At least one gallon a day per person;
- Non-perishable packaged or canned food enough for at least three to seven days;
- Any necessary medication - Enough for two weeks;
- Written instructions for care and medication, including medication dosages, a list of medical devices you use and a list of your doctors;
- First aid kit;
- Flashlights with extra batteries;
- Pet care items, including any pet medications; and
- Other important documents - Stored in a waterproof container.
In certain situations, it may be safest for you to evacuate from your house to a more secure location like a shelter. If you have a disability or a special need such as a medical condition, it may be beneficial for you to register with your local emergency management office.
All emergency management offices maintain a list of people within the community with a disability or a special need so they can be assisted quickly during an emergency.
To find contact information for your county’s emergency management office, visit http://www.floridadisaster.org/County_EM/ASP/county.asp.
The Florida Division of Emergency Management offers an interactive online tool to help develop an emergency plan for yourself, family or business. For more information or to create a plan, visit http://www.floridadisaster.org/getaplan/.
The Florida Department of Health’s website also has valuable information that can help you plan for emergency situations. Visit http://www.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/emergency-preparedness-and-response/index.html.
For more information about the Florida Department of Health, visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.