Hurricane Season

HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS TIPS

HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS TIPS

Hurricanes are massive storm systems that form over warm ocean waters and move toward land. Potential threats from hurricanes include powerful winds, heavy rainfall, storm surges, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, tornadoes, and landslides. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. The Pacific hurricane season runs May 15 to November 30. Hurricanes:

  • Can happen along any U.S. coast or in any territory in the Atlantic or Pacific oceans.
  • Can affect areas more than 100 miles inland.
  • Are most active in September.

IF YOU ARE UNDER A HURRICANE WARNING, FIND SAFE SHELTER RIGHT AWAY

  • Determine how best to protect yourself from high winds and flooding.
    • Evacuate if told to do so.
    • Take refuge in a designated storm shelter, or an interior room for high winds.
  • Listen for emergency information and alerts.
  • Only use generators outdoors and away from windows.
  • Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters.

Storm Surge

Storm surge is water from the ocean that is pushed toward the shore by the force of the winds swirling around a hurricane. Storm surge is fast and can produce extreme coastal and inland flooding. When hurricanes cause storm surge, over 20 feet of water can be produced and pushed towards the shore and several miles inland destroying property and endangering lives in its path.

Be Informed

  • Storm surge is historically the leading cause of hurricane-related deaths in the United States.
  • Water weighs about 1,700 pounds per cubic yard, so battering waves from surge can easily demolish buildings and cause massive destruction along the coast.
  • Storm surge undermines roads and foundations when it erodes material out from underneath them.
  • Just one inch of water can cause $25,000 of damage to your home. Homeowners and renter’s insurance do not typically cover flood damage.

Prepare NOW

  • Know your area’s risk of hurricanes.
  • Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
  • If you are at risk for flash flooding, watch for warning signs such as heavy rain.
  • Practice going to a safe shelter for high winds, such as a FEMA safe room or ICC 500 storm shelter. The next best protection is a small, interior, windowless room in a sturdy building on the lowest level that is not subject to flooding.
  • Based on your location and community plans, make your own plans for evacuation or sheltering in place.
  • Become familiar with your evacuation zone, the evacuation route, and shelter locations.
  • Gather needed supplies for at least three days. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. Don’t forget the needs of pets.
  • Keep important documents in a safe place or create password-protected digital copies.
  • Protect your property. Declutter drains and gutters. Install check valves in plumbing to prevent backups. Consider hurricane shutters. Review insurance policies.

When a hurricane is 36 hours from arriving

  • Turn on your TV or radio in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • Restock your emergency preparedness kit. Include food and water sufficient for at least three days, medications, a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
  • Plan how to communicate with family members if you lose power. For example, you can call, text, email or use social media. Remember that during disasters, sending text messages is usually reliable and faster than making phone calls because phone lines are often overloaded.
  • Review your evacuation zone, evacuation route and shelter locations. Plan with your family. You may have to leave quickly so plan ahead.
  • Keep your car in good working condition, and keep the gas tank full; stock your vehicle with emergency supplies and a change of clothes.
  • If you have NFIP flood insurance, your policy may cover up to $1000 in loss avoidance measures, like sandbags and water pumps, to protect your insured property. You should keep copies of all receipts and a record of the time spent performing the work. They should be submitted to your insurance adjuster when you file a claim to be reimbursed. Visit www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/137860 to learn more.

When a hurricane is 18-36 hours from arriving

  • Bookmark your city or county website for quick access to storm updates and emergency instructions.
  • Bring loose, lightweight objects inside that could become projectiles in high winds (e.g., patio furniture, garbage cans); anchor objects that would be unsafe to bring inside (e.g., propane tanks); and trim or remove trees close enough to fall on the building.
  • Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” exterior grade or marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install.

When a hurricane is 6-18 hours from arriving

  • Turn on your TV/radio, or check your city/county website every 30 minutes in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • Charge your cell phone now so you will have a full battery in case you lose power.

When a hurricane is 6 hours from arriving

  • If you’re not in an area that is recommended for evacuation, plan to stay at home or where you are and let friends and family know where you are.
  • Close storm shutters, and stay away from windows. Flying glass from broken windows could injure you.
  • Turn your refrigerator or freezer to the coldest setting and open only when necessary. If you lose power, food will last longer. Keep a thermometer in the refrigerator to be able to check the food temperature when the power is restored.
  • Turn on your TV/radio, or check your city/county website every 30 minutes in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.

Survive DURING

  • If told to evacuate, do so immediately. Do not drive around barricades.
  • If sheltering during high winds, go to a FEMA safe room, ICC 500 storm shelter, or a small, interior, windowless room or hallway on the lowest floor that is not subject to flooding.
  • If trapped in a building by flooding, go to the highest level of the building. Do not climb into a closed attic. You may become trapped by rising flood water.
  • Listen for current emergency information and instructions.
  • Use a generator or other gasoline-powered machinery outdoors ONLY and away from windows.
  • Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. Turn Around. Don’t Drown! Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Stay off of bridges over fast-moving water.

Be Safe AFTER

  • Listen to authorities for information and special instructions.
  • Be careful during clean-up. Wear protective clothing and work with someone else.
  • Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water. If it is safe to do so, turn off electricity at the main breaker or fuse box to prevent electric shock.
  • Avoid wading in flood water, which can contain dangerous debris. Underground or downed power lines can also electrically charge the water.
  • Save phone calls for emergencies. Phone systems are often down or busy after a disaster. Use text messages or social media to communicate with family and friends.
  • Document any property damage with photographs. Contact your insurance company for assistance.

Precautionary measures can temper the ravages of these destructive storms

Precautionary measures can temper the ravages of these destructive storms

Hurricanes can shatter lives as well as damage property. Being prepared can help you, your family or your business minimize the impact of the storm. The best way time to start is before the threat is imminent. Here’s what you need to know.


Don’t wait until a hurricane watch is issued, because it may already be too late to take certain precautions. Reduce property damage and get through any hurricane emergency with less stress by preparing before the season begins.

1. Plan your evacuation route well ahead of time

If you live on the coast or in a mobile home, you may have to evacuate in the event of a major storm.

While you’ll no doubt get instructions from the local government, it’s wise to create your evacuation plan well before a disaster strikes. This way, you can know ahead of time about the nearest shelters, take your pets into account in your plan, make sure to take important papers and make a trial run.

2. Keep non-perishable emergency supplies on hand

When a hurricane warning is issued, people run for the stores. As much as possible, get ahead of the rush having the following on hand:

  • Extra batteries
  • Candles or lamps with fuel
  • Matches (keep these dry)
  • Materials and tools for emergency home repairs–such as heavy plastic sheeting, plywood, a hammer, etc.
  • Prescription drugs
  • A three-day supply of drinking water
  • Food that you don’t have to refrigerate or cook
  • First aid supplies
  • A portable NOAA weather radio
  • A wrench and other basic tools
  • A flashlight

If you need to evacuate, you’ll bring these supplies with you. As expirations dates approach (for example, food or batteries), use the items and replenish your emergency stash.

3. Take an inventory of your personal property

Creating a home inventory will help ensure that you have purchased enough insurance to replace your personal possessions. It can also speed the claims process, substantiate losses for income tax purposes and is helpful should you need to apply for disaster aid. In the event you need to evacuate, be sure your home inventory is among the important documents you take with you.

4. Review your insurance policies

This hurricane season insurance checklist can help you to understand your coverage and whether it’s adequate to repair or rebuild your home, if necessary, and to replace your belongings

Keep in mind that your homeowners insurance covers the cost of temporary repairs for hurricane damage, as well as reasonable additional living expenses (ALE) over and above your normal living expenses if you have to relocate (such as the extra expense of getting to work or to school if your temporary home is in a different community).

However, your homeowners policy doesn’t cover flood damage, so you may want to consider looking into flood insurance. If you live by the coast, you may also need a separate policy for protection against wind and wind-blown water damage.

If you have questions about what your current policy will cover or need to augment your current coverage, contact your insurance professional.

5. Take steps to protect your home

Hurricane force winds can turn landscaping materials into missiles that can break windows and doors and much of the property damage associated with hurricanes occurs after the windstorm when rain enters structures through broken windows, doors and openings in the roof.

While retrofitting your home to protect against these possibilities is undoubtedly an expense, you can do it in stages.

  • Replace gravel or rock landscaping materials with shredded bark, which is lighter and won’t cause as much harm.
  • Cut weak branches and trees that could fall on your house and keep shrubbery trimmed.
  • Install storm shutters to protect your windows from breakage. Alternately, fit plywood panels to your windows, which can be nailed to window frames when a storm approaches.
  • Make sure exterior doors are hurricane proof and have at least three hinges and a dead bolt lock that is at least one-inch long.
  • Sliding glass doors should be made of tempered glass and, during a storm, covered with shutters or plywood. These types of doors are more vulnerable to wind damage than most other doors.
  • Replace old garage doors and tracks with a door that is approved for both wind pressure and impact protection. Wind coming into your home through an opening this large poses grave problems for the rest of your home—especially your roof.
  • Seal outside wall openings such as vents, outdoor electrical outlets, garden hose bibs and locations where cables or pipes go through the wall. Use a high quality urethane-based caulk to prevent water penetration.
  • If you have a boat on a trailer, know how to anchor the trailer to the ground or house—and review your boat insurance policy.

6. Take steps to protect your business

Hurricanes take a toll on businesses, too so be prepared.

  • Keep contact information for employees, suppliers and vendors current so you can check on their wellbeing and communicate next steps for resuming normal business operations.
  • Review your business insurance policies in order to understand what’s covered.

For more preparedness tips, handy checklists (including ones you can personalize yourself) and evacuation planning advice to cover a variety of disasters, get the I.I.I.’s Know Your Plan app. It’s a great tool to help get you and your family—including pets—organized and ready to act more quickly if an emergency strikes.

Additional resources

Institute for Business & Home Safety

Next steps link: Now that you’re prepared, know what to do when the threat of a hurricane is imminent.


CAUTION WITH SEWAGE, SEPTIC TANKS AFTER A STORM

CAUTION WITH SEWAGE, SEPTIC TANKS AFTER A STORM

Following the passage of Tropical Storms or Hurricanes, residents may experience difficulties with sewage systems not functioning properly. If you have a septic system that operates by a dosing pump, it will not function without electricity. You should refrain from using water in your home until electricity is restored. Without the pump working, the septic tank will fill and may cause backup of sewage in your home.

General precautions:

  • Do not let children play in flood waters as these waters may be contaminated by sewage.
  • If you live in a low-lying or flood-prone area, the ground in your area may be saturated from heavy rainfalls or flooding from the storm. You should use household water as little as possible to prevent backup of sewage into your home

What should I do if sewage backs up into my home?

  • If a sewage backup has occurred in your home, stay out of affected areas and keep children away. If your entire home has been saturated, evacuate the home until all affected areas, including but not limited to carpets, rugs, drywall, and baseboards, have been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
  • If sewage has overflowed in open areas or streets, etc., avoid these areas and especially do not let children play in these areas.
  • If you are having problems in areas served by public sewer systems, please contact your utility company to insure they are aware of problems in your area.

How to clean up sewage contaminated items and sewage spills inside your home:

  • Wear protective clothing such as rubber boots and waterproof gloves.
  • Clean walls, hard-surfaced floors, and other household surfaces with soap and water and disinfect with a solution of 1/4 cup of bleach in one gallon of water. Once cleanup is complete, dry out affected items to prevent the growth of mold.
  • Do not mix ammonia cleansers with bleach as toxic vapors will form.
  • Wash all linens and clothing in hot water or dry clean them.
  • Discard Items that cannot be washed or dry cleaned, such as mattresses, carpeting, wall coverings and upholstered furniture.

For spills outside your home:

  • Contact your utility or a registered septic tank contractor for clean up.
  • Minor spills requiring immediate attention may be disinfected with regular garden lime from a garden shop. Follow the lime container’s label instructions for personal protective equipment needed. Use lime outdoors only.
    • Sprinkle the lime onto the spill so the spill is dusted mostly white on the surface. If the residue is thicker in some places use a rake to mix the lime and the residue.
    • After a day, rake up the thicker residue and place it in a trash bag for disposal with the other trash. Use a sprinkler or hose to water the lime and residue into the soil.
    • Let the area dry in the sun for a day before allowing access. If there is still white lime dust visible on the yard, water it in until the white dust is gone.

Follow proper hygiene procedures to prevent illness:

  • Keep hands and fingers away from the nose, mouth, eyes and ears.
  • Wash hands with soap and water immediately after cleanup efforts as well as before eating or drinking.
  • Keep fingernails short and clean. Use a stiff brush to remove dirt and foreign materials.
  • Do not store fresh work clothes with used work clothes.
  • Shower as soon as possible after cleaning up sewage or sewage contaminated flood waters.

For further information, please contact your county health department or visit http://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/index.html or www.FloridaDisaster.org.


Eligibility Requirements for Special Needs Shelters

Eligibility Requirements for Special Needs Shelters

Special needs shelters provide more care than a general shelter, but they do not provide the same level of care found in a medical facility. To the extent possible, these specialized shelters provide a safe environment and basic assistance to maintain your level of health. It is important to note that not every person with a disability needs to evacuate to a special needs shelter. In fact, some people with disabilities can be safely accommodated in general population shelters. Persons eligible for special needs shelters have a physical or mental condition that requires limited medical and/or nursing assistance that cannot be provided in a general population shelter.

Guidelines for admittance to special needs shelters are set by the Florida Department of Health. To ensure that your unique needs can be met, refer to the list of eligibility requirements below.

You MAY be eligible for a special needs shelter if you meet the following eligibility guidelines that include, but are not limited, to persons who require:

  • Special medical necessities but do not require hospitalization Precautions or isolation which cannot be handled in a general population shelter due to a contagious health condition(s).
  • Oxygen that can be manually supplied.
  • Full-time care or is accompanied by a caregiver at the shelter.
  • Assistance with medications and everyday tasks due to a chronic condition
    Periodic wound care assistance.
  • Accommodations beyond what can be facilitated at a general population shelter.

Registration
If you meet one or many of the above requirements please download the form below and return to:
Glades County Emergency Management
c/o PSN
1097 Health Park Drive
Moore Haven, Florida 33471
https://www.myglades.com/departments/public_safety/emergency_management/special_needs.php


Hurricanes

Hurricanes

Hurricanes are massive storm systems that form over warm ocean waters and move toward land. Potential threats from hurricanes include powerful winds, heavy rainfall, storm surges, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, tornadoes, and landslides. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. The Pacific hurricane season runs May 15 to November 30. Hurricanes:

  • Can happen along any U.S. coast or in any territory in the Atlantic or Pacific oceans.
  • Can affect areas more than 100 miles inland.
  • Are most active in September.

IF YOU ARE UNDER A HURRICANE WARNING, FIND SAFE SHELTER RIGHT AWAY

  • Determine how best to protect yourself from high winds and flooding.
    • Evacuate if told to do so.
    • Take refuge in a designated storm shelter, or an interior room for high winds.
  • Listen for emergency information and alerts.
  • Only use generators outdoors and away from windows.
  • Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters.

Storm Surge

Storm surge is water from the ocean that is pushed toward the shore by the force of the winds swirling around a hurricane. Storm surge is fast and can produce extreme coastal and inland flooding. When hurricanes cause storm surge, over 20 feet of water can be produced and pushed towards the shore and several miles inland destroying property and endangering lives in its path.

Be Informed

  • Storm surge is historically the leading cause of hurricane-related deaths in the United States.
  • Water weighs about 1,700 pounds per cubic yard, so battering waves from surge can easily demolish buildings and cause massive destruction along the coast.
  • Storm surge undermines roads and foundations when it erodes material out from underneath them.
  • Just one inch of water can cause $25,000 of damage to your home. Homeowners and renter’s insurance do not typically cover flood damage.

Prepare NOW

  • Know your area’s risk of hurricanes.
  • Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
  • If you are at risk for flash flooding, watch for warning signs such as heavy rain.
  • Practice going to a safe shelter for high winds, such as a FEMA safe room or ICC 500 storm shelter. The next best protection is a small, interior, windowless room in a sturdy building on the lowest level that is not subject to flooding.
  • Based on your location and community plans, make your own plans for evacuation or sheltering in place.
  • Become familiar with your evacuation zone, the evacuation route, and shelter locations.
  • Gather needed supplies for at least three days. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. Don’t forget the needs of pets.
  • Keep important documents in a safe place or create password-protected digital copies.
  • Protect your property. Declutter drains and gutters. Install check valves in plumbing to prevent backups. Consider hurricane shutters. Review insurance policies.

When a hurricane is 36 hours from arriving

  • Turn on your TV or radio in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • Restock your emergency preparedness kit. Include food and water sufficient for at least three days, medications, a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
  • Plan how to communicate with family members if you lose power. For example, you can call, text, email or use social media. Remember that during disasters, sending text messages is usually reliable and faster than making phone calls because phone lines are often overloaded.
  • Review your evacuation zone, evacuation route and shelter locations. Plan with your family. You may have to leave quickly so plan ahead.
  • Keep your car in good working condition, and keep the gas tank full; stock your vehicle with emergency supplies and a change of clothes.
  • If you have NFIP flood insurance, your policy may cover up to $1000 in loss avoidance measures, like sandbags and water pumps, to protect your insured property. You should keep copies of all receipts and a record of the time spent performing the work. They should be submitted to your insurance adjuster when you file a claim to be reimbursed. Visit www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/137860 to learn more.

When a hurricane is 18-36 hours from arriving

  • Bookmark your city or county website for quick access to storm updates and emergency instructions.
  • Bring loose, lightweight objects inside that could become projectiles in high winds (e.g., patio furniture, garbage cans); anchor objects that would be unsafe to bring inside (e.g., propane tanks); and trim or remove trees close enough to fall on the building.
  • Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” exterior grade or marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install.

When a hurricane is 6-18 hours from arriving

  • Turn on your TV/radio, or check your city/county website every 30 minutes in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • Charge your cell phone now so you will have a full battery in case you lose power.

When a hurricane is 6 hours from arriving

  • If you’re not in an area that is recommended for evacuation, plan to stay at home or where you are and let friends and family know where you are.
  • Close storm shutters, and stay away from windows. Flying glass from broken windows could injure you.
  • Turn your refrigerator or freezer to the coldest setting and open only when necessary. If you lose power, food will last longer. Keep a thermometer in the refrigerator to be able to check the food temperature when the power is restored.
  • Turn on your TV/radio, or check your city/county website every 30 minutes in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.

Survive DURING

  • If told to evacuate, do so immediately. Do not drive around barricades.
  • If sheltering during high winds, go to a FEMA safe room, ICC 500 storm shelter, or a small, interior, windowless room or hallway on the lowest floor that is not subject to flooding.
  • If trapped in a building by flooding, go to the highest level of the building. Do not climb into a closed attic. You may become trapped by rising flood water.
  • Listen for current emergency information and instructions.
  • Use a generator or other gasoline-powered machinery outdoors ONLY and away from windows.
  • Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. Turn Around. Don’t Drown! Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Stay off of bridges over fast-moving water.

Be Safe AFTER

  • Listen to authorities for information and special instructions.
  • Be careful during clean-up. Wear protective clothing and work with someone else.
  • Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water. If it is safe to do so, turn off electricity at the main breaker or fuse box to prevent electric shock.
  • Avoid wading in flood water, which can contain dangerous debris. Underground or downed power lines can also electrically charge the water.
  • Save phone calls for emergencies. Phone systems are often down or busy after a disaster. Use text messages or social media to communicate with family and friends.
  • Document any property damage with photographs. Contact your insurance company for assistance.

Preparing for a Hurricane or Tropical Storm

Preparing for a Hurricane or Tropical Storm

You can’t stop a tropical storm or hurricane, but you can take steps now to protect you and your family.

If you live in areas at risk, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages you to be prepared for hurricane season. The Atlantic hurricane season is June 1 through November 30 each year.

Please follow these important hurricane preparedness tips from CDC:

After you have read these tips, please review the other resources available on the CDC Hurricanes website. You can also check out CDC’s new reference document that contains key messages on hurricane and flood related health threats. The Preparedness and Safety Messaging for Hurricanes, Flooding, and Similar Disasters pdf icon[1.18 MB] resource can help local responders quickly create and adapt health communication products for affected communities. The document contains messages on various topics including food safety, carbon monoxide poisoning, waterborne diseases, and mold.

CDC strongly recommends that you print all-important resources before a hurricane strikes. Power outages during and after a hurricane can prevent you from accessing information online when you most need it. Preparing now can help keep you and your family safe.