On Wednesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency to give officials enough time to prepare for the storm and urged all Floridians on the state’s east coast to “have seven days of supplies, prepare their homes and follow the track closely.”
To ensure readiness and safety, AccuWeather offers the following tips:
People evacuate during hurricanes because of storm surge, an abnormal rise of water generated by a storm’s winds that can reach heights well over 20 feet and can span hundreds of miles of coastlines. Local governments provide the public with information about evacuation areas and the evacuation plans; residents in Dorian’s path are recommended to review this information in advance. Ensure you have a way to receive warnings — a NOAA weather radio, the free AccuWeather app on your mobile phone, AccuWeather.com or the radio/television. Sign up for alert notifications that are specific to your town or region. Know your local hurricane evacuation route(s), as well as shelters outside the evacuation zone. Make sure your vehicles are in good working condition and able to make the potentially several hundred-mile trips. Make sure to scope out shelters that welcome pets, if necessary.
Prepare a hurricane emergency kit:
- Change of clothes for several days
- Documents, (ID, Insurance Cards, Bank Cards, Birth Certificates)
- Nonperishable foods or snacks
- Cash in varying bills
- Local maps
- Whistle to signal for help
- Pet supplies
Buy supplies well in advance and keep supplies on hand should evacuation be required. The following are key essentials in the case of power outages.
- Dried fruits
- Nuts, seeds
- Peanut butter
- Protein bars
- Granola bars
- Canned goods
Stock bottled water with at least 1 gallon of water per person per day
- Sports drinks
- Single-serving shakes
- Nutrition drinks
- Phone and charger
- Flashlights, (LED)
- Waterproof matches
- Hand-cranked or battery-operated radio
- Prescription medicines
- Medical gloves
- Toilet tissue
Keep all items in backpacks and stored in plastic tubs or waterproof storage containers. Sleeping bags and blankets are other items to consider bringing along.
- Clear out drains and gutters to keep them from flooding when it rains heavily.
- Bring inside any outdoor objects that could be picked up and thrown by strong winds.
- Unplug electronic devices and turn off utilities as directed to do so by authorities before evacuating.
- Large pets or livestock that cannot be taken with you when evacuating should be evacuated well ahead of time, so it’s important to have a plan in place for this.
Board up all windows to prevent broken glass.
Hurricane or tropical storm? Know the difference!
- Hurricane/Tropical Storm Watch: Hurricane conditions are possible in the next 48 hours. Stay tuned into alerts and look over the evacuation route. Double-check emergency preparedness kit.
- Hurricane/Tropical Storm Warning: Hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours. If in the evacuation zone, it is time to evacuate to a safe shelter outside the evacuation zone with your family and pets. Stay in contact with family and friends using phones or social media to let them know you’re safe.