Take time to make a family safety plan
It only takes a few moments, but it could protect your family from disaster.
A disaster safety plan can be simple, but it should clearly spell out for all members of your family what, where and how to react during a hurricane.
What to do in case a hurricane warning is issued
- Discuss the type of hazards that could affect your family. Know your home’s vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind.
- If a hurricane warning is issued, make a check list of things you need to do to prepare for the storm such as locating your hurricane kit. Securing all doors, windows and outdoor furniture is an important second step.
Where to go in case a hurricane is approaching
- Locate a safe room or the safest areas in your home for each hurricane hazard. In certain circumstances, the safest areas may not be your home but within your community.
- Determine escape routes from your home and places to meet. Plan a safe evacuation route and identify safe hurricane shelters within your area. A list can be found on this page for each island. Cut out the list and keep it with your plan.
- Be sure to tell all members of your family outside those living with you where you plan on staying in the case of a hurricane. If you have to evacuate your home, know which is the closest shelter and how you will get there.
How to prepare long before a storm threatens
- Take First Aid, CPR and disaster preparedness classes.
- Make a plan now for what to do with your pets if you need to evacuate.
- Have an out-of-town friend as a family contact, so all your family members have a single point of contact.
- Post emergency telephone numbers by your phones and make sure your children know how and when to call 911.
- Preparing a family disaster safety plan should be one of the first things you do at the beginning of hurricane season, but you should also review it throughout the season to remind your family how to react in case of an emergency.
Disaster Supply Kit non-perishable emergency items
- Flashlight, portable battery-operated radio and extra batteries
- First-aid kit
- Emergency food and water (including a non-electric can opener)
- Essential medicines
- Cash and credit cards
- Sturdy shoes and a change of clothing
- Copies of important papers (bank statements, insurance records, deeds, etc.)
- Have a radio handy. Remember to replace its battery every 6 months, as you do with your smoke detectors.