How to prepare
- Know your evacuation zone to relocate if your home is in an evacuation zone or is a mobile home. Develop travel routes, home preparedness and damage mitigation efforts.
- Ensure you have adequate insurance for vehicles, personal property, and real estate. If you rent or lease and apartment, ensure you have a “renter’s insurance policy” and that your geographic location and residence are accurately recorded with your insurance company.
- Identify your risk of Flood Damage. If you own a home and flooding may be a threat, contact your insurance company and ensure you have coverage against flooding. Flood insurance often requires separate coverage. There is usually a two week waiting period prior to the coverage going into effect. For more information, see the National Flood Insurance Program.
- Create a household disaster plan. Plan to meet your family in case you are separated. Choose an out-of-town contact for everyone to call to say they are safe. Locate the nearest public shelter as a back up to your primary plan.
- Retrofit roofs and structure for strong winds and other storm hazards. Consider the gutters and downspouts, protection/coverings for windows (not tape), parking and stoarge of vehicles (cars, boats, etc.).
- Prepare surrounding areas to reduce debris that can be blown and cause damage.
- Obtain supplies to protect your property and for survival.
- Arrange for the safe keeping of your pets. They cannot be taken to public shelters.
- Make a complete inventory of personal property; take photographs or video of major items
- Ensure your directorate’s Disaster Preparedness Officer or designated Point of Contact knows your anticipated evacuation location. Also include anticipated location of dependents if you expect separate locations. Include email addresses and telephone numbers for each location.
- Click Here to download the Hurricane Preparedness Guide from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
How/when to act
If a hurricane is predicted:
- Monitor reliable radio or TV for official reports.
- Implement your preparedness planning efforts for your home, Disaster Kit(s), Emergency Kit, evacuations, and so on.
- Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed.
- Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other large containers with water.
- Report your (and your family’s) accountability according to the command’s instructions.
Decision Point: When a storm watch is issued, you'll need to decide whether to go or stay.
You should evacuate under the following conditions:
- If you live in a surge zone officially declared as an evacuation zone or if directed by local authorities to do so – follow credible authorities’ instructions.
- If you live in a mobile home or temporary structure - these are particularly dangerous during hurricanes no matter how well secured to the ground.
- If you live in a high-rise building - hurricane winds are stronger at higher elevations.
- If you live on the coast, on a floodplain, near a river, or on an inland waterway.
- If you feel you are in danger.
* Reimbursement for evacuations is dependent upon formal evacuation orders generated by the MacDill AFB Commander
Staying Home: If you remain in your home
- Call to let someone know where you are, per your Communications Plan.
- Implement your household disaster plan
- STAY INDOORS.
- Stay away from windows, glass doors, exterior walls, and overhead hazards. Take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level.
- Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object.
- Close all doors, windows, curtains and blinds - secure and brace external doors.
- Do not be fooled if there is a lull; it could be the eye of the storm - winds will go from Zero to Extreme without warning.
- Fill water containers and clean bath tubs with water.
- Periodically check your telephone for a dial tone.
- Prepare to cope with any family members that have special medical needs? What special supplies and food will you need to have on hand?
- Do you need to have any special equipment available for after the storm?
- Put important documents in a safe, waterproof location, such as a waterproof safe, or an ice cooler sealed with duct tape?
- Notify out-of-area relatives that you are staying behind
- Prepared to live without utilities and normal services for as long as two weeks after the storm
- Remain calm.
Leaving: If you evacuate:
- Implement your household disaster plan
- When a hurricane strike is imminent, plan ahead and be prepared to evacuate as soon as the anticipated evacuation order is given
- Identify ahead of time where you could go if you are told to evacuate. Choose several places -- a friend's home in another town, a motel, or a shelter.
- Evacuation orders are mandatory. Don't try to stay behind or argue with authorities.
- Keep handy the telephone numbers of these places as well as a road map of your locality. You may need to take alternative or unfamiliar routes if major roads are closed or clogged.
- Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or local radio or TV stations for evacuation instructions.
- Know where you are going. Have a backup plan if roads are too congested to get out in time. Know your designated local shelter.
- Take your hurricane box with you.
- Before leaving your home, shut off all gas appliances and water at root valves. Shut off main electrical breakers. (NOTE: consider leaving refrigerator circuit on.)
- Be alert for tornadoes, which are often spawned by hurricanes
- Do not bring pets, alcoholic beverages, or weapons to public shelters.
- Keep important papers, especially insurance policies, with you at all times.
- Constantly monitor your radio for the latest information on the storm movement or until the “All Clear” has been issued.
- Notify other family members where you will be
- Do not try to return to your home until local authorities grant permission. Expect limited access and curfews during recovery operations.
In Either Case, do the following
- Constantly monitor weather reports on television or radio. Hurricanes can move very quickly. Hurricanes typically move at a forward speed of 8 to 25 miles per hour. This means an approaching storm can move up to 200 miles during the course of a normal work day. As the hurricane gets close, begin monitoring the weather reports every hour.
- Double check hurricane box and collect items not kept with your hurricane box.
- Keep a Photo I.D. with your current address. This may become important when asking a police officer or National Guardsman for permission to re-enter your neighborhood.
- Fuel all your vehicles
- Get a supply of cash. During the recovery period, checks and credit cards may not be accepted and ATMs may not be working.
- Anchor small boats or move them to shelter. Anchor loose items on or near your property such as TV antennas, garbage cans, garden tools, toys, lawn furniture, etc.
- Board up or shutter large windows. Tape exposed glass surfaces to prevent shattering
Emergency Supplies you should consider having on hand:
Water, food, and clean air are important things to have if an emergency happens. Each family or individual's kit should be customized to meet specific needs, such as medications and infant formula. It should also be customized to include important family documents.
Recommended Supplies to Include in a Basic Kit:
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation
- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert, and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First Aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Infant formula and diapers, if you have an infant
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Dust mask or cotton t-shirt, to help filter the air
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
Clothing and Bedding:
If you live in a cold weather climate, you must think about warmth. It is possible that the power will be out and you will not have heat. Rethink your clothing and bedding supplies to account for growing children and other family changes. One complete change of warm clothing and shoes per person, including:
- A jacket or coat
- Long pants
- A long sleeve shirt
- Sturdy shoes
- A hat and gloves
- A sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
Below are some other items for your family to consider adding to its supply kit. Some of these items, especially those marked with a * can be dangerous, so please have an adult collect these supplies.
- Emergency reference materials such as a first aid book or a print out of the information on www.ready.gov
- Rain gear
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils
- Cash or traveler's checks, change
- Paper towels
- Fire Extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container*
- Signal flare*
- Paper, pencil
- Personal hygiene items including feminine supplies
- Household chlorine bleach* - You can use bleach as a disinfectant (diluted nine parts water to one part bleach), or in an emergency you
can also use it to treat water. Use 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches
with added cleaners.
- Medicine dropper
- Important Family Documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
For more information visit FEMA at: http://www.ready.gov/document/family-supply-list