As Floridians, we're no strangers to the terrible power and ravages of hurricanes and tropical storms. Hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 30th. Do you have a disaster preparedness plan in place? If not, information and tips for building a plan are available at the below websites. Click here for steps homeowners can take to minimize hurricane damage.
National Weather Service (NWS) watches and warnings. You can find more information about these risks on ready.gov/hurricanes.
When Hurricanes gain strength, find out if you are residing in an Evacuation Zone by entering your address on a Miami-Dade map.
Visit Miami-Dade County Emergency Management for additional community disaster preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation needs through the coordination of information and resources countywide.
Find your Nearest Open Shelter by texting SHELTER and a Zip Code to 43362. Ex: “Shelter 33143”.
Follow FEMA’s Guidance for Shelters and Safe Rooms.
Check Florida's official source for traffic and travel information FL511 that provides live traffic updates and safe evacuation routes during storms. It’s also important to keep a list of contact information for reference, including loved ones, local utilities, local hospitals, TV and radio stations and insurance agents.
Make sure you have an Emergency Supplies Kit
Basic Disaster Supply Kit Items:
Water – You will need water for drinking, cooking and sanitation purposes. Pack a minimum of 1 gallon daily per person for 7 days.
Food – You will need enough for a minimum of 7 days:
- Non-perishable packaged or canned food and juices
- Foods for individuals with dietary restrictions (i.e. infants, elderly, etc.)
- Snack foods
- Cooking tools and fuel
- Paper plates and plastic utensils
Flashlight and Extra Batteries
Pillows, Blankets and/or Sleeping Bags
Clothing – include a complete change of clothes suitable for your areas climate. Be sure to include sturdy shoes to protect you from debris or other sharp objects you may encounter outdoors post-storm.
First Aid Kit, Prescription Medication and Other Medicines
Radio - battery operated and NOAA weather radio.
Toiletries – for personal care.
Cleaning Supplies – include garbage bags, moisture wipes and other items you may need to sanitize your home or surrounding post-disaster.
Special Items – assess all family member needs. Consider other items needed for infants, elderly and individuals with access and functional needs (i.e. medical items, baby bottles, etc.)
Cash - banks and ATMs may not be open or available for extended periods following a disaster.
Toys, Books and Games – basic ways of entertainment.
Important Documents – consider storing all critical documents in a waterproof container, as well as, saving them electronically. These items can include but are not limited to insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security card, etc.
Hand Tools – wrenches, pliers, cutters, files, striking tools, struck or hammered tools, screwdrivers, vises, clamps, snips, saws, drills and knives.
Pet Care Items
- Proper identification / immunization records
- Ample supply of food and water
- Carrier or cage
- Muzzle and leash
- Photo of you and your pet(s) – in the event you are separated from your pet, having an updated photo with your pet will help validate pet ownership
Try to assemble your kit well in advance of an emergency. You may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you. You will probably not have time to search for the supplies you need or shop for them.
You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least seven days. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours or it may take days.
Additionally, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days or even a week, or longer. Your supplies kit should contain items to help you manage during these outages.
Important Contact Information
Live Updates: @MiamiDadeEM
National Hurricane Center:
Live Updates: @NWSNHC
National Weather Service:
Live Updates: @NWSNHC
Florida Highway Conditions:
Veteran Disaster Hotline:
Disaster Distress Helpline:
Text: TalkWithUs to 66746
Phone: 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362)
Florida Public Radio Emergency Network:
Download the ReadyMDC app:
Click here: ReadyMDC
After the Disaster
Taxpayers in affected areas may be eligible for tax relief from the IRS. Learn more about IRS assistance here.
Disaster Recovery Loans
The U.S. Small Business Administration is providing various disaster loans to qualifying Floridians. More information about SBA disaster loans here.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance
Floridians who are unemployed as a result of a disaster, and who are ineligible for regular state unemployment insurance, are encouraged to apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) through the U.S. Department of Labor. For additional information about DUA here or call 1-866-487-2365.