For more information
READY FOR A HURRICANE
This guide is a compilation of the best
advice from experts such as the National Hurricane Center, American Red
Cross and Emergency Management Offices.
Experts believe the best way to cope with
a hurricane is to prepare a plan in advance. In addition, you must be
able to separate myths from facts.
WHAT IS A HURRICANE
A hurricane is a type of tropical storm
with strong winds circulating around an extreme low-pressure area. When
wind speed reaches 74 miles per hour, the storm is officially classified
as a HURRICANE.
A hurricane's spiraling wind and rain bands
can extend hundreds of miles from its eye. As the storm approaches land,
tornadoes may form around its outer edges.
The most dangerous part of a hurricane
is the storm surge, the large dome of water that floods the coast as the
storm makes landfall. This surge is the greatest threat to life. Even
if the storm strikes at low tide, the water level might reach as high
as 20 feet at the shoreline. Flooding is also caused by heavy rains as
the hurricane moves inland.
Most hurricanes start in the tropical waters
of the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. Although
"hurricane season" runs from June 1st to November 30th, most
hurricanes strike I August, September and October.
TROPICAL DISTURBANCE: An organized system
of clouds and thunderstorms without a defined circulation.
TROPICAL STORM: An organized system of
strong thunderstorms with a defined circulation and maximum sustained
winds of 39 to 73 mph.
HURRICANE WARNING: Hurricane conditions
are expected in 24-36 hours. You should complete all hurricane preparations.
Follow evacuation instructions from local officials. Leave immediately
after an evacuation notice is issued to avoid delays.
HURRICANE WATCH: Hurricane conditions are
possible within 36-48 hours. You should begin preliminary preparations
to protect life and property. Stay tuned to radio and TV for weather updates.
SAFFIR/SIMPSON HURRICANE SCALE
The severity of hurricanes is rated using
the Saffir/Simpson scale. This scale assigns a storm to one of five categories
based on its wind speed. Category one is a minimal hurricane and category
five is the strongest. Using this scale helps estimate the potential property
damage and expected coastal flooding from a hurricane.
Categories Wind Speed
1 74-95 mph
2 96-110 mph
3 111-130 mph
4 131-155 mph
5 155 + mph
Before hurricane season begins, experts
agree that one of the best things to do is prepare a family hurricane
plan - an outline that specifies what every member of the family will
do before, during and after a hurricane.
Some general guidelines for preparing your
family hurricane plan are:
- Find out if you live in an evacuation zone.
- Call your local emergency information center.
- Decide in advance where your family will stay during a hurricane
- at home, a friend's home, a shelter or a hotel. Pick a back-up location
in case there is a problem with your first choice. Make sure everyone
knows the location, address and phone number.
- Ask an out-of-town relative or friend to be your emergency contact,
and make sure everyone knows that person's phone number. Tell your contact
person where you will be during the hurricane.
- Make arrangements for those with special needs.
- Talk to your employer about whether you will have to work in the
event of a hurricane. If so, decide who will pick up the children from
- Practice and review your plan.
A hurricane supply kit should be put together long before a hurricane
threatens your area.
The following are procedures that should be followed for Y2K-related
HURRICANE SUPPLY KIT CHECKLIST
Have a TWO WEEKS supply of each item for each person in your home.
- Seven gallons of water per person (1/2 gallon for drinking and 2 gallon
for bathing, tooth brushing, etc.).
- Store water in clean, plastic containers.
Purchase foods that require no refrigeration and little preparation
- Ready-to-eat canned food
- Canned juices, milk, soup (if powdered, store extra water)
- Soft drinks, instant coffee and tea.
- Lots of ice (You can freeze your water supply.)
- Formula, bottles, powdered milk, jarred baby foods
- Diapers, moist towelettes and special medications
- Newspapers or cat litter for your pet's sanitary needs
- Moist canned foods in order to preserve water
- Plastic sheets to cover the floor of pet's room
- First aid kit, rubbing alcohol
- Aspirin, non-aspirin pain reliever and antacid
- Extra prescription medication (especially for those with heart problems
- Ask your physician or pharmacist how to store prescription medication.
- Toilet paper, towels, soap, shampoo
- Personal and feminine hygiene products
- Denture needs, contact lenses and an extra pair of eye glasses
- Sun protection, insect repellent
- Battery-operated radio, flashlights, non-electric can opener, extra
- Charcoal, waterproof matches, extra propane for gas grills (Use grills
- ABC-rated fire extinguisher in a small canister
- Portable cooler
- Plenty of absorbent towels, plastic trash bags
- Wind-up or battery-operated clock
- Tarp or sheet plastic, duct tape, hammer and nails (for temporary
- Cleaning supplies such as chlorine bleach
- Aluminum foil, paper napkins and plates, plastic cups.
- Can of spray paint (can be used to identify your home for insurance
adjusters in case it's damaged)**
- ** These items can cause fires and shouldn't be stored inside the
- At least one change of clothing per person, sturdy shoes, hat and
- Blankets and pillows or sleeping bags
Complete this checklist before hurricane season:
- Learn the elevation of your area and find out if you're in an evacuation
- Make a list of loose items outside your home that should be put inside
or tied down such as garbage cans, plants, etc. Don't forget the TV
antenna. Urge neighbors to do the same.
- Trim trees and bushes before hurricane season. Excess limbs can break
windows and damage roofs.
- Install hurricane shutters that meet building code requirements.
- Inspect the roof for loose tiles or shingles and debris.
- The main electric breaker, water valve and gas valve may need to be
shut off. Know their locations.
- Photograph or videotape your home and personal property.
A mobile home is vulnerable to wind and water damage during a hurricane.
Although you must leave your mobile home before a storm, you can plan
ahead to minimize property damage.
- Check with the county zoning office to ensure that the mobile home
is installed to code.
- Check mobile home tie-downs for rust or breakage.
- Consider an inspection by local building officials.
- Know where to evacuate to.
Residents of high-rise buildings should be aware that winds are stronger
at higher elevations.
- If you live on a high floor, and your building is outside the evacuation
zone, you should relocate to the third floor or below.
- Condo owners should get hurricane shutters for all sliding glass doors
- Renters you are responsible for securing your area. Follow home-safety
hurricane procedures, such as installing shutters.
- Buy renters or condo insurance for all personal property.
- Make sure the condo association has adequate insurance.
- Appoint floor captains to check on residents with special needs before
and after a storm.
- \Know the route to the nearest stairs. (Elevators may not work during
and after a storm.)
It's important to plan an evacuation route before the storm hits. Only
people in evacuation areas and/or vulnerable structures should evacuate,
so as not to clog major highways.
- Decide where you'll stay and what route you'll take. It's best to
stay at a protected dwelling inland within your county.
- If you live alone, consider "teaming-up" with a neighbor
to work out an evacuation plan.
- If you must go to a shelter, stay tuned to the radio or TV for shelter
information. Shelter locations may change.
- If someone in your home requires special attention or medical care,
contact your County's "Special Needs Centers". Call your emergency
management office for instructions.
SHELTER SUPPLY KIT
Supply kit items should be stored in easy to carry containers, such as
a backpack or duffle bag. The following items are recommended by American
- Bottled water and packaged food
- Non-electric can opener and battery powered radio
- Change of clothing, rain gear and sturdy shoes
- Blankets and pillows
- First aid kit, prescription medicine, and toiletries
- Cards, games and books
- One flashlight per person, extra batteries
- Credit cards, cash and identification
- Extra set of car keys and a list of family physicians
- Special items for kids include: baby supplies, games and toys, favorite
food, coloring books and crayons.
Check with your veterinarian about whether you need to take any special
precautions especially with an exotic or sick pet.
- Shelters do not accept pets. If you're going to board your pet, make
arrangements immediately with local kennels.
- Call your veterinarian or the Humane Society for a list of kennels.
- Pets should have collars with current identification and rabies tags.
All yearly vaccinations should be administered.
- Don't tranquilize your pets.
Boats are vulnerable during a hurricane. You can minimize damage by following
these safety precautions:
- Make sure your boat is watertight and in sound condition. Absentee
owners should arrange a supervised inspection.
- If you keep your boat on a trailer, check with the manufacturer about
the best way to secure your boat during a storm.
- Consider moving arrangements in advance. Check the size and strength
of the deck hardware (primary chocks, cleats, bitts, bollards, winches).
Hurricane moorings should have double lines.
- Purchase necessary hurricane materials such as additional mooring
lines, crew anchors, fenders, fender boards, chafing gear and anchors.
- Check your marina contract for policies and procedures for hurricane
conditions. Most require evacuation.
- Ask local marine and law enforcement agencies for evacuation plans.
Bridges over waterways may be locked down for land evacuation routes.
- If you plan to seek safe harbor inland, remember that water management
officials discourage using the Miami River or drainage canals. Boats
may damage or block flood control devices.
- Know your route if you plan to evacuate by boat. Be aware of navigation
requirements and restrictions along the route. NOTE: Marine experts
say that you should move your boat at least 48 hours before a hurricane
is expected to hit the area.
- Rehearse your boat movement plan.
- Make sure your insurance policy is current.
- Record and keep your boat's registration number, description and location
- Keep current photographs or videos of your boat.
For more information on marine-related issues, call your local Emergency
- Before hurricane season starts each year, you should review your insurance
coverage with your agent. Insurance policies provided by the JUA are
more expensive than those issued by other companies, but they are available
as a last resort before a hurricane hits, if you don't have homeowner's
insurance. Other insurance companies may not want to provide insurance
once a hurricane is within striking distance.
- Make sure you have adequate coverage, especially if you have made
any additions to your home, have expensive items or have had you property
- Check your policy for windstorm and flood coverage.
Make sure your standard homeowner's policy covers windstorm damage caused
by wind or hail. Consider purchasing flood insurance if your home is
in a flood zone as determined by the National Flood Insurance Program.
Since there is an automatic five-day waiting period for flood insurance,
purchasing flood insurance should be done before hurricane season.
- Know what your policy does and doesn't cover.
Review your policy for deductible, exclusion and coverage information
including: relocation, temporary living expenses and personal injury.
Standard homeowners' policies usually limit coverage on valuable jewelry,
silver and guns.
- Update your list of personal belongings.
Maintain a current room-by-room inventory, including: serial numbers,
purchase dates and cost of valuables. If your home is damaged or destroyed,
it will be hard to remember details. Since your insurance company may
require proof of cost, attach receipts to the inventory list. Videotapes
or photographs are a good way to document your personal inventory.
- Safeguard your records.
Keep a copy of your policy and your inventory records in a safe deposit
box. Make two copies; keep one in a fireproof home vault and give the
other to a friend or relative. If your property is damaged, you will
need quick access to this information.
For more information on insurance coverage, call Florida's toll-free
Insurance Consumer Help line at 1-800-342-2762 or 1-800-528-7094.
HURRICANE PROTECTION PRODUCTS
Without protection, your home is at risk if a hurricane strikes. All windows
and doors should be protected with products that meet the new building
code. Shutters, windows and doors that meet strict hurricane resistance
standards are classified as "hurricane protection products."
In addition to new shutters, there are also hurricane-resistant windows
and doors that provide protection without using shutters. These windows
and doors seal against the rain and windblown debris. If hurricane-force
winds happen to get inside the house, your roof will not survive. Roofs
are not designed to withstand wind pressure pushing up from the inside.
Since hurricane- force winds can come from any direction, it's important
to protect the entire house.
When shopping for your hurricane protection products, make sure the products
you choose are approved.
Shutters come in different shapes and sizes. Any shutter system certified
as "impact-resistant" by Dade County Building Code is very strong.
TYPES OF SHUTTERS
- Storm panels: These vertical shutters are stored in a stack and are
installed at the time of the storm.
- Accordion shutters: These folding, permanent shutters slide in pre-installed
tracks to protect windows and doors. They work well to protect sliding
glass doors and condominiums. No storage is required.
- Roll-down shutters: These electric or hand-cranked shutters slide
vertically to cover windows and doors. They're quick and easy when securing
your home before a storm. Roll-downs work well on windows with no outside
Whichever shutters you choose, make sure they're installed by a licensed
contractor and that you get a permit. Insist on a "final inspection"
from your city or county building department. Beware of companies that
want to install shutters without a permit.
Most plywood shutters don't meet the new building code or insurance industry
standards, nor will they provide your house with the best protection.
WHY NOT PLYWOOD?
- It doesn't meet the new building code. Technically, it's illegal.
- No insurance discounts are offered if you use plywood shutters.
- If not secured properly, they can become dangerous flying objects.
Installation is very time-consuming and difficult. It can't be done
alone or when a hurricane is approaching.
- Plywood is bulky and deteriorates over time.
- It's ineffective in protecting sliding glass doors and big windows.
A LAST RESORT
If there is no other alternative and you must use plywood as a last resort,
the following tips should help reduce the risk of injury or damage. To
ensure the safety of your family, home and others, don't take shortcuts
when using plywood.
- To avoid injury, don't work alone.
- When measuring for shutters, add at least 4 inches on all sides of
the opening to allow room for anchors.
- Buy plywood that is at least ½” thick. Be sure the plywood
is treated for outdoor use.
- Pre-drill holes at least every 12 inches in both the wood and the
wall for screws and anchors. Don't drill into molding or stucco that
- Install 1-2 inch anchors into holes. Fill anchors with silicone caulk
to keep out dirt and corrosion.
- Use 1-inch diameter washers on all screws and bolts.
- Keep screws, washers and anchors together in a plastic bag in a place
that is easily accessible.
- Label each shutter with the window it fits.
- Practice putting shutters up now to avoid delays during a Hurricane
Window film shouldn't be considered as a substitute for shutters. Film
doesn't protect your home from flying debris. When hurricane-blown debris
strikes a window that has film installed the window frame may not resist
the impact and can collapse.
Since new skylights meet the current building code, it's suggested that
you replace the old skylights. There may be cases when a skylight can
be protected by shuttering or bracing it from underneath; however, this
isn't advisable and may cost as much as a new skylight.
There are currently several different skylights that meet the new building
Businesses should be aware of measures they can take to protect their
facilities and employees. The primary objective should be to ensure that
the business can continue to function after a hurricane has threatened
the area. Without a complete plan to protect the business, a quick recovery
from a hurricane will be difficult.
All business-hurricane plans should include: employee responsibilities
at work and home, an emergency management team, communication lines, physical
facilities and insurance coverage.
Since planning for a hurricane is a year-round task, the plan should be
updated annually. The hurricane update plan should include: employee updates,
implementation of plan (hurricane drills are advised), and insurance policy
BUSINESS PROTECTION TIPS
- Identify and protect vital records and back up all key files.
- Protect electronic equipment and store back-up files in a safe place.
- Elect a "hurricane staff" that will stay at the company
during a hurricane (if it's outside the evacuation zone).
- Make sure a safe room has been identified for these employees, and
they know the location.
- A hurricane supply kit should be available to employees.
- Know what hurricane protection products are needed and where they're
- Employees should be informed when
they'll be released from work and when they should return. Give employees
enough time to secure their homes and families.
- Develop a 24-hour Emergency Contact
List with phone numbers of key employees.
- Give each contact person the names, addresses and phone numbers of
employees in their group.
- Since many employees will need money immediately after the storm,
consider paying them before they leave to prepare their homes.
- Review the company's insurance policy and make sure it provides adequate
- Practice hurricane drills at least once yearly.
- Have extra cash and blank checks available in case you need extra
money after the storm.
- Set up an out-of-town telephone number so employees can all to check
in and receive company information.
- Establish a temporary location for business operations in case your
facility is damaged.
HURRICANE WATCH PLAN
By now, you should have completed your pre-season preparations and started
safeguarding your property. Keep in mind that the storm can change course
within the next 36 hours.
OUTSIDE YOUR HOME
Have your storm shutters ready for use and make sure you have all the
- Do not prune your trees at this time. Loose branches can become dangerous
projectiles. Take any household or yard trash to your nearest Trash
and Recycling Center for disposal. These Centers will remain open throughout
the emergency, 24 hours a day.
- Fuel and service all family vehicles.
INSIDE YOUR HOME
- Check your Hurricane Supply Kit.
- Prepare a "safe room" if you plan to stay in your home.
This room or closet should be small and away from all windows, skylights
and outside doors.
- Make sure all emergency battery- operated equipment is in working
- Get extra cash or traveler's checks. Banks might be closed for days
if a hurricane strikes.
- Inspect and secure mobile home tie downs.
- Pack breakable items in padded boxes and put them on the floor.
- Put lamps and taped mirrors in a padded bathtub.
- Locate storm shutters for sliding doors and windows.
- Prepare your "safe room" (interior bathroom, hallway, stairway,
- Listen to TV or radio for evacuation instructions. If ordered to evacuate,
Marine experts say that if you plan to move your boat, you should do
it at least 48 hours before a hurricane is expected to hit the area. (This
is normally before a Hurricane Watch is issued.)
You may need the extra time to move your boat since bridges might be locked
down for land evacuation after a hurricane warning is issued.
- Fuel tanks are full, batteries are fully charged, and fuel filters
- Firefighting gear is fully functional.
- Cockpit drains are clear and bilges are clean.
- To remove or secure anything that can blow away or is susceptible
to hurricane damage.
- That boats are moored at locations near the ocean because they may
take a beating against the dock during the storm surge. For the best
offshore mooring procedures and locations, check local regulations.
- To secure your boat from all possible directions; use more than one
- To not tie boats together; the probability of damage will be greater.
Here are some things you will need to plan prior to the hurricane season:
- Plan on taking care of yourself without electricity. Remember that
the person taking care of you and your electrical devices may not be
available right before and directly after the storm. If you are not
available to do so, make other arrangements before hand.
- If you are elderly, frail, or a person with disabilities and have
friends or relatives that can help you with your property, housing and
welfare, contact them now so that they can include your needs as part
of their hurricane planning. They will need to include the time it will
take for you to gather items you need and transportation time. You should
rehearse this as part of your yearly hurricane preparation in May.
- Make a list of prescribed medications, and get a month's supply. You
should also make copies of the prescriptions. Your pharmacy's records
may not be available right away.
- If you normally require a special diet, make sure you take along three
days supply of it in containers that will be easy to open.
- Transfer to a manual wheelchair if you are in a battery operated one.
You may not be able to recharge the batteries.
- Make sure you are wearing an I.D. bracelet with your name, medications,
allergies and contact information.
- If you are in a nursing home, ask to see the hurricane plan that details
where and when the residents will be evacuated. Be sure to let your
family and friends know where you will be taken in case of evacuation.
HURRICANE WARNING PLAN
OUTSIDE YOUR HOME
- Install hurricane shutters over windows and doors. Taping windows
isn't recommended. Though it may reduce flying glass, taping won't keep
the window from breaking.
- Retrieve loose items from outside. Anchor objects that can not be
brought inside your home.
- When taking down the television antenna, unplug the set and make sure
that the antenna does not come in contact with power lines.
- If you own a swimming pool, don't drain it. Add extra chlorine to
prevent contamination and turn off the circuit breaker to pool equipment.
- If the filter pump is exposed, wrap it securely with plastic.
- Park your car in a garage or by the side of a building. This will
protect at least one side of the car from flying debris.
INSIDE YOUR HOME
- Store all important documents and valuables in portable, waterproof
containers and place them at a high elevation.
- Clean bathtub, jugs, bottles and cooking utensils thoroughly. Fill
jugs and bottles with water for drinking. Caulk bathtub drain and fill
with water to be used for sanitary purposes.
- Turn up refrigerator and freezer to maximum cold and don't open unless
necessary. Fill the freezer with extra water jugs or with crumpled paper,
to keep it tightly packed. These suggestions can maintain food-preserving
temperatures for up to two days without electricity.
- Take pictures off the walls and store them in a closet, preferably
on a high shelf.
- Put as many loose objects as possible, in drawers for safekeeping.
- Keep all windows securely closed.
- Turn-off the water where it enters the home.
- Turn-off fuel lines and gas tanks. Don't disconnect fuel lines.
- Bring in or secure all outdoor objects.
- Leave! Don't stay in a mobile home during a hurricane.
- Install shutters on windows and doors. Remove any loose items from
- If you live in an evacuation zone or on an upper floor of a high-rise
- Stay tuned to radio or TV, for instructions from your Emergency Management
- If you live on the coast, barrier islands, in a mobile home, a high-rise
in an evacuation zone, or in the flood plain of a river, EVACUATE once
the order is given.
- Leave early to avoid heavy traffic.
- Bring in outside pets. If you must evacuate, take pets to your predetermined
- If you must leave pets behind, put them in an interior room with plenty
of food and fresh water.
- Don't tranquilize pets. They must be as alert as possible to survive.
- Make sure all of your pets have identification and rabies tags.
Don't move your boat if it will take you more than a few hours. You might
get stranded aboard during the storm.
- Tie the boat to the trailer.
- Place wooden blocks between the trailer frame and the axle inside
- Let half the air out of the trailer tires.
- Fill boat one-third full of fresh water to help hold it down.
- Tie the boat to screw anchors secured in the ground. Consider a location
away from trees.
- Never remain aboard a boat during the storm.
- Listen to the radio or TV to find out which shelters are open. Don't
go to a shelter unless you know it's open. Local media will also broadcast
pickup locations and schedules for county bus transportation to shelters.
- Eat before going to a shelter. Food may not be immediately available.
Bring the Shelter Supply Kit (See p. 19).
- If you're taking a bus to a shelter, you may bring only one shopping
bag and pillow per person.
PEOPLE WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
South Florida has a large population of "People with Special Needs."
These people are frail, elderly or handicapped and will be in need of
special assistance in the event of a hurricane. Special Needs Evacuation
Centers (SNEC) will provide basic assistance to those evacuees who have
no other place to go. If a person requires a caregiver in order to live
independently, then the caregiver must accompany the special needs person
to the shelter.
The SNEC facilities provide basic medical assistance and monitoring. In
order to be eligible for SNECs, you must have a health condition that
doesn't require hospitalization, but does require occasional skilled observation,
assessment and/or maintenance. People in need of assistance with daily
living (e.g., feeding, moving around, personal hygiene or medication),
are also eligible to go to a SNEC.
A person with special needs must bring to the shelter:
- 72-hour supply of prescribed medication
- Dietary supplements
- Medical supplies
- Personal items (e.g., bedding, clothing, diapers, personal hygiene
Transportation will be available to people with special needs that aren't
able to transport themselves to the center. These centers aren't equipped
with advanced medical equipment nor are they able to provide advanced
medical care. People who require continuous electricity, oxygen or technical
nursing care should make advance arrangements with healthcare agencies
for their care.
You must pre-register for services at a Special Needs Evacuation Center.
Not every center will be open for evacuation. Persons assigned to Special
Needs Evacuation Centers need to monitor the local media to determine
if they must evacuate and what time the centers will open. The numbers
assigned to each center will be used to identify them at the time of an
DURING A HURRICANE
- Keep all windows closed.
- Tell stories or sing songs to help keep children calm.
- If the eye of the storm passes over your neighborhood, stay inside
in your "safe room." Storm conditions may lessen temporarily;
don't be fooled by the calm outside. Hurricane winds will return from
the other direction with the same or greater force.
- Use your telephone only for urgent calls so others can use the lines
- Listen to a battery-operated radio or television to stay informed.
- Stay calm. Don't walk around.
AFTER A HURRICANE STRIKES
You'll encounter difficulties with telephone communications, dangers
from downed power lines and potential hazards from contaminated water
and spoiled food. Once a hurricane has passed, it may still be unsafe
to go outdoors. Stay tuned to your local television and radio stations
to hear the official "all clear" from your county's Emergency
Management Office, the American Red Cross or the police.
- If you evacuated, don't return home until officials announce your
area is safe. You may be required to present proof of residency in order
to re-enter evacuation areas.
- Re-enter your home with caution. Check for structural damage. Turn-off
any outside gas lines and let the house air out for several minutes
to remove leaking gas.
Don't use an open flame as a light source. Use a flashlight.
- Make sure children are safe. Don't let them play in a damaged building
or near piles of debris.
- Make emergency repairs.
- If your home has sustained structural damage, don't move back in until
local officials check it. Each county has plans to certify buildings
- Don't use the telephone unless it's absolutely necessary, so that
people with emergencies have access to the system.
- Don't call 911 except for life-threatening situations.
- Don't report individual interruptions in electric, gas, water or telephone
service. Utility companies have emergency plans to restore service after
the storm clears the area. Call only after full service is restored
in your neighborhood.
- Do call police or utility companies immediately to report hazards
such as downed power lines, broken gas or water mains or overturned
Water supplies may become contaminated during a hurricane. The Public
Health Department will issue a boil water order immediately after a hurricane
passes. During this time, use only your pre-stored water or boil water.
(Note: Pre-stored tap water will only be good for one week.)
Recipes for Pure Water
If you don't have enough pre-stored drinking water and have to use tap
- Strain water through a paper towel or several layers of thick cloth
to remove dirt before purifying; or let water settle in a container
for 24-hours, so that solid particles sink to the bottom.
- Use one of the following methods to purify the water:
BOILING: Boil water for ten minutes to kill any disease-causing microorganisms.
CHEMICAL TREATMENT: Add one chlorine tablet (found in drug or sporting
goods stores) for each quart of water to be purified.
Add four water purification tablets per gallon of water; or add eight
drops of chlorine bleach (without soap, lemon or other additives) per
gallon of water.
IODINE: Add five drops of tincture of iodine to each quart of clear
water (for cloudy water add ten drops); or add one iodine tablet for
each quart of water to be purified.
- Stir and let the solution stand for at least 30 minutes.
- To improve the flat taste of boiled water,
Pour it back and forth from one container to another, let it stand for
a few hours or add a pinch of salt for each quart boiled.
For more information, call the EPA Safe Drinking Water hotline at 1-800-426-4791.
- Before using any food from the refrigerator, be sure to check it for
spoilage. When in doubt, throw it out!
- Open your refrigerator only when necessary, in order to conserve cold
- Since the fumes can be deadly, use gas or charcoal grills outside
the home only.
- Throw out all wet foods, except those sealed in airtight containers.
For more information on food safety, call the USDA hot line at 1-800-535-4555
or the Florida Cooperative Extension Service in Dade at (305) 888-5010
or in Broward at (954) 370-3725.
- Consider placing your pets in a kennel until it's safe for them to
stay at home.
- Check their food and water before they eat or drink it. Just like
you, pets can become ill from contaminated food and water.
As a result of a hurricane, your home and neighborhood might be without
power for some time. Use a portable generator with the following precautions:
- A portable generator should only be operated outside the house. Breathing
the accumulated carbon monoxide fumes will cause injury and could be
- Never hook generators up to home wiring. Run separate heavy-duty extension
cords from the generator directly to indoor appliances.
- To prevent damage to your generator when electric service is restored,
disconnect it before turning on the power to your home.
After a hurricane, you may encounter electrical hazards around your home
and neighborhood. Electricity from downed power lines can be fatal.
- Don't touch any low-hanging or fallen power lines. They might be crossed
with a live power wire. Power lines should be seen as potentially deadly.
- Stay away from puddles with wires in them.
- Don't touch or cut tree limbs near power lines.
- Keep a close watch on children and make sure they don=t come close
to power lines or utility crews.
- Don't pile debris near or on top of power line equipment such as poles,
transformers or downed electrical wiring. This will delay the work crews'
efforts to restore power.
- Inside the home, don't stand in water while operating switches or
operate any appliances that may have been exposed to water.
- When reinstalling a CB, TV or satellite antenna, check in all directions
to make certain that no power lines are nearby. Contact with a power
line could be deadly.
CHAIN SAW SAFETY
The Florida Cooperative Extension Service recommends the following safety
- Keep both hands on the chain saw handles.
- Never cut branches above your head.
- Cut with the lower edge of the saw blade whenever possible.
- Don't force the saw.
- Wear protective clothing: a hard hat, goggles sturdy shoes, gloves
and trim-fitting clothes.
- Remember, if your home has sustained structural damage, don't move
back until it's checked by local officials.
- Make a list of damaged items inside your home, business or boat. Include
a complete description.
- Check outside for damage to walls, roofs, porches and screens. Photograph
or videotape damage to your home, business, car, boat and other personal
property. This will speed up your insurance claim.
- Wear rubber gloves while scrubbing flood-damaged interiors and furniture.
- Treat wet books and papers by sprinkling cornstarch or talcum powder
to absorb moisture. Leave powder on for several hours before brushing
REVIVING YOUR POOL
- Clean out as much debris as possible.
- While waiting for electricity, super-chlorinate your pool with either
a 10 percent sodium hypochlorite solution or 65 percent calcium hypochlorite
- Don't use your pool when it's super-chlorinated.
- Don't drain your pool without professional advice; your pool could
actually pop out of the ground.
- Once you have electricity, call a licensed; insured pool company to
check out your pool and equipment.
PHOTOS & ARTWORK
You can save storm-damaged family photos and artwork. Contact a professional
as soon as possible because different types of art require different treatment.
In the meantime, the most important thing you can do is preventing mold
or mildew. The following remedies are suggested:
- For photos, remove from frames and spread out to dry face-up on paper
towels, blotters or clean cloths. If photos are stuck to the frame or
to each other, try freezing them in plastic bags. If freezing several
photos, separate them with wax paper.
- For paintings, remove backing board and absorb moisture by dabbing
them with paper towels on reverse side of canvas.
- Lean paintings against a table or a chair to allow free airflow.
PLANTS & TREES
Your uprooted trees can be saved and those that are bare will bloom again.
To save your trees:
- Stake leaning trees and bushes upright with cushioned wires or ropes.
- Cover exposed roots with damp sheets. Never use plastic.
- Prune lightly; don't use wound paint. If more than one-third of the
plant is damaged, it may be better to replace it.
- Use native trees.
- Plant mostly on sides of the house with high sun exposure. Plant around
air conditioner unit to shade it.
- Plant fast-growing vines to cover walls while trees are young.
You've survived the hurricane and now you're wondering if your boat did
too. Here are some suggestions:
- Wait until it's safe to enter the area where your boat is kept.
- If anything appears to be stolen, report it to the local law enforcement
- Make any necessary emergency repairs to avoid further damage or looting,
and save receipts to include with your insurance claim.
- Work with your insurance agent to get estimates and to complete final
If your home or personal belongings were damaged during the storm, the
State Department of Insurance recommends the following guidelines for
filing your claim:
- Immediately report property damage to your agent or insurance company.
After a hurricane, most insurance companies should establish toll-free
numbers to handle claims calls.
- Make emergency repairs and document them. Most homeowners' policies
require that you make emergency repairs to prevent further damage to
your home or its contents. Cover up with plastic or board up holes in
roof, walls, doors and windows. Be careful! Take before and after pictures
and save your receipts. Beware of contractors who encourage you to pay
to a lot of money up front.
- Take precautions if the damage requires you to leave your home. Secure
your property to the best of your ability and remove valuables. Contact
your agent and leave a phone number where you can be reached.
- Beware of fly-by-night repair businesses. Hire licensed, reputable
service people. If you hire someone to make repairs to your home, make
sure they have current licenses, insurance and permits. Never pay all
costs of a repair job up front and always get a receipt.
Beware of unlicensed "Adjusters for Hire". Demand positive
identification and proof of license and insurance. Your insurance company
will provide you with an adjuster free of charge; however, there are
adjusters for hire who charge a commission that won't be covered by
your insurance policy.
|International Hurricane Protection Association
|2501 Floral Road
Lantana, FL 33462