Hurricane Preparedness: Are You Ready? By Alina Lopez
As I wrote this blog, Tropical Storm Elsa was threatening our shores. Downgraded from a hurricane category 1, it still was expected to bring rain and wind to the Keys and the West side of Florida. Although we’re already a month into hurricane season, it’s wise to brush up on hurricane safety and preparedness. Since, 2016, hurricane seasons have seen above average number of named storms and 2021 predicts to be another active year. Miami-Dade has been spared from any major storms in the past couple of years but even a small storm can bring in significant damage to the area. Planing ahead and being hurricane ready is not only the smart thing to do, but it also helps in avoiding the madness and chaos that ensues with an impending storm looming our way.
Before a storm make sure to follow some preparations to safeguard our properties, belongings, and keep us safe.
- Take pictures of your home, boy inside and out, for insurance purposes.
- Spot check your shutters, if you have them, and check that they are opening and closing with ease and have no damage.
- Protect areas where wind can enter. Windows and doors should be secured with county approved shutters or with 5/8 inch plywood.
- Take a look at your battery supplies and make sure you have enough batteries in the appropriate size for battery operated appliances.
- Protect electronics with surge protectors and waterproof coverings.
- Bring in lawn furniture and other outdoor décor that can become airborne.
- Withdraw cash to have as a a backup in case power is out and establishments aren’t accepting credit.
- Fuel up vehicles, generators, and other gas powered tools.
- Properly prune trees and shrubs before hurricane season starts.
- Fill aluminum or plastic containers with potable water once a hurricane warning is announced. Also, fill other containers with two-thirds of water and place in the freezer to use as ice.
- Follow evacuation orders. Evacuation centers should only be used as a last resort, but if you’re being instructed to evacuate, listen to the authorities. Remember, in the strongest portion of a storm, first responders might not be able to reach you in the event of an emergency as it may be too dangerous for them to be driving around.
- If you have pets, check which shelters are pet-friendly. Pet owners should bring sufficient food, water, and medication for a minimum of three days.
During a storm, stay indoors! Most importantly, don’t go outside in the eye of a storm as hurricane force winds can return unexpectedly.
After a storm, when it’s safe to do so, inspect your home for damage and asses whether it’s safe to stay there. Obey curfew and emergency orders.
Neighborhood Watch groups play a vital role in the before and after a storm preparations. Before a storm, review the contact information on your phone chain and that they’re current and accurate. Notate those residents who are elderly or might need assistance with pre and post readiness.
Hurricanes are no joking matter. Even if we don’t get a direct hit, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
For further and more detailed information on hurricane safety, you can visit and download the official Miami-Dade Readiness Guide at miamidade.gov/hurricane and keep track of storms at noaa.gov.
Until next time, be aware, make good choices, and stay safe.
To contact our office, call 305-470-1670 or visit www.citizenscrimewatch.org.
Written By: Alina Lopez