Hurricane Preparedness

Important Phone Numbers

Emergency: 911
Shelter Information: 305-960-4NET or 311
Shelter Pick up sites: 305-960-4NET or 311
Evacuation Routes: 305-960-4NET or 311
Florida Power and Light: 1-800-4OUTAGE
FEMA: 1-800-621-FEMA
American Red Cross : 305-644-1200

General Tips

Being prepared is having a Disaster Plan ready to implement when emergency strikes. You, your family and any others in your care should be familiar with the Family/Facility Disaster Plan PRIOR to the start of Hurricane Season.

  • Discuss the type of hazards that could affect your family/facility. Know your dwelling's and surrounding's vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind.
  • Determine where you will ride out the storm if you choose or are required to evacuate. For the latest shelter information, please call 311.
  • Determine the safe room or the safest areas in your location. This room should be one away from windows. Bathrooms and/or closets are examples of some typical safe room choices.
  • Determine escape routes from your home and places to meet. These should be measured in tens of miles rather than hundreds of miles. For evacuation routes, and county pick up sites, please call 311.
  • Have an out-of-state friend as a family contact, so all your family members have a single point of contact.
  • Make a plan now for what to do with your pets if you need to evacuate, and make sure their registration and vaccinations are current and that you keep a copy of this documentation readily available.
  • Post emergency telephone numbers by your phones and make sure your children know how and when to call 911. Make sure to have an analog phone to enable you to make phone calls should your area suffer a power outage.
  • Check your insurance coverage - flood damage is not usually covered by homeowners insurance.
  • Have all of your important documents including deeds, identification, and insurance papers and contact information in a safe and waterproof location.
  • Use a NOAA weather radio. Remember to replace its battery every 6 months, as you do with your smoke detectors.

Before, During & After The Storm

Before the Storm

  • Have your Family Disaster Plan in Place.
  • Trim your trees and remove loose debris before Storm Season begins (see more on following pages).
  • Bring in or secure patio furniture.
  • Turn off or unplug any non-essential electrical equipment.
  • Put up shutters or plywood on windows and doors.
  • Check to make sure Disaster Supply Kit is complete (see following pages). 
  • Do not put out trash or debris for pick up once a Hurricane Watch or Warning is issued. Any trash or debris must be brought in and/or secured until after the storm.
  • If you are asked to evacuate, do so ASAP!
  • Make arrangements for pets if you are going to a shelter that does not allow them.

During the Storm

  • Stay indoors until the all clear is issued.
  • Keep a battery-powered radio with you so you can listen for updates and tracking of the storm.
  • In case of broken windows, or damage to your home, retreat to your safe room and take cover.

After The Storm

  • Be aware of new safety issues created by the disaster. Watch for washed out roads, contaminated buildings, contaminated water, gas leaks, broken glass, damaged electrical wiring, and slippery floors.
  • Keep a battery-powered radio with you so you can listen for emergency updates and news reports.
  • Use the phone only to report life-threatening emergencies.
  • Stay off the streets. If you must go out, watch for fallen objects; downed electrical wires; and weakened walls, bridges, roads, and sidewalks.
  • Use caution when assessing the damage to your home and property.
  • When clearing debris, please remember to separate natural vegetation from regular garbage to facilitate the clean up process.
  • Once you have assessed the damage, contact your insurance company and/or FEMA if appropriate.

72-Hour Kit

The first line of preparedness for any emergency is to plan to meet your, your family’s or your organization’s basic survival needs for 72 hours. By removing or reducing the uncertainty of where your basic needs’ supplies will come from during this critical 72 hour period, you will alleviate much of the stress individuals suffer in the aftermath of an emergency and allow for the City to more quickly return to normal operations.


Each household or facility should have a 72 hour supply of the following items in the event of a Hurricane: 

o Water (one gallon per person per day) stored in plastic containers

o Fill up bathtubs or containers with water for the toilet and personal hygiene

o Non Perishable Food (enough for each person)

o Canned meats, fruits, vegetables and soups, Dried fruits and nuts, Cereal, crackers and cookies

o Coffee, tea and powdered drinks

o Powdered, evaporated or boxed milk

o Important Documents: Copies of Important documents should be stored 

ο Plastic storage containers

o Insect repellent and sunscreen

o Camera and film

o Clothing: One complete set per person with sturdy shoes

o Prescription drugs (2-week supply)

o Insulin, cooling system and supplies for those with diabetes

o Eyeglasses, contact lenses and supplies (if appropriate)

o Pet Supplies: Food and Water (72 hour supply) and other pet care items in waterproof place that is easily accessible. 

o Cooking Supplies: Manual can opener, utility knife, paper plates and utensils

o Cooking Fuel: Sterno, propane gas, charcoal, and/or lighter fluid

o Toiletries: Toothpaste, toothbrush and other items

o Baby Supplies: food and/or formula Diapers, and supplies

o First-aid kit and other over the counter medications and pain relievers

o Toilet paper, towelettes, feminine supplies

o Soap, liquid detergent, disinfectant and bleach

o Flashlight with extra batteries and bulbs

o Battery operated radio

o Make sure you have one phone that is not dependent on electricity (non-cordless)

o Cash (with some small bills) enough for 72 hours

o Tools including shut-off wrench, pliers, nails, rope

o Matches in waterproof container 

o Make sure you fill up your gas tank before the storm

o Gasoline and/or Fuel for generators & cars in approved containers

Identifying Tree Hazards

Living in South Florida, hurricane preparedness is a must on our to-do list. Below are some tree hazards that should be addressed, if they have not been already:

  • Branches: Inspect the branches on all trees in your property. If there are any twisted, dead or broken limbs, remove them to minimize waste post hurricane.
  • Staked/Braced trees: If the trees had braces installed on them after hurricane Irma, let them remain to be re-evaluated after the hurricane passes.
  • Dense canopy: Be cautious in the reduction of branches to prevent stressing the tree.
  • Make sure any hanging plants and potted plants are moved indoors and that outdoor furniture/items are secured

Right Tree/Right Place/Location/Pruning

To prevent future complications with the plantings on your property during the hurricane season, you can start with the following:

  • Location: To have shade and an attractive home can often be used to determine where to plant trees but it is even more important to choose a spot where the tree will not impact any existing utility lines. Doing so can prevent power outages and help the branches safely grow.
  • Proper planting: To ensure the viability of trees and shrubs, they are to be planted properly by addressing any defects with the roots at the time of planting.
  • Pruning cuts: Since wounded trees do not heal, make sure that pruning cuts are done properly. The cuts can either aide or hinder the process of the tree compartmentalizing the damage done to it. Keep in mind that structural pruning increases the integrity of the tree to prolong its life and make it secure in the landscape.

Additional information

It is highly recommended to hire a tree care professional for tree pruning and to schedule an appointment with a Certified Arborist to see if these or any other hazards exist on your property.

Certified Arborist Directory
FPL Reference