Tips to Prepare for Approaching 2016 Hurricane Season
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — During National Hurricane Preparedness Week, Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam urges families across Florida to prepare for the 2016 hurricane season that begins June 1.
“With hurricane season fast approaching, the best defense you have is to plan early,” said Commissioner Adam H. Putnam. “Although Florida has not experienced a hurricane hit in more than 10 years, it's critical to prepare your families and your homes in the case of a disaster.”
Have a Plan: Know what you and your family will do in an emergency. Have supplies ready to go and have locations and directions mapped out. Make sure everyone in your house knows the plan.
Prepare a Kit: Keep a kit ready to go with emergency supplies. This should include a three-day supply of water and food for each family member, blankets and sleeping bags, first-aid kid, battery powered radio, changes of clothing, emergency tools, flashlights and extra batteries, credit cards and spare cash, prescription and other medications, pet necessities, a list of important phone numbers, chargers for electronic devices if there is power available, and special items for infants, elderly or disabled household members.
Stay Informed: Keep up-to-date on the latest weather information. Watch local news and weather, listen to a weather radio or keep updated on your computer or smartphone.
Find Shelter: Research the location of hurricane shelters before the season starts. Know if you can take a pet or not. Ensure any livestock or other animals have at least a three-day supply of food and water.
In addition to these tips, keeping your food and water supply safe is one of the most important things you can do during a disaster.
Keep an appliance thermometer in your fridge and freezer so you can get an accurate temperature reading even if the power is off. A freezer should be at or below 0°F and the fridge at 40°F.
Store food on shelves high enough so they will not be contaminated in case of flood.
Have coolers on hand to keep food cold if the power is out more than four hours. Keep the fridge and freezer doors closed as much as possible.
Discard perishables, such as meat, fish, cheese, milk, eggs, leftovers and deli items, if the power is out more than four hours.
Use bottled water if you are concerned about your water supply. If you don't have bottled water, boil water and let it cool before storing to drink.
During an emergency, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is responsible for providing necessary food and water supplies and supporting protection of animals and pets. In addition, the department's Florida Forest Service, made up of a vast network of personnel and equipment, assists emergency responders in ensuring Floridians are safe and that they receive the necessary supplies during an emergency.
For more information and tips on hurricane preparedness, visit the National Weather Service's website.