• STEP 1 Hold a family meeting
    Discuss the hazards of hurricanes. Encourage children to talk about their fears and explain some of the things you’ll be doing to keep everyone safe. Start a written list of things you’ll need to take care of and encourage everyone in the family to contribute their ideas.

  • STEP 2 Discuss shelter options 
    Determine whether you live in an evacuation zone and, if so, where you will go if an evacuation order is given. Going to a family or friend’s house or hotel outside the evacuation area is your best choice. If you choose to go out of town, do so well in advance of the storm. Since shelters provide for only basic needs, this should be your choice of last resort.

  • STEP 3 Ensure your assets are protected
    Inventory your home possessions and videotape or photograph items of value. Review your insurance policies to ensure you have adequate coverage.

  • STEP 4 Assess your home for vulnerable areas
    Do a walk-through of your home and property to evaluate your roof, windows, garage door, landscaping, etc. and determine what actions you will take.

  • STEP 5 Make a plan to protect your vehicles
    Decide where you will store or park your vehicle, boat or RV. Check your vehicle insurance policy and keep it in the same safe place as your homeowner’s policy.

  • STEP 6 Secure your home
    Decide what actions you will need to take to protect your home and your property (shutters, generator, trim trees), and to keep as comfortable as possible during recovery.

  • STEP 7 Determine whether anyone in your home has special needs.
    Discuss whether anyone in your home is elderly or has special needs and, if so, make arrangements in advance to accommodate those needs.

  • STEP 8 Make a plan for your pet
    Determine how you will address your pet’s needs and make a plan for your pet in case you have to evacuate. Be sure to plan for large animals such as horses.

  • STEP 9 Gather your supplies
    Determine your family’s food, water and medical needs and assemble your hurricane kit according to those needs (see sidebar for essential items to include)

  • STEP 10 Notify others of your plan
    Let family or friends know what your hurricane plan is so they can check on you in the aftermath of the storm. Establish an out-of-town contact.


For tips on how to develop an emergency plan, create an emergency kit and be informed during a disaster, visit ReadySouthFlorida.org.