June 1 to Nov. 30 is official hurricane season and South Florida residents are at particular risk. The key to survival is advanced preparation. It will help alleviate panic and can save lives. The following tips apply whether you’re going to evacuate or shelter in place. Comprehensive preparedness lists can be found at NOAA and the American Red Cross.
Make a strategic plan and make sure everyone knows what to do. The best solution is to gather together and evacuate. A plan is essential, even for those that intend to ride out the storm. Make arrangements for caring for children, the elderly, infirm and pets.
Your phone is going to be an integral part of your preparedness plan. Make sure it’s fully charged, have a charging cord, and a mobile charging block for when the power goes out. Have a current photo of every family member and pet on the device. You can even take a photo of your drivers license and children’s school IDs.
Pets and Service Animals
Don’t leave your pets behind if you evacuate. Service animals should be wearing their vests and you should have a photo showing you and your pet(s) or service animal together in the event that you’re separated. Plan for litter and litter boxes for cats. Have enough pet carriers for each animal in case you have to evacuate. Don’t forget food, water, and a dish to put it in. Don’t place pets in the basement as there will be flooding.
Fill any prescriptions you can for you and your pets and include any supplies of prescriptions you have on-hand. Place them in a waterproof container and keep a list of medications for each person and pet on your phone.
Make copies of IDs, Social Security cards, passports, pet vaccination records, vehicle registrations and all insurance policies to name just a few. Save them to a thumb drive and place it in a waterproof container that can be affixed to your key ring or a waterproof container for your go-bag.
Food and Water
Have enough bottled water to last for at least three days for every family member and pet. Canned goods with pull-tops are an excellent choice, but don’t forget to pack a can opener.
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