Hurricane-Ready: Developing a family plan

Each hurricane season, review, practice and update your Family Plan. You will need to know your evacuation zone, obtain emergency supplies, and take steps to protect your home. Remember to make plans for friends or family members with special needs, including your pets. Everyone, children included, should have a role.

Check the maps on WFLA.com to see which evacuation zone you live in. This will determine when and if you need to evacuate during a storm. The Evacuation Levels (A,B,C,D and E) are based on the potential for storm surge flooding for each category of storm (1,2,3,4 and 5). Remember: Most mobile home residents must evacuate, regardless of location. You should plan now where to evacuate your family. Make arrangements to stay with friends or relatives who live in a hurricane-safe zone. Have ready food, water and must-have supplies (see page 10). If you evacuate to an inland hotel, ask about special hurricane policies. Most importantly, make sure your destination is NOT in an evacuation zone.

EVACUATION
Leave as early as possible. Have an alternate route planned. If flying, prepare for airport closings and/or canceled flights. Remember, storms can change direction quickly and without warning, so be careful and avoid driving directly into a storm's new path. Tune to our Radio Partners (listed on page 2 of this guide) to stay informed on traffic conditions.

LEAVING THE AREA
Leave as early as possible. Have an alternate route planned. If flying, prepare for airport closings and/or canceled flights. Remember, storms can change direction quickly and without warning, so be careful and avoid driving directly into a storm's new path. Tune to our Radio Partners to stay informed on traffic conditions.

PUBLIC SHELTERS
An evacuation shelter should be your last resort. Keep in mind, different shelters may open at different times, depending on size and intensity of a storm. Do not go until an official announces a specific shelter has opened. Expect shelters to be crowded and uncomfortable.

Be sure to bring: 

  1. Pillows and blankets or sleeping bag
  2. Special dietary foods, water and prescription medicines
  3. A change of clothes and personal hygiene items
  4. Flashlight, radio and extra batteries
  5. Infant necessities and quiet toys for children
  6. Important papers
    Note: Alcohol and firearms are not allowed; most shelters will not allow pets.

IF YOU MUST EVACUATE
Do not panic if an evacuation order is given. Make sure you give yourself enough time to leave before the weather turns bad. DO NOT take chances with your life.

  1. Take your must-have supplies and important papers, including your driver's license and insurance policies.
  2. Take irreplaceable items such as photos or keepsakes.
  3. Let friends and relatives know where you are going.
  4. Turn off your electricity, water and gas if officials tell you to do so.
  5. Lock windows and doors.

 Make sure windows are protected and home is secured. Clean containers for drinking water and your bathtub for storing clean water. Plan on three gallons per person, per day for all uses. Offer your home to friends or relatives who need to evacuate. Have at least a two-week supply of nonperishable foods, including a nonelectric can opener and corded nonelectric phone.

IF YOU DO NOT EVACUATE
Every business also should have a Disaster Plan. For a guide, contact your local emergency management agency, Chamber of Commerce or go to http://www.sba.gov/disaster.

BUSINESS OWNERS
Every business also should have a Disaster Plan. For a guide, contact your local emergency management agency, Chamber of Commerce or go to http://www.sba.gov/disaster.

 

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