June – November 30
Tropical Depressions are cyclones with winds of 38 mph.
Tropical Storms vary in wind speeds from 39-73 mph
Hurricanes have winds of 74 mph and greater.
Typically the upper right quadrant of the storm (the center wrapping around the eye) is the most intense portion of the storm. The greatest threats are damaging winds, storm surges and flooding. Here are some important terms you may hear:
- Tropical Storm Watch: Tropical storm conditions are possible in the area.
- Hurricane Watch: Hurricane conditions are possible in the area. Watches are issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical storm force winds.
- Tropical Storm Warning: Tropical storm conditions are expected in the area.
- Hurricane Warning: Hurricane conditions are expected in the area. Warnings are issued 36 hours in advance of tropical storm force winds.
- Eye: Clear, sometimes the well-defined center of the storm with calmer conditions.
- Eye Wall: Surrounding the eye, contains some of the most severe weather of the storm with the highest wind speed and largest precipitation.
- Rain Bands: Bands coming off the cyclone produce severe weather conditions such as heavy rain, wind and tornadoes.
- Storm Surge: An often underestimated and deadly result of ocean water swelling due to a land falling storm, quickly flooding coastal and sometimes areas further inland.
During a watch, prepare your home and evacuation plan in case a warning is issued.
During a warning, carefully follow the directions of officials, and immediately leave the area if they advise it.
In the event of an Extreme Wind Warning/Advisory, which means that extreme sustained winds of 115 mph or greater are expected to begin within an hour, immediately take shelter in the interior portion of a well-built structure.
It is important to create a kit of supplies that you could take with you if you have to evacuate. This kit will also be helpful if you can stay in your home but are affected by the storm, such as through the loss of power. One common trend seen when hurricanes are approaching is widespread panic. When this happens, people rush in large numbers to get all the supplies they think they need. However, if you prepare your kit ahead of time, you can alleviate a lot of the potential stress of a very chaotic situation. You should create your kit in a bag you can easily take. Some recommended items to include are:
- Non-perishable food (enough to last at least 3 days)
- Water (enough to last at least 3 days)
- First-aid kit (include any prescription medication you may need)
- Personal hygiene items and sanitation items
- Flashlights (have extra batteries on hand)
- Battery-operated radio (again, have extra batteries)
- Waterproof container with cash and important documents
- Manual can opener
- Lighter or matches
- Books, magazines, games for recreation
- Special needs items: pet supplies and baby supplies if applicable
- Cooler and ice packs
- A plan for evacuation and for if family members are separated
Securing Your Home
Know how to secure your home in the event of damaging winds, storm surge and flooding.
- Cover all of your windows, either with hurricane shutters or wood.
- Although tape can prevent glass from shattering everywhere, be warned that tape does not prevent the window from breaking.
- If possible, secure straps or clips to securely fasten your roof to the structure of your home.
- Make sure all trees and shrubs are trimmed and clear rain gutters.
- Reinforce your garage doors.
- Bring in all outdoor furniture, garbage cans, decorations, and anything else that is not tied down.
- If winds become strong, stay away from windows and doors and close, secure and brace internal doors.
If a storm leaves you without power, there are a few things to consider and help you be ready and stay safe outside of your everyday hurricane preparedness.
- Gas: Make sure your tank is full before an approaching storm. Most people wait until the last minute, rush to get extra gas for cars and generators, and subsequently, gas stations can run out early.
- ATMs: Have extra cash on hand in the event no ATMs in your area are accessible or working.
- Cell Phones: Charge your cell phone and limit use after power is out.
- A/C: This can be the most uncomfortable side effect of losing power during a storm. Try to prevent as much light from entering and warming the house by covering up your windows on the inside. If you have a back-up or battery-operated fans, don't run them unless you are in the room. It is said they can actually add heat to a room just by running. Fans create a difference in perceived temperature but do not cool the room; instead they create a cooling effect by dispersing the heat off your skin. • Water: Fill the bathtub and large containers with water for washing and flushing only.
- Food: Turn your fridge temperature down and/or freeze any food or drinking water that can be frozen if you expect a power outage. Here is a guide on freezing food: Freezing and Food Safety. Have a cooler with ice packs prepared to cool your drinks and snacks after power has been out for more than 4 hours. And importantly, check out this food safety guide for when to discard your perishable food: http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/refridg_food.html
- Health/Safety: The CDC has a great guide on how to stay safe in the event of a power outage: Power Outages
Tips/Lessons learned from Hurricane Irma.
Please consider when applying for FEMA
1. FEMA disaster assistance applications will be accepted for 60 days from the disaster declaration date.
2. Apply for FEMA even if insured
3. FEMA question, “are you willing to relocate” answer yes
4. Only one application per household for FEMA. No multiple applications under the same address but different names
5. Undocumented apply with children’s social. The parent or guardian of a minor child who is a U. S. Citizen, non-citizen national, or a qualified alien applies for assistance on behalf of the child, as long as they live in the same household. The parent or legal guardian must register as the co-applicant, and the minor child must be under the age of 18 at the time the disaster occurred.
6. Do not apply for local rental assistance until exhausted FEMA rental assistance.
7. Mobile home owners must put owner, even if they rent the lot, to receive repairs funds
8. Make sure to take before and after pictures for insurance of personal property
9. Email insurance to inform of the damages to the home even before you can get the insurance company on the phone
10. Keep appealing if denied
11. Keep receipts for hotel stay
12. Do not duplicate benefits.
13. Pack your patience
14. Take a picture of the food in the refrigerator for insurance
15. FEMA application must be the primary residence
Disaster Planning Toolkit For People Living With Dementia
Disaster Preparedness Guide and Video for Caregivers of Individuals with Alzheimer's
General Disaster Preparedness
Being prepared for a disaster is critical. Being properly prepared can reduce fear, anxiety, and the losses that accompany disasters. ... It can also help you to sometimes avoid the danger completely.
The Department’s Emergency Coordinating Officer coordinates with the Florida Division of Emergency Management on emergency preparedness issues and post-disaster response. The Department ensures that the Area Agencies on Aging and local service providers have all-hazards Disaster and Continuity of Operations Plans to be implemented during a threat of imminent disaster.
Your safety in a disaster depends heavily on your own actions, and developing a survival plan is the first and most important step.
Below are links to some helpful websites to help you prepare:
Family Disaster Plan - Review your individual or family disaster plan. Your family or close friends need to know how to locate each other in the event of a disaster.
Disaster Supply Kit - Contains a recommended supply list for you, your family, and your pets.
Disaster Preparedness Guide for Elders:
Additional Useful Links and Information:
Broward County Special Needs Shelter Registration
The Florida Division of Emergency Management, in coordination with Broward County’s emergency management agency, developed a registry to allow residents with special needs to register with their local emergency management agency to receive assistance during a disaster. Learn More about the program.
Vulnerable Population Registry
The Vulnerable Population Registry is a tool that municipalities can use to help evaluate resident needs in their communities and assist in planning a response in an emergency. While registering in the database is not a guarantee that you will be provided services or placed on a priority list for responders, it will help responders be better prepared to meet your needs in a recovery. View Details here.
What you need to know now about COVID-19 in Florida.
The below links will provide you up to date information on COVID-19
Is Covid-19 similar to the Flu or Common Cold?
Have questions about the Vaccine?