Gearing Up for the Hurricane or Sever Storm
Residents spend hundreds of dollars every year purchasing hurricane supplies such as bottled water, gasoline and nonperishable food items. In many cases, people wait until a storm threatens South Florida to make a last-minute rush to local stores to purchase supplies, usually resulting in a large expenditure. Remember, it’s more cost-efficient to build your kits little by little, using what you already have at home whenever possible.
• Purchase an extra can or box of non-perishable food or other supplies for your hurricane kit during each trip to the grocery store, making use of coupons and sales when available.
• Combine resources with family, friends and neighbors to save money buying in bulk, then divide the items up.
• Fill containers 2/3 full with tap water and keep them in your freezer for ice after a storm.
• Make bed rolls from your existing comforters and blankets.
Emergency Evacuation Assistance Plan:
To request a Hurricane Readiness Guide in an alternate format such as Braille or large print, please call 3-1-1 or send an email Envelope firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hurricane Evacuation Shelters:
All Miami-Dade County Hurricane Evacuation Shelters exceed Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) criteria for emergency shelters, and include accessible entryways, service/activity areas and bathrooms. Service animals are permitted. See the 2013 Hurricane Evacuation Centers:
Emergency Evacuation Assistance Program (EEAP):
Anyone who is unable to evacuate and/or shelter on their own, who may require specialized transportation assistance or whose medical needs prevent them from evacuating on their own should register with the EEAP registry prior to an emergency evacuation. Individuals on the registry will receive priority and assistance evacuating to a facility appropriate for their level of care.The program is specifically for individuals who live alone or with their families, not those residing in nursing homes, assisted living facilities or group homes. Applications are available in English, Spanish and Creole. Call 3-1-1 or download the application:
For more information on Emergency Evacuation Assistance, visit the Office of Emergency Management webpage.
Whatever plans you make for yourself, remember to include your pets. If you’re riding out the storm in the home of a family member, friend or neighbor, take your pets with you. Miami-Dade also offers Pet-Friendly Evacuation Centers for residents living in qualified evacuation zones, unsafe structures or mobile homes. To register a pet, visit the Animal Services Department online or call 3-1-1. A family member must stay with the pet.
• Make sure all vaccines and shots are up to date.
• Make sure your dog’s collar has an I.D. tag and their license.
• Have pets micro-chipped by your vet or Animal Services to help ensure reunification if lost.
• Make sure all your pets’ prescriptions are filled.
Watch the news when a hurricane is threatening Miami-Dade County and you’re sure to see people grabbing bottled water from store shelves. But why go to the store and fight the crowds for water when there’s a better way to bottle your own drinking water.
Bottling your own water:
• This hurricane season, instead of buying bottled water, invest in plastic water containers for your family.
• Plastic water containers are available in a variety of sizes, from four to 10 gallons or more, and some are collapsible or can be folded easily for storage. They’re built to last for years, so you’ll save money in the long run.
• Make sure you get enough plastic containers so everyone in your family – including your pets – has enough water to last several days. Calculate about one gallon per person per day and you should be okay.
• When you bring your plastic containers home, don’t fill them up just yet. Keeping water stored a long time could attract harmful bacteria and make the water taste stale. Wait until a hurricane warning is announced first.
• Worried that the container might be “icky” when you fill it? Not a problem. Wash it out with soap and water first, and then rinse it well. Next, fill it with a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented household chlorine bleach – the kind used for laundry – per gallon. Let it sit ten minutes, then pour out the solution and rinse the container well. It’s now ready to be filled up with tap water.
Before the Hurricane or Sever Storm
Properly pruning trees and shrubs before a hurricane approaches can reduce the debris that may become airborne during a storm. Proper pruning also increases the likelihood that a tree can weather a storm. Make sure to consult or hire a certified and licensed arborist prior to doing any tree pruning. Miami-Dade Solid Waste customers can dispose of small trash items with twice-weekly garbage collection service. If you receive automated service, all waste must fit in the waste cart and the lid must close. If you receive manual collection service, small trash items may be set out in bags, cans or bundles with your household garbage. Items should be no more than 50 pounds each and bundles should measure no more than 4 feet in length. Do not begin any pruning or cleanup activities or place trash on the curb during a Hurricane Watch or Warning.
Neighborhood Trash & Recycling Centers:
Take tree cuttings and other household trash to one of the 13 Neighborhood Trash & Recycling Centers.
Find a Trash and Recycling Center near you.
Home Chemical Collection Centers:
Take hazardous home chemicals – oil based paints, pesticides, pool chemicals, etc. – to one of the County’s two Home Chemical Collection Centers.
8831 NW 58th St, Miami, FL 33178
23707 SW 97 Ave Gate B, Miami, FL 33190
These centers are open Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Schedule a curbside bulky waste pickup by calling 3-1-1, or schedule a pickup online at http://www.miamidade.gov/wastepickup/AddressEnter.asp. Dispose of small trash items with twice-weekly garbage collection service. If you receive automated service, all waste must fit in the EZ GO Waste Cart and the lid must close. If you receive manual collection service, small trash items may be set out in bags, cans or bundles with your household garbage. Items should weigh no more than 50 pounds each and bundles should measure no more than 4 feet in length.
Hurricane Watches & Warnings Terms:
Tropical Storm Watch – Tropical storm conditions are possible, usually within 48 hours.
Tropical Storm Warning – Tropical storm conditions are expected, usually within 36 hours.
Hurricane Watch – Hurricane conditions are possible, usually within 48 hours.
Hurricane Warning – Hurricane conditions are expected, usually within 36 hours.
Evacuation Order – Imminent threat to life and property exists. Individuals MUST relocate and seek refuge in an inland, non-evacuation area. Evacuation orders depend on a hurricane’s track and projected storm surge.
County transportation facilities and services shut down three hours before hurricane or tropical storm winds reach a sustained 39 miles per hour. For Seaport and Airport passenger information, you should contact your local carrier or call 3-1-1 for the latest news about closings. Local law enforcement agencies will put out advisories regarding when roadways and bridges will be locked down.
Emergency Evacuation Bus Pick-Up Sites If you live in an emergency evacuation zone and your only choice is an official evacuation center, Miami-Dade Transit offers Emergency Evacuation Bus Pick-Up Sites by evacuation zone. To learn which of these are active during a particular storm, listen to local media, check the County’s website, or call 3-1-1.
Emergency Evacuation Assistance Program:
Some registrants are eligible for transportation that’s provided by County departments as part of the Emergency Evacuation Assistance Program. Lift-gate buses and other specialized transportation will pick up those registered and take them from their homes to their assigned facility. To find out more about this service, call 3-1-1.
Boat &: Marine:
As you prepare for hurricane season, don’t forget to secure your boat. Also remember that you should never try and ride out a hurricane in your boat. Once evacuations have started off the barrier islands, Intercoastal Waterway bridges will only be opened infrequently until lockdown.
About Hurricane Evacuation Plan:
If a hurricane evacuation is ordered, residents are encouraged to stay with family members or friends in an inland, non-evacuation area. Hurricane Evacuation Centers will also be opened, but the Centers should only be considered as a last resort. Additionally, Emergency Bus Pick-Up Sites will be activated to provide public transportation to and from designated Hurricane Evacuation Centers.
If you need to evacuate to a shelter, it is important to bring:
• Drinking water
• Prescription and emergency medications (refrigeration is available for these items only)
• Bedding; pillows, blankets
• Personal hygiene items
• Infant and child care, such as formula, diapers, toys, etc.
• Extra clothing
• Cash (in case you are unable to access any immediately after the hurricane)
• Special items for family members who are elderly or disabled
• Comfort materials such as books, magazines, cards, etc.
• Please note: Service animals are permitted
As a Hurricane Approaches:
Disaster kits and emergency supplies should be ready prior to hurricane season. Once a hurricane warning is declared, preparations should focus on securing your home and property.
• Protect the areas where wind can enter. Secure windows and doors, preferably with permanent, County-approved storm shutters. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
• Bring in lawn furniture, garbage and recycling carts and other items that are not tied down and could become airborne.
• If you own a boat, use double lines at a marina or consider dry-dock storage.
• Protect your electronics with surge protectors and waterproof coverings.
• Monitor the storm’s progress.
Visit www.miamidade.gov or call 3-1-1 for updates on County services. Depending on conditions, bus, rail, garbage collection and recycling service, as well as airport and seaport operations, could be affected.
During a Hurricane
If a hurricane is likely in your area, you should:
• Monitor your radio or television for weather updates and instructions from public safety officials.
• Stay indoors, preferably in a room with few or no windows.
• Take your emergency kit and disaster supplies with you if you move from room to room.
• If flooding threatens your home, turn off electricity at the main breaker.
• If you lose power, turn off all major appliances.
• Use flashlights, not candles or kerosene lamps, as your light source.
• Avoid using the phone and do not take a bath or shower during the storm.
• Fight the temptation to go outside during the “eye of the storm”. There’s only a brief period of calm before hurricane force winds return.
• Keep children informed about what’s happening and watch for signs of stress.
• Keep animals in their carriers.
After a Hurricane:
• Many disaster-related injuries occur in the aftermath of a hurricane. Here are some steps to protect you and your family.
• Remain inside until local authorities say it is safe to leave. If you must go outside, watch for fallen objects and downed electrical wires.
• Continue to monitor the radio or TV for advice and/or instructions from local government. Call 3-1-1 or visit www.miamidade.gov for information on waste collection services and hurricane debris pickups.
• Inspect your home for damage, assuring that it’s safe to stay there. Check for gas leaks, if applicable.
• Stay out of areas of heavy storm impact; do not sightsee.
• Obey all curfew and emergency orders when issued.
• Do not operate charcoal grills, propane camping stoves or generators indoors. See more tips on generator safety.
• Do not drive or walk through standing water. It may be much deeper than you realize and there may be hidden hazards.
• Stay away from downed power lines and report them to FPL.
• Place piles of debris on the right-of-way, away from fences, mailboxes, drains, power lines and low-hanging wires. Do not place debris in vacant lots or in front of commercial properties, nurseries or farmland.
• Be patient and careful. Cleanup after a storm can take time.
• Report lost or damaged garbage or recycling carts for replacement by calling 3-1-1.
• Discard any refrigerated food that you suspect has spoiled.
• Contact your insurance agent. Take pictures of damage. Keep good records of repair and cleaning costs.