Hurricane Season

SFWMD Transitions Back to Seasonal Readiness Following Storms

SFWMD Transitions Back to Seasonal Readiness Following Storms

Regional system moved stormwater while balancing the need to save for supply

West Palm Beach, FL — The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) began returning the regional flood control system to typical summer operations today following weekend rainfall from remnant tropical activity.

From Friday morning through 8 a.m. today, approximately 2 inches of rain fell District-wide, with local maximums to 7.5 inches over the three-day period. The rains were mostly associated with remnant moisture from dissipated tropical storms Danny and Erika. Additional rain is expected today.

“The SFWMD was well prepared,” said Jeff Kivett, SFWMD Director of Operations, Engineering and Construction. “We moved water ahead of the storm and throughout the weekend and are quickly returning the system to seasonal water levels for future supply.”

For the first time, the new 15,000-acre A-1 Flow Equalization Basin (A-1 FEB) in western Palm Beach County was used to slow flows to the Stormwater Treatment Areas (STAs), which use plants to clean phosphorus from the water before it reaches the Everglades.

This action helped prevent prolonged high-water levels in the STAs, which can impact their water-cleaning effectiveness. The FEB is part of a suite of projects in the State’s Restoration Strategies plan to improve water quality in the Everglades.

As of Monday afternoon, drawn-down canals in Palm Beach County had returned to seasonal levels, while canals in Broward and Miami-Dade counties were close to recovering.

There were no reports of flooding associated with the regional flood control system, and all SFWMD infrastructure operated as designed.

Useful Storm Links



Broadcast Quality Sound Bites (Preview / Download)

TAMPA, Fla. (August 28, 2015) — As Tropical Storm Erika strengthens, bands of heavy rain are anticipated throughout the state of Florida. AAA urges motorists to be cautious. Heavy rainfall can create dangerous driving conditions with little to no visibility.  It is very important that motorists adjust their typical driving style. Nearly 1.2 million traffic crashes occur each year on wet pavement with more than a half million injuries and 5,700 deaths, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“It’s important that drivers heed official warnings and avoid driving on wet and flooded roads if able,” said Montrae Waiters, AAA spokeswoman, The Auto Club Group. “Driving through standing water is especially dangerous, because you never know just how deep the water is or what you are driving over.”

If your vehicle shuts down while in standing water, do not try to restart it. Restarting a vehicle in standing water can cause more water to enter the engine and could cost thousands of dollars to repair.

Tips for Driving on Wet Roads

  • Check Tires: Make sure tires are properly inflated and have enough tread depth. This will allow the vehicle to have better traction and maneuverability on the road. Worn tires with little tread are much more likely to hydroplane on wet pavement, resulting in a loss of braking power and steering control. Check the tread depth of your car’s tires by inserting a quarter upside down into a tire groove. If you can see above Washington’s head at any point, it’s time for new tires.
  • Slow Down and Leave Room: Slowing down during wet weather driving can be critical to reducing a car’s chance of hydroplaning, when the tires rise up on a film of water. With as little as ½ inch of water on the road, tires have to displace a gallon of water per second to keep the rubber meeting the road. Drivers should reduce their speed to correspond to the amount of water on the roadway. At speeds as low as 35 mph, new tires can still lose some contact with the roadway. Also, it is important for motorists to allow ample stopping distance between cars by increasing the following distance of the vehicle in front of them and beginning to slow down to stop for intersections, turns and other traffic early.
  • Avoid Cruise Control: This feature works great in dry conditions, but when used in wet conditions, the chance of losing control of the vehicle can increase. To prevent loss of traction, the driver may need to reduce the car’s speed by lifting off the accelerator, which cannot be accomplished when cruise control is engaged.
  • Rainy Conditions Can Cause Low Visibility: Turn on your headlights to help you see better and to allow other motorists to spot you better. Avoid using your highbeams because you could blind other drivers and the extra light will reflect off the rain, causing more of a distraction for you.
  • Visibility While Driving: If you can’t see the edges of the road or other vehicles at a safe distance while driving during wet weather, pull of the road as far as you can and wait for the rain to ease up. Make sure to turn on emergency flashers to alert other drivers.
  • Avoid Standing Water and Flooded Roads at All Times: There is no way to tell how deep standing water is on a flooded road and driving through it can cause a vehicle to stall and result in severe damage to the vehicle from:
    • Flooding the engine
    • Warping brake rotors
    • Loss of power steering
    • Short in electrical components
  • If Your Vehicle Stalls in a Flooded Area: DO NOT remain in the car. Abandon it as soon as possible and seek higher ground. Flood waters can elevate quickly, sweeping away the vehicle and its occupants.

SFWMD to Update Media on Tropical Storm Erika Preparations

SFWMD to Update Media on Tropical Storm Erika Preparations

Water managers will provide information on actions being taken ahead of the storm

WHAT:          Following Thursday’s briefing on the operation of South Florida’s flood control system, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) will hold a second media briefing to provide updates on planning actions related to the latest Tropical Storm Erika track.

SFWMD water managers and the warning coordination meteorologist from the National Weather Service Miami/South Florida Forecast Office will be on hand to answer questions. Representatives from the Lake Worth Drainage District, one of the many local flood control districts, will also be available to provide updates.

The District will provide media updates via email, and Twitter as necessary following Friday’s briefing, including the weekend.

WHEN:          Friday, August 28, 2015

TIME:            11 a.m.

CALL IN:      (855) 682-6800/Meeting ID: 990 685 125


WHERE:        SFWMD Headquarters

B1 Auditorium

3301 Gun Club Road

West Palm Beach, FL 33406

Florida SBDC Urges Businesses to Take Precautions for Tropical Storm Erika

Florida SBDC Urges Businesses to Take Precautions for Tropical Storm Erika 

Disaster Preparedness Assistance Available through SBA, FSBDC

FSBDCN State Office: (August 27, 2015) – Charley, Ivan, Jeanne, Dennis and Wilma are names not forgotten in Florida. These five hurricanes made landfall between August 2004 and October 2005, resulting in over $100 billion in damages and tens of thousands of businesses that never recovered.  In the wake of Tropical Storm Erika, the fifth named storm of an already active Atlantic hurricane season, the Florida SBDC Network is urging small businesses to take proper precautions to ensure recovery in the event of a disaster.

“As we remember the 10th anniversary of a hurricane season that devastated Florida, we are reminded of what can happen to a community when its businesses are destroyed and never recover,” said Michael W. Myhre, CEO and Network State Director for the Florida SBDC. “Though it is too early to determine if Tropical Storm Erika will maintain its current course, and what intensity it will become, businesses should continue to monitor developments and have a disaster plan in place.”

The Florida SBDC Network, a participating organization in the State of Florida’s Emergency Support Function for Business and Industry, provides education, training and assistance to small and medium sized businesses located in Florida at no cost. Through the Network’s Business Continuation Services, professionally certified business consultants are available to help businesses develop a comprehensive Business Continuity, Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Recovery Plan.

“Having a business continuity plan is essential to establishing a successful and resilient small business,” added Myhre. “The investment to create a disaster preparedness plan is small compared to the financial losses that may occur if there’s no plan in place.”

The U.S. Small Business Administration has partnered with Agility Recovery Solutions to provide disaster assistance resources, including business continuity strategies and disaster preparedness checklists and templates. Additionally, in collaboration with FEMA’s Ready Campaign, SBA and Agility Recovery are offering a series of free webinars in September as part of National Preparedness Month (NPM). The 2015 NPM theme is “Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make your Emergency Plan Today.”

The 30-minute webinars will be presented at 2 p.m. EDT every Wednesday:

September 9:   “The Keystone to Disaster Recovery: Communications”

September 16: “Recover from the Most Likely Disaster: Power Outage”

September 23: “Protect Your Most Valuable Asset: Prepare Your Employees”

September 30: “If You Do Nothing Else this Year…”

To register, or to view past webinars and other disaster assistance resources available through SBA and Agility Recovery’s “PrepareMyBusiness” website, click here.

Yesterday, the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Tallahassee was activated to a Level 2 partial activation in preparation for possible impacts from Tropical Storm Erika. The State Emergency Response Team (SERT) will continue to monitor the storm’s developments. Florida businesses can stay on top of the storm and access other online resources via the Florida Division of Emergency Management by clicking here.

In the event that the storm does impact the state, the Florida SBDC Network will deploy its Mobile Assistance Centers – equipped with laptops, printers, satellite communication, supplies, and more – and its team of Business Disaster Response Specialists to provide on-site assistance for impacted businesses

For more information about the Florida SBDC’s Business Continuation Services, click here.

About the Florida SBDC Network:

For nearly forty years, the Florida SBDC Network has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development to provide emerging and established business owners with management and technical assistance, enabling overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for the state. In 2014, the initiatives of the Florida SBDC Network resulted in 42,664 jobs created, retained and saved; $5.8 billion in sales growth; $140.2 million in capital accessed; $210.2 million in government contract awards; and 952 new businesses started. A statewide network of over 40 centers, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners, with the University of West Florida serving as the Network’s designated lead host institution. The Florida SBDC Network is state designated as Florida’s principal provider of business assistance and is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs. For more information, please visit

How To Trim Large Tree Branches

How To Trim Large Tree Branches

By: Julie Day

Nicely healed (and healing) pruning wounds.

If you’re trimming heavy tree limbs, you have to be extra careful not to damage the bark or interfere with the tree’s natural healing response. Doing it right is actually no more difficult than doing it wrong, particularly if you think ahead to how much work it would take to remove a dead tree!

Here’s how to cut large tree limbs in your yard in three simple steps.

Poorly healed wound due to an improper pruning cut.

How Trees Heal

The truth is, trees don’t actually heal like we do. When you cut off a tree branch, the tree forms a special callous tissue (like a scar) that covers over the wound to keep out disease and decay. That scarred part of the tree will be there forever, sealed off so that the rest of the tree can keep growing. It’s very important to prune trees correctly so that we don’t interfere with this process – incorrect pruning will leave the tree weak and vulnerable to disease.

In the top photo, you can see the evidence of several large pruning cuts. The bumps show well healed pruning scars, most of them completely covered over. The “donut” shaped scar is normal, too. The callous tissue grows from the outside edges toward the center, so it’s still in the process of sealing over.

Take the time to do it right.

How to Cut a Tree Limb

Proper pruning of large tree limbs involves three cuts:

    • Cut #1, Notch Cut: Cut a small notch in the bottom of the limb, 2-3 feet away from the trunk, and about a quarter of the way through. This notch will keep the bark from splitting when you make the next cut.
    • Cut #2, Relief Cut: Just outside the notch, make a relief cut completely through the branch. This removes the weight of the branch, so that you can make your final cut without the branch splitting and falling.
  • Cut #3, Final Cut: This is the one that matters! Your final cut should be right where the branch collar (that swollen bump) transitions to smooth branch bark. Follow the slant of the branch collar. If you can’t fit your saw into the crotch at the right angle, then cut it from the bottom up.

Common Tree Trimming Mistakes

    • Cutting the Branch Too Short: We used to think that branches should be cut off flush with the trunk – boy, were we ever wrong! The branch collar is responsible for forming the scar tissue. If you cut into the branch collar, the tree will have a very hard time recovering. When you see rotten holes in tree trunks, or seeping wounds, you’re looking at the aftermath of cutting off the branch collar.

    • Leaving the Branch Too Long: The branch collar on the truck can only do its job of allowing the wound to heal if all of the branch that it has to cover over has been removed while leaving the branch collar itself intact. In the photo on the right, you can see how the branch stubs that were left too long are interfering with and actually preventing the healing process from taking place.

  • Failure to Make the Relief Cuts: If you fail to make the relief cuts and remove most of the weight of the limb before trimming the branch back to the trunk, you run the risk of having the branch split off. This can cause substantial damage to the trunk, as seen in the photo at right. This can make the wound on the trunk susceptible to disease and insect infestation and take much longer to heal.

Putting together a hurricane “survival kit”?

Putting together a hurricane “survival kit”?

Here are three-day and 14-day checklists of items you’ll want to include.

Be sure to check out the WRAL video of some items you might not be aware you will need if you’re without food, clean water or electricity.

Three-day supply kit

Start with an easy to carry, watertight container – a large, plastic trash can will do, or you can line a sturdy cardboard box with a couple of trash bags. Next, gather the following items and place them in your kit:

  • Water: 1 gallon per person per day. Fill plastic containers, such as soft-drink bottles.
  • Water purification kit or bleach (use eight drops of regular bleach per gallon of water.
  • Essential medications
  • First-aid book and kit that includes:

– 20 emergency bandages of various sizes
– One 5 x 9 sterile dressing
– One roll of self-adhering elastic bandage
– Four various-sized sterile gauze pads
– One roll of 3-inch cohesive bandage
– Waterless alcohol-based sanitizer and wipes
– Medical grade non-latex gloves
– Adhesive tape, 2-inch width
– Anti-bacterial ointment
– Cold pack
– Small scissors
– Tweezers
– CPR breathing barrier, such as a face shield
– Non-prescription drugs (e.g., aspirin or non-aspirin pain relievers)

  • Ready-to-eat, non-perishable foods, such as canned meats, granola bars, instant soup and cereals, fruits and vegetables, canned or box juices, peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars, trail mix, bread and any special dietary items you and your family need.
  • Manual can opener
  • Baby supplies: formula, bottle, pacifier, soap, baby powder, clothing, blankets, baby wipes, disposable diapers, canned food and juices
  • Food, water, leash and carrier for pets (If you plan to go to a shelter, remember that most do not allow pets. Make other plans for your pets.)
  • Sanitary Items:

– Large, plastic trash bags for waste and to use as tarps and rain ponchos
– Large trash cans
– Towelettes
– Bar soap and liquid detergent
– Shampoo
– Toothpaste and toothbrushes
– Feminine hygiene supplies
– Toilet paper
– Household bleach for cleaning
– Rubber gloves

  • Blanket or sleeping bag per person
  • Battery-powered, portable radio or portable TV and plenty of extra batteries
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Extra pair of eyeglasses
  • Extra house and car keys
  • Fire extinguisher (ABC-type)
  • Cash and change
  • Seasonal change of clothing, including sturdy shoes

Prepare your paperwork

Start with a portable, waterproof (airtight) bag that’s brightly colored, so you can quickly find it in the dark. Diving equipment shops stock the ideal bag, but gallon-sized or larger zip-lock bags will do in a pinch.

Print this checklist and keep it inside your waterproof bag to help you collect the items listed below:

  • Driver’s license, photo ID
  • Emergency contact list or address book (even if contacts are stored in a smartphone)
  • Insurance policies (health, home, auto)
  • Vital documents (birth certificates, passports, wills)
  • Bank account information (account numbers, passwords)
  • Photocopies of credit and debit cards (front and back)
  • Stock certificates, investment information
  • Extra keys (home, safe deposit box, office and car)

Remember: When packing, be realistic about what you can carry. Pack only what is essential for surviving the storm and its aftermath.

Don’t forget to hurricane-proof your digital information. Backing up to a portable hard drive leaves you open to the same storm-related dangers your computer faces. Cloud-based backup preserves your data and grants you secure access from anywhere.

Finally, create an emergency kit with necessities for your pets, including food, water, and medicines, as well as a collar and leash.

14-day supply kit

The experiences of Hurricanes Hugo, Bertha and Fran have taught North Carolinians to be prepared to live without utilities and basic services for two weeks or more. In addition to the three-day supply kit, these supplies will be good to have if you find your self going 14 days without electricity or running water:

  • Disposable plates, cups, utensils
  • Plastic garbage bags
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Cooler
  • Ice
  • Toiletries
  • Detergent for dishes and clothes
  • Clothesline and clothespins
  • Games, such as cards, and quiet toys
  • Duct and masking tape
  • Rolls of plastic
  • Lantern and fuel (not candles)
  • Gloves and goggles
  • Small tools
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Brooms and mops
  • Pails and buckets
  • Ladders
  • Plywood and nails
  • Rakes and shovels
  • Chain saw, gas and oil
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Battery-operated clock
  • Butane lighter or matches
  • Axes, hatchets, pruners
  • Rope


Erika Soaks the Caribbean

Erika Soaks the Caribbean

Tropical Storm Erika has now moved into the eastern Caribbean Sea, spreading locally heavy rain in the northern Leeward Islands, and will soon shift over Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

(MORE: Heart of the Hurricane Season is Here)

A band of torrential rain has triggered deadly flash flooding on the island of Dominica in the Lesser Antilles. Roads have been washed out an airport flooded, and at least one home has collapsed.

(MORE: Flooding Hits Dominica; U.S. Prepares)

Canefield Airport near the capital of Roseau, Dominica, picked up 12.64 inches (322.4 millimeters) of rain in a 12-hour period ending just before 2 p.m. EDT Thursday.

Occasional gusts above 30 mph have been measured at Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands early Thursday morning. A Wunderground personal weather station atop Crown Mountain Summit (elevation 1,534 feet) on St. Thomas has measured gusts up to 46 mph. Gusts over 40 mph have been clocked on Barbuda, as well.

Thursday, Erika has struggled to maintain a consistent center of circulation. Afternoon visible satellite images appear to have located an exposed center with convection blown off to the east and south.

If it persists, it raises the chance that Erika’s center would track over the mountains of Puerto Rico (some peaks over 4,000 feet) and the Dominican Republic (Pico Duarte is over 10,000 feet), disrupting or ripping apart its circulation, though posing a greater flood threat in those areas.

The culprit for this disheveled appeareance of Erika is the long-anticipated westerly wind shear.

Erika will continue moving through an environment with vertical wind shear and some dry air, both general inhibitors for tropical cyclone intensification over the next couple of days. It is not out of the question these twin nemeses, together with a possible track over land mentioned above, may weaken Erika to a tropical wave or remnant.

At any rate, Erika is will spread rain and wind into drought-suffering areas, such as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

(INTERACTIVE: Caribbean Radar)

Bands of locally heavy rain are possible from the northern Leeward Islands across parts of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Hispanola, with locally higher amounts, through Friday.

Despite the long-term drought, this amount of rain, particularly if falling in a short period of time, may trigger flash flooding and mud/rockslides.

Erika's Possible Steering Pattern Ahead


Erika’s Possible Steering Pattern Ahead

Possible upper-level steering pattern if Erika survives into the Bahamas this weekend into the following week.

Projected Path


Projected Path

The red swath indicates the possible path of the center of the tropical cyclone. Impacts may, and often do, extend beyond the swath.

Tropical Storm-Force Wind Probabilities


Tropical Storm-Force Wind Probabilities

This graphic from the National Hurricane Center shows the chances of tropical storm-force winds (at least 39 mph), based on the current forecast. Probabilities in the center of the swath decrease in time due to increasing forecast uncertainty.

An Uncertain Future: Bahamas, U.S. Threat?

Beyond that, the forecast has a large amount of uncertainty, due the nature of the upper-level steering flow near the eastern U.S. next week.

Assuming Erika survives the hostile environment over the eastern Caribbean the next few days, the steering pattern and a more conducive environment for strengthening are more troubling for the Bahamas and the Southeast U.S. coast.

The current sharp southward dip in the jet stream in the East responsible for the cool, dry air in the Midwest and Northeast earlier this week is gradually being replaced by a northward-migrating jet into eastern Canada and northern New England. Any leftover remnant of that previous southward dip will be much weaker and farther west over the western Gulf of Mexico or southern U.S.

Coupled with the Bermuda high setting up southwest of Bermuda, an alley appears to be clearing for Erika — assuming it survives — to track toward or near the Florida peninsula or Southeast U.S. coast early-mid next week.

Furthermore, an environment of less wind shear and warm water may allow Erika to strengthen near the central or northwest Bahamas later this weekend into early next week.

For now, potential impacts in the Bahamas from Erika are focusing on Saturday (southeast) and Sunday-Monday (northwest).

(FORECAST: Nassau | Turks & Caicos)

The potential U.S. impact remains very uncertain. Here are the two most possible scenarios:

  • If Erika takes a more westward path (and survives the two-day hostile environment), along the western/southern edge of the forecast cone, it could move inland over the southern Florida peninsula later Sunday into Monday. In this scenario, Erika would have less time to strengthen over the warm water near the Bahamas before moving inland, and would primarily be a heavy rain threat over the Florida peninsula.

(FORECAST: MiamiDaytona Beach)

  • Erika may, however, remain east of the Florida peninsula, and instead track north toward coast of South Carolina or North Carolina around the middle of next week. With a track over the warm Gulf Stream, Erika would most likely strengthen to a hurricane in this scenario. Florida would not be completely off the hook in this scenario, as strong winds could lead to high surf, rip currents and beach erosion in some areas.

(FORECAST: Charleston | Myrtle Beach | Wilmington)

While unlikely at this time, we also can’t rule out a sharp enough northeast turn of Erika to keep the center off the Southeast coast next week, or even a track into the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

Keep in mind we’re still several days out before a potential Erika flirtation with the southeast U.S.

The average forecast track error of a National Hurricane Center five-day forecast is about 241 statute miles. Also, the average forecast intensity error of an NHC five-day forecast is 18 miles per hour. The Erika forecast remains more uncertain than typical for an Atlantic tropical cyclone.

All interests in The Bahamas and the southeast United States from Florida to the Outer Banks of North Carolina should continue to monitor the progress of Erika.

(MORE: Expert Analysis | Hurricane Central)

Check back with The Weather Channel and for the latest updates on Erika.

Thunderstorms & Lightning |

All thunderstorms are dangerous. Every thunderstorm produces lightning. While lightning fatalities have decreased over the past 30 years, lightning continues to be one of the top three storm-related killers in the United States. In 2010 there were 29 fatalities and 182 injuries from lightning. Although most lightning victims survive, people struck by lightning often report a variety of long-term, debilitating symptoms.

Other associated dangers of thunderstorms include tornadoes, strong winds, hail and flash flooding. Flash flooding is responsible for more fatalities – more than 140 annually – than any other thunderstorm-associated hazard. Dry thunderstorms that do not produce rain that reaches the ground are most prevalent in the western United States. Falling raindrops evaporate, but lightning can still reach the ground and can start wildfires.

To prepare for a thunderstorm, you should do the following:

  • Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall and cause injury or damage during a severe thunderstorm.
  • Postpone outdoor activities.
  • Remember the 30/30 Lightning Safety Rule: Go indoors if, after seeing lightning, you cannot count to 30 before hearing thunder. Stay indoors for 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder.
  • Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.
  • Get inside a home, building, or hard top automobile (not a convertible). Although you may be injured if lightning strikes your car, you are much safer inside a vehicle than outside.
  • Remember, rubber-soled shoes and rubber tires provide NO protection from lightning. However, the steel frame of a hard-topped vehicle provides increased protection if you are not touching metal.
  • Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades or curtains.
  • Unplug any electronic equipment well before the storm arrives.

Thunderstorms & Lightning |

Hurricane Preparedness Checklists for Homes

Hurricane Preparedness Tips for Home

Hurricanes can be dangerous, listening to the hurricane warning messages and planning ahead can reduce the chances of injury or major property damage.


Know your Emergency Shelters

Contact the National Disaster Office for the closest shelters.

Have disaster supplies on hand

Flashlight and extra batteries

Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries

First aid kit

Non-perishable (canned food) and water

Non-electric can opener

Essential medicines

Cash and credit cards

Sturdy shoes

Protect your windows

Permanent shutters are the best protection. A lower-cost approach is to put up plywood panels. Use 1/2 inch plywood–marine plywood is best–cut to fit each window. Remember to mark which board fits which window. Pre-drill holes every 18 inches for screws. Do this long before the storm.

Trim back branches from trees

Trim branches away from your home and cut all dead or weak branches on any trees on your property.

Check into your Home and Auto Insurance

Confirm that policies are valid and coverage is appropriate.

Make arrangements for pets and livestock

Pets may not be allowed into emergency shelters for health and space reasons. Contact your local humane society for information on animal shelters.

Develop an emergency communication plan

Make sure that all family members know what to do. Teach family members how and when to turn off gas, electricity, and water. Teach children how and when to call police or fire department and which radio station to tune to for emergency information. In case family members are separated from one another during a disaster (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), have a plan for getting back together.

Hurricane Watches and Warnings

A hurricane watch is issued when there is a threat of hurricane conditions within 24-36 hours. A hurricane warning is issued when hurricane conditions (winds of 74 miles per hour or greater, or dangerously high water and rough seas) are expected in 24 hours or less.


Listen to the radio or television for hurricane progress reports.

Check emergency supplies.

Fuel car.

Bring in outdoor objects such as lawn furniture, toys, and garden tools and anchor objects that cannot be brought inside.

Secure buildings by closing and boarding up windows.

Remove outside antennas and satellite dishes.

Turn refrigerator and freezer to coldest settings. Open only when absolutely necessary and close quickly.

Store drinking water in clean jugs, bottles, and cooking utensils.


If you need to evacuate your home, lock up home and go to the nearest shelter.

Take blankets and sleeping bags to shelter.

Listen constantly to a radio or television for official instructions.

Store valuables and personal papers in a waterproof container on the highest level of your home.

Stay inside, away from windows, skylights, and glass doors.

Keep a supply of flashlights and extra batteries handy. Avoid open flames, such as candles and kerosene lamps, as a source of light.

If power is lost, turn off major appliances to reduce power “surge” when electricity is restored.

via Hurricane Preparedness Checklists for Homes.

Hurricane Survival Kit

Hurricane Survival Kit

by Dr. Rick Knabb

Essential Items

During a hurricane, and possibly for days or even weeks afterward, electricity and other utilities might not be available. Debris and/or water might block the roads, preventing vehicles from getting in our out of your neighborhood. Help might not reach you for days after the hurricane, so you’ll need to be completely self-sufficient during that period.

Here are some of the most critical supplies to have on hand, well before a hurricane threatens:

  • At least a 3-day and preferably a 7-day supply of water (one gallon per person per day)
  • Non-perishable food
  • Formula, diapers, and other baby supplies
  • Manual can opener
  • First aid kit
  • Prescription and non-prescription medicines
  • Toiletries
  • Cell phones and battery-powered cell phone chargers
  • Battery-powered radios and flashlights
  • Plenty of batteries
  • Extra cash
  • Blankets, sleeping bags, books, and games (especially if evacuating)

via Hurricane Survival Kit.