Hurricane Preparedness Tips
Miami | West Palm Beach | Ft. Lauderdale
Hurricanes! A threatening fact of life in South Florida – Miami, Ft. Lauderdale & West Palm Beach. Use this page as your One Stop resource on Florida Hurricane Preparedness. Sponsored by Express Glass & Board Up, offering board up services as well as high impact glass.
Knowledge is power. Before a hurricane strikes South Florida, learn something about these feats of nature. They’re big, they’re powerful, they’re awesome (and they’re menacing).
- Hurricanes 101 by National Geographic – watch this amazing video on the facts of hurricanes, such as how they form, how their strength is measured, and how they orient themselves towards South Florida.
- Tropical Cyclone at Wikipedia – read Wikipedia’s all-in-one source on everything hurricane, including those confusing names such as tropical depression, hurricane, cyclone, and typhoon.
- Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale – The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is a 1 to 5 rating based on a hurricane’s sustained wind speed. This scale estimates potential property damage. Hurricanes reaching Category 3 and higher are considered major hurricanes because of their potential for significant loss of life and damage. Category 1 and 2 storms are still dangerous, however, and require preventative measures.
- Tropical Cyclone Names – where do they names come from? They come from this list, and they start with “A.” Fortunately, hurricanes now come in both male and female names!
Preparation is essential. The best time to prepare for a hurricane is far before it potentially makes landfall in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach or somewhere else in Florida. Use these resources to learn about hurricane preparedness, and prepare your home, condo, or apartment for a hurricane. Be sure to have a plan for your family, and – if you have pets or animals – a plan for your pets as well.
- Hurricane Preparedness Week – The National Weather Service conducts a “hurricane preparedness” week each year, before the official kickoff of hurricane season. Click to this nifty resource to learn the major steps in hurricane preparedness, namely: 1) determine your risk, 2) develop an evacuation plan, 3) assemble disaster supplies, 4) secure an insurance checkup, 5) strengthen your home, 6) check on your neighbor, and 7) complete your written hurricane plan.
- Hurricane Safety – the American Red Cross is the goto non-governmental resource before, during, an after any emergency. Peruse their information page on hurricane preparedness, broken down into about, before, during, and after a storm threatens Florida.
- How to Prepare for a Hurricane – the federal government’s FEMA agency has written this PDF guide to hurricane preparedness. Download it, read it, and implement its important todos for your family. Don’t miss FEMA’s hurricane hazard microsite, chock full of information on how to prepare for a hurricane!
- Ready.gov – Ready.gov has a useful hurricane preparedness resource list.
Monitor potential hurricanes. When a hurricane threatens Florida, anywhere from Key West to Jacksonville (on the East Coast), and of course our home cities of Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach, “tune in” to government and private news media to stay tuned to alerts. Hurricanes are unpredictable by nature, and so we don’t always know when or even if they are going to hit Florida! Monitoring is an essential task in hurricane preparedness.
- The National Hurricane Center – NOAA produces the goto resource for monitoring hurricanes in realtime. Bookmark their website. You can also follow them on Twitter to stay up-to-date via social media. You can subscribe to email alerts, here, or go here just for hurricane alerts only.
- Apps. Whether you have an iPhone or an Android, you can download free apps to monitor hurricanes. Some examples are: the FEMA app, the Weather.com app, the Red Cross App for iPhones, and Hurricane Trackers for iPhone and Android. The best advice is to open up your phone, visit either the App Store or Google Play and search for “hurricane” or “weather” apps. There are a lot of them!
- Storm Tracker 13 – As the summer storm season approaches, News 13 and their Weather Experts want to make sure you’re well prepared when severe weather threatens. Their Storm Season 2017 section has everything you need to stay ahead of the storm and what to do in the aftermath. The Sun Sentinel has a competing hurricane information center, here.
- Florida Hurricane Center – while their website looks like it was designed in 1999, nonetheless there is a wealth of realtime information on hurricanes threatening South Florida. It’s a must bookmark in your list of monitoring resources.
Ready, aim, action! Should a hurricane actually approach, it’s time to act. First and foremost, monitor official news channels to determine if an evacuation order has been issues. If so, evacuate! If not, stay tuned and monitor for evacuation instructions. If you’re in your home, it’s time to hunker down and prepare to ride out the storm.
- Miami-Dade County Hurricane Center. This is the official government website for Miami-Dade county in the event of a hurricane. Sign up for their emergency alerts, here. They also have list of evacuation centers.
- Palm Beach County. Use this website to find your evacuation zone, and this one, for official Palm Beach County information.
- Ft. Lauderdale Hurricane Preparedness. If you’re in Fort Lauderdale, use this website for official Fort Lauderdale information on hurricanes.
Visit Ready.gov for their cheat sheet on what to do during a hurricane.
After the “all clear” is given, it’s time to recover. After the hurricane has passed, it’s time to recover. The primary goal in this phase is to stay safe. The secondary goal is to alert friends and family that you are safe, and the third goal is actual recovery efforts.
- Safe and Well Website. An official project of the Red Cross, use this website to register as “safe” and to locate friends and family in the affected zone.
- Facebook Safety Check. Almost everyone is on Facebook, so use this nifty Facebook feature to alerts friends and family as to your status.
- After a Hurricane. Read this blog post by the American Red Cross with tips on what to to, and what not to do, after a hurricane. Here’s another great blog post on the topic.