Since the hurricane season is here, we all should be ready to anticipate the possible dangers. One big thing is to be prepared and the time is, NOW! The predictions this year calls for 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 major hurricanes. It only takes one of these storms to hit South Florida; therefore, we all must NOT let our guards down.
In a major disaster, emergency workers may not be able to reach everyone right away, and in some cases it may take 3 or more days for help to arrive. What would you do if you had no electricity, no gas, no water and no telephone service? Having a plan for your family and their needs will help ensure their safety and comfort during these difficult times. Remember, the best way to make your family and home safer is to be prepared before a disaster happens. By going to www.floridadisaster.org/family (for businesses: www.floridadisaster.org/business ) you will be able to create your plan which will only take about 10-15 minutes. In the website click on “Start MY Family (or Business) Disaster Plan!” and follow the simple instruction. You will be asked to provide information about your home, family, and pets. Using the information you provide, this website will create a personalized Family Disaster Plan that you can print out and save for future emergencies.
After you have printed the personal plan, meet with family members and discuss the types of disasters that could occur. Explain how to prepare and respond to each event. The stress of an approaching storm can be lessened by everyone being prepared.
Consider investing in commercial or home-made hurricane shutters, storm panels and security window film. These will prevent your windows from breaking. Update your Homeowner’s insurance policy for adequate coverage. If you rent, obtain Renter’s insurance now. Take advantage of the National Flood Insurance Program for flood coverage as your Homeowner’s and Renter’s insurance does not cover losses from flooding. The National Flood Insurance Program is a pre-disaster flood mitigation and insurance protection program (for information: call 1-888-CALL-Flood extension 445 or visit WWW.fema.gov/business/nfip ).
As the storm approaches, the City of Miami Gardens has an Emergency Weather Alert Radio Channel on AM 970. This radio station is transmitting local weather and emergency information. The radio system is an “All Hazards” advisory system that will provide emergency information to the citizens of Miami Gardens during time of emergencies, disasters or other special situations, including flooding. On non-emergency days, the City will broadcast the National Weather Service Radio. The National Weather Service broadcast official weather service warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
PREPARE A DISASTER SUPPLY KIT AND HAVE IT READY
Have enough emergency supplies to last for at least three days (72 hours). At a minimum, be sure to include:
• Water (at least one gallon per person per day)
• Non-perishable, ready-to-eat food (manual can opener)
• Disposable plates and utensils
• Battery-powered flashlight
• Battery-powered radio
• Extra batteries
• First aid kit
• Prescription medication (two-week supply)
• Eye glasses or contact lenses
• Toilet paper, soap, wipes, personal hygiene items
• Large plastic garbage bags
• Change of clothes, gloves, sturdy shoes, rain gear
• Blankets and pillows
• Keys (home, vehicle, boat)
• Tools (including rope, duct tape, tarp)
• Unscented bleach
• Supplies for those with special needs (infants, children, seniors and pets)
• Important documents (driver’s license, birth certificate, insurance papers, medical records, etc. in a waterproof container)
Get ready, have a plan, and be informed by monitoring the TV, radio or trusted Internet sites for information. When the time comes, stay calm, have plans ready, and listen for instructions from local officials as they prepare the City for the approaching storm in coordination with the County and other agencies.