A key way to cope with a disaster is to have a plan. Know how to react before, during and after a disaster and know the hazards that could affect where you live, work and go to school. It is important for all Floridians, especially individuals with access and functional needs, to plan ahead.
- Your family may not be together when a disaster strikes. Know how to contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a meeting place that’s familiar to everyone and easy to find.
- Complete your family emergency communication plan online and print it onto wallet-sized cards.
- Ensure all family members have a copy.
- Install the FEMA mobile app. It provides severe weather alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five selected locations.
- Keep a NOAA Weather Radio tuned to the local emergency station; monitor TV and radio.
- Follow mobile alerts and warnings about severe weather.
Evacuation orders can come with little notice. Planning ahead is vital to evacuating quickly and safely.
- Florida Division of Emergency Management’s website FloridaDisaster.org has comprehensive information on what to do before, during and after a disaster under Plan and Prepare.
- Plan how to leave and where to go if advised to evacuate.
- Fill vehicles with gas if an evacuation seems likely.
- Wear sturdy shoes and clothes.
- Those without cars should plan how to leave.
- Listen to a battery-powered radio and leave when told to do so.
- Leave early to avoid being trapped by severe weather.
- A list of nearby open shelters is on the FEMA mobile app.
- Florida Division of Emergency Management has a list of open shelters by county.
- Inform an out-of-state contact about your evacuation plan.
- Unplug radios, TV and small appliances.
- Secure the home by locking doors and windows.
- Leave a note letting others know the plan for evacuation.
- If the home is damaged, shut off water, gas and electricity.
- Take pets along, but be aware some shelters or hotels only accept service animals.
- Check with neighbors who may need a ride.
- Follow recommended evacuation routes.
- If stranded when driving, stay in the vehicle, put on flashers, call for help and wait until it arrives.
Have disaster supply kits ready at all times in your home, work and vehicles.
- A disaster kit is a collection of basic items needed in the event of an emergency, and can be assembled well in advance.
- Have enough food, water and other necessities, including all medications, in sufficient quantity for each family member to last for at least 72 hours.
- Florida Division of Emergency Management has a list of items to include in disaster kits.
- Ready.gov has a list of recommended emergency supplies.
- MySafeFlorida.org is another source for suggested items for disaster kits.
- Include supplies for individuals with disabilities, children, seniors or pets, and protection against the Florida weather. Insect repellent and sunscreen should be in all kits, as well as rainproof gear for everyone.
For more recovery information, visit www.floridadisaster.org/dem/recovery/,
Helping people before, during and after disasters.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.
FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.