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Are you prepared for hurricane season?

By FDOH-Escambia

June 02, 2016

Pensacola, Fla. – Florida has not had a hurricane in more than 10 years, and the Florida Department of Health in Escambia County (FDOH-Escambia) wants you and your family to be prepared. As most of us know, hurricanes cause high winds, flooding, heavy rain, and storm surges. Even if there is limited risk of landfall, it is important to be prepared and plan ahead to ensure your family’s health and safety.

“Even though the saying is old, I think people, now more than ever, need to realize that ‘the first 72 are on you,’” said FDOH-Escambia preparedness planner, Aric J. Porter. “If everyone’s emergency plans covered the first 72 hours, I think our community would pull through a severe storm much better.”

The Atlantic hurricane season runs June 1 – November 30. The following tips intend to prepare you and your family for a potential hurricane or tropical storm threatening our area.

Tips to prepare for the 2016 Hurricane Season:

  • Determine the risks to your home, property, or business;
  • Assemble an emergency supply kit. Be sure to include enough food and supplies for you and your family for at least 72 hours (accommodate pets if you have them). Also include any medications you may need. Ask your doctor about storing prescription medications such as heart and high blood pressure medication, insulin, and other prescription drugs;
  • Strengthen your home and complete any needed repairs;
  • Identify your trusted sources of information for any severe weather event or hurricane. See resources below for weather information. Credible and timely information is very important in the event of an emergency; and
  • Develop a written hurricane plan, practice it with your family, and keep it in a safe, easily accessible location. Visit FLGetAPlan to build your family emergency plan.

If a storm is approaching:

  • Review your written hurricane plan;
  • Check your emergency supply kit;
  • Cover windows with storm shutters or plywood;
  • Secure movable outdoor items by relocating them into a garage or shed;
  • Fill your car’s gas tank. Check your car’s emergency supply kit;
  • Tune in to local news or radio for up-to-date information;
  • Know how to turn off your gas, electricity, and water in case you need to evacuate; and
  • Designate a shelter, a room without windows, in your home if you cannot evacuate.

If you are medically dependent on electricity, need transportation to evacuate, or assistance to maintain health due to disability, register for Special Needs Shelter.

The Florida Division of Emergency Management, the National Hurricane Center and the Central Pacific Hurricane Center are great resources for weather information and will issue frequent watches, warnings, forecasts, and analyses of severe tropical weather.

For more information on how you can prepare yourself and your family before, during, and after a disaster, please visit the department’s Emergency Preparedness and Response webpage.