FDOH reminds residents to get ready for hurricane season

TALLAHASSEE—The Florida Department of Health is reminding every Floridian to anticipate this year’s rapidly approaching hurricane season by making preparations during National Hurricane Preparedness Week. Every hurricane season should be treated as a serious threat, especially after the devastation caused by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate last year.

“Last summer, Hurricane Irma’s path was unpredictable and threatened every part of Florida at some point,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary Dr. Celeste Philip. “Hurricanes can pose a risk to anyone, even if your area is not in the predicated path. That’s why every Florida resident and visitor needs to have an updated emergency plan and a well-stocked emergency supply kit. I also strongly encourage individuals with special needs and their families to register now with your local emergency management office for special needs shelter accommodation.”

The department recommends the following tips to prepare for the 2018 hurricane season:

  • Determine the risks to your 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 evacuation 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 very important to 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. The Florida Division of Emergency Management offers a checklist for your emergency plan.

Everyone living in Florida should have an emergency preparedness kit that meets your 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 3 to 7 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, please 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, you can visit https://www.floridadisaster.org/counties/.

The Florida Department of Health’s website also has valuable information that can help you plan for emergency situations: http://www.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/emergency-preparedness-and-response/index.html.

To get information on special needs shelters in your county, visit the Florida Special Needs Registry: https://snr.floridadisaster.org/Signin?ReturnUrl=%2f.