Projections are currently showing Tropical Storm Erika driving through the middle of Florida. Governor Rick Scott has already declared a state of emergency for the entire state.
We all know the projected path can change at any time, but do NOT wait until the last minute to prepare your family and property for an emergency!
Below are some simple tips to help prepare.
- Create a Plan: Sit down with your entire family and create an emergency plan (this plan MUST include your pets, if you evacuate then they need to come with you). Talk about what you will do before, during and after a severe weather emergency. Make sure you also practice that plan.
- Keep a Portable Light In Every Room: This may seem simple, but having a portable light in every room will help in an emergency situation. Don’t wait until you lose power to try to find a flashlight. Also, make sure you have extra batteries handy.
- Create An Emergency Supply Kit: Contents should include enough bottled water, canned and non-perishable foods that will sustain your family for 72 hours. It should also include first aid supplies, copies of vital paperwork (mortgage, bank, insurance, medical, prescriptions, important phone numbers and addresses).
- Get Updates From Social Media: Severe weather can take its toll on communications, so make sure you keep up with social media for the most up-to-date information from local government agencies and news outlets.
- Charge Your Devices: Make sure your cell phone is charged. Also, ensure you have fresh batteries for flashlights and weather radios.
- Stock Your Vehicle: You never know where you’ll be when weather related emergencies occur, so have an emergency kit with essentials (jumper cables, flashlights, first aid kit, non-perishable food, manual can opener, water, basic toolkit, pet supplies and a battery or hand cranked radio) inside your vehicle. Also, make sure you have a car phone charger and that your gas tank is full.
- Pack a Bag: Have a bag packed that includes at least 3 days worth of clothing and necessities for your family.
- Prepare Your Home: Plan to bring in and/or secure all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down. Board windows and trim trees. If possible, have a generator and tarps handy.
- Designate a Place To Seek Shelter: Identify a safe location your family can take shelter, whether it is a basement or an interior room on the lowest floor. If you must evacuate due to a tropical storm or hurricane, know in advance where your local shelters are and take your emergency supply kit along. You can search for open shelters by texting SHELTER and a Zip Code to 43362 (4FEMA). Ex: Shelter 01234 (standard rates apply)!
- Don’t Forget Your Pets: As mentioned above, your emergency plan must include your furry family members, too. The American Red Cross has information regarding preparing pets for emergencies here.