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Make a Plan, Just Make It!

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

May 28, 2014

National Hurricane Preparedness week is May 26–June 1st

Whether you’re new to Florida or a long time resident of the sunshine state, preparing for the upcoming hurricane season can be made simple with a few important steps.

Number One: Make a Plan, Just Make It!
This important step can save your family crucial time in the event of an emergency. With your family, create a Family Emergency Plan that includes:

  • How you will communicate with each other if separated
  • Who has specific care needs, like a grandparent or very young children
  • What supplies, tools or equipment you and your family will need
  • How will you meet your family’s power needs
  • Where you will go if you are requested to evacuate
  • And a plan for your pets

When it comes to hurricanes and tropical storms, does the area you live in experience storm-related flooding? If you lose power, will you still be able to use necessary medical equipment in your home that requires electricity? Take into consideration the potential challenges of communication, the possibility of an evacuation, and any health condition needs in your plan. Planning ahead will also give your kids a chance to feel included. Talk to them about their needs and concerns.

Number Two: Build an Emergency Supply Kit!
There are critical basic items all Emergency Supply Kits should include, yet make sure your kit meets your family’s particular needs. Having at least three days of drinking water and healthy, non-perishable foods for each person is vital, yet having additional medications, health supplies and documents, or a special toy or book can be very important to your family’s comfort during the days following an emergency. Purchasing a battery-operated, all-hazards weather radio to provide alerts and updates for your immediate area is a great way to stay informed. Monitor only trusted news outlets or official sources for information during any emergency.

Number Three: Know where to go!
If asked to evacuate from your home, you’ll need to know where you can go for safe shelter. Public Emergency Shelters will be announced if opened in your area. If you decide to stay in a hotel, does it allow pets? Research ahead so you will know for sure. Do you have friends or relatives you can stay with until it is safe to return home? If you have mobility or health-related challenges, each of Florida’s counties maintains a registry of persons who may need assistance. You can pre-register for assistance to ensure appropriate help will be on the way. Check with your county’s Emergency Management Office for instructions.

The Florida Department of Health has prepared the Florida Emergency Preparedness Guide, available in multiple languages and formats to all residents and visitors on www.floridahealth.gov. The guide provides detailed information and health-related planning tools for individuals and families on preparing for hurricanes, tropical storms and other types of emergencies.

And, if you already have a plan and emergency supply kit, now is the perfect time to re-check and re-stock. Having a Family Emergency Plan, an Emergency Supply Kit and a pre-determined location to evacuate if needed can give you and your family confidence in an emergency situation. Knowing what to do, where to go, and what to have on hand for potential emergencies is an important part of living in Florida.

So, go on and get started. Make a Plan, Just Make It!

See the Florida Department of Health public service announcements.

Additional Resources