We encourage people to recheck their individual preparedness plans, which should include an evacuation plan if they need to leave their home. Please also make sure you have food, water and other necessities for at least 3-days, including medications, items for small children and items for special dietary needs.
Safe and Well
Take into consideration that a storm doesn’t have to actually hit your home to cause damage. Other sources of damage include flooding and prolonged power outages. Therefore, hurricane preparedness encompasses all these possibilities.
Water is the number one supply you must have enough of. Don’t forget your pets. Babies will need a supply of wipes, diapers, food, clothes, etc. Special needs persons will require their medications. Don't forget the toilet paper! Non-perishable foods, non-electric light sources, a battery operated radio, and medical supplies are necessary. Click here for an extensive list of things to have in the house during the hurricane season.
Secure the House
Know your home’s vulnerability to storm surge, high winds and flooding. Before hurricane season starts, make sure your trees and large plants are trimmed. Falling branches and falling trees will damage houses and cars (and people). Know where you will put your outside furniture and plants or how you will secure them. If you can, prepare shutters for your windows – boards are handy for that, as well as actual hurricane shutters. Gather important documents, including insurance policies, health cards, list of medications, birth certificates, list of important phone numbers and put them in a waterproof container.
If there is a mandatory evacuation, you will be urged to leave your home and area. Make a plan with your family and know what you will do and where you will go. Make sure everyone is on the same page. Make a list of things you will take with you and know where these things are before you have to get ready.
Inform yourself of the shelters in your immediate area. If you have friends and family inland (or away from the storm path), find out if you can stay with them during the storm. Hotels will be filled up very quickly, so take that into consideration before you venture out to stay in one. Here is some information on shelters in Volusia County.
Pets and Special Needs
Do not leave your pets behind. They will not be “fine” during a storm alone in the house. Prepare by having enough food for your animals to last at least a week. Have extra food and water bowls, a clean litter box and litter, as well as ½ gallon of water per animal per day handy. You can store some of those things in your pet’s carrier, along with a familiar blanket. Find out which shelters and hotels accept pets and under what conditions.
If you are living with elderly or special needs persons, be sure to have their medication, their medical supplies (such as oxygen), and special dietary items ready to go. Find out which shelters accommodate special needs persons so you can keep your loved ones (and/or yourself) safe and as comfortable as possible.