Hurricane season is here: What to know
It’s time to prepare just in case a storm threatens us this year. Do you have enough supplies? Do you know what to do? Here are guides to help you through the season
Do your flashlights work? Are your batteries leaking? Have your canned foods expired? Are your home and health records updated?
With hurricane season beginning June 1, now is the time to make sure your supplies are ready when South Florida is threatened by a storm.
“Just having enough supplies to make it through a hurricane isn’t enough,” Miami-Dade County’s Emergency Management said on Twitter. “You need plenty to make it through what could be a LONG recovery period too. Be sure you have supplies in your kit for all members of your family, including pets.”
NOAA’s forecast for the 2022 season calls for an active season. Forecasters are predicting 14 to 21 named storms, 6 to 10 of which will grow into hurricanes and 3 to 6 that will develop into major hurricanes of Category 3 or higher.
“Just like every person is different, every storm is different,” said Dennis Feltgen, a meteorologist with the National Hurricane Center in South Florida. “Little wiggles matter. You have to be prepared for the worst impact.”
Here’s a list of items to prepare:
Hurricane supply kit
Kits need to be “freshened up” every year, Feltgen said.
While you may not have used all the items in your kit last year, what remains inside might have expired.
“Just because you put it there, doesn’t mean it’s still good,” he said. “It needs another look.
And emergency managers say people should stock up with a seven-day supply.
Here are some items to monitor for expiration:
Bottled water: Water doesn’t come with an expiration date, but the plastic in which it’s housed can degrade. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, bottled water has an indefinite shelf life. So not all bottled water has an expiration date, but check to be sure.
Batteries and flashlights: While batteries seem to last forever, they have expiration dates. Make sure to check the battery pack or cell for a best-use date to know when to toss and buy anew. Also, check that your flashlight bulbs still work. Old batteries may corrode them.
Non-perishable foods: Food can be the first thing to go bad in your hurricane supply kit, so recheck those expiration dates. Stock up on non-perishable foods with long shelf lives.
Change of clothes: Fresh clothes can be helpful if you have to leave your home and move to a shelter.
Maps: While it may be old school, having a paper map of the area may come in handy if cellular service is unavailable or phones are dead.
Medicine and prescriptions: Make sure to check your medicine supply in your kit and the expiration dates. For prescriptions, NOAA advises a three-day supply.
First-aid kit: Make sure you have a supply of treatment in case you get hurt in a disaster. Buying a complete kit is an option, such as from the American Red Cross, but you can make your own. A kit for a family of four should have items including a first-aid guide, compress dressings, adhesive bandages, antibiotic ointment packets, antiseptic wipe packets, an emergency blanket.
Cash: Old-fashioned cash is important to have in case electronic bank services aren’t available.
family emergency plan
Some things to include:
Emergency contact information: Miami-Dade County advises a preassigned contact person for family members to call in an emergency. Also, keep on hand a list of contact information of other family members, friends, neighbors and doctors.
Document safety: Collect and store important documents in waterproof containers or bags. These include birth certificates, Social Security cards, bank records, driver’s licenses and insurance cards.
Accessibility: Different family members may have different needs in times of crisis. Document how to assist the elderly, disabled and minors. This could be collecting certain medications, wheelchairs, formula and diapers.
Home protection: Make sure you have hurricane shutters installed and tested before a storm.
Lawn care: Make sure everything is tied down or inside. Miami-Dade advises to prune trees and do general lawn care several months before hurricane season. Also, make sure loose branches or debris are cleared ahead of a storm.
Shutting off utilities: If you are heading to a shelter, research how to quickly and safely shut off utilities to avoid damage to the home.
Plan for evacuation: Know your evacuation zone and the location of the nearest shelters. Miami-Dade County offers buses that will take you them.
Our pets are our family, too, so it’s important to include them when creating a hurricane preparedness kit and working on a plan for evacuation.
“Whatever preparation plans you make for yourself, remember to include your pets,” Miami-Dade County says on its website. “If you’re riding out the storm in the home of a family member, friend or neighbor, take your pets with you.”
Pet supplies in your kit, Add about two weeks of pet food in your preparedness kit. Miami-Dade also advises to have bowls, litter, licenses on hand.
pet medicine: Have at least three days of prescription medications for your pet.
pet safety: Storms can be stressful environments for your pet. Miami-Dade advises to keep your pet in a crate or carrier and find a safe area where you can be together. Keep collar and tag on in case you get separated. It’s always best to microchip your pets in case they lose the collar.
Going to an evacuation shelter:
Miami-Dade Animal Services operates pet-friendly shelters during emergencies, with no pre-registration. They’ll be announced as needed.
Four pets are allowed per person allowed into these shelters. Animals allowed inside are birds, ferrets, gerbils, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, rats and rabbits under 10 pounds. To get into one, your pet will be examined by a licensed veterinarian when you arrive to determine if the pet presents a safety risk. You also need to bring these:
Proof of residency within an evacuation zone. Examples include: a valid photo ID and recent utility bill.
Current vaccination records for each pet. A visible Miami-Dade County dog license is required.
Crate, leash, muzzle.
If a pet becomes a threat at a shelter, it will be given to an animal control officer.
This story was originally published May 31, 2022 9:34 AM.