Florida Hurricane Preparation Tips
Before buying or building a home:
- View flood maps at the local emergency management office to choose a home site that is not subject to flooding.
- Obtain information on hurricane-resistant construction from FEMA, State Farm Insurance and the Florida Alliance for Safe Homes (http://www.flash.org). Choose a style that is wind resistant, such as with a hipped-roof (all roof edges come down to the outside walls) instead of a gabled-end (inverted V) roof.
- If building, use the Miami-Dade County, FL, or the new Florida coastal high-wind standard, not just local standards.
- Include a safe room in your home to provide refuge during hurricanes and tornadoes.
- Determine whether your home can be freely insured or must be in the "wind pool". Learn what premium reductions are available for various types of construction.
- Obtain brochures from your local emergency management office on hurricane preparation. Learn the plans for your community in case a hurricane threatens.
Before the Hurricane Season:
- Develop a family action plan for preparing your home, and determine where you will seek refuge if you evacuate. Prepare an evacuation or survival kit with enough nonperishable food, water and prescription medication for two weeks, a first-aid kit, and flashlights. (Don't include candles). If possible, arrange to stay with friends or family in a substantial home safe from possible flooding that is as close as possible to your home to avoid long highway trips. If you or a family member have a disability, review "Hurricane Preparedness Tips for People with Special Needs" for additional information.
- Fit covers to protect your windows and doors if they do not contain impact-resistant glass or other permanent materials that have passed the State of Florida or Miami-Dade County impact standards tests. Practice putting up your covers. If you have a gabled-end roof, check that it is properly braced.
- Check your insurance policies to ensure adequate coverage.
When a Hurricane Watch is issued for your area:
- Listen to directions from local emergency management officials.
- Ensure your hurricane survival kit is current.
- Make sure your window protection covers are ready. Install those that are most difficult to put up now.
- Fill your automobile gas tank with fuel.
- Obtain cash since credit card and ATM computers may not work for some time.
- Continually monitor the progress of the storm on local media outlets.
If a Hurricane Warning is issued for your area:
- Implement your "family action plan".
- Quickly install window shutters, panels, or other protection.
- If you are evacuating, pack clothing, toiletries, and your evacuation kit, including valuable papers and other belongings in watertight containers.
- Notify family or friends where you will be going or if you are riding out the hurricane at home. Have a common point of contact for family and friends outside of the potential hurricane strike area.
- If you are evacuating, leave as soon as possible. Turn off the main circuit breaker for the house and shut off gas and water at the exterior shut off valves. Notify your central contact point when you arrive at your destination.
During the Hurricane:
- Stay indoors away from windows and doors.
- If debris starts striking the house, seek refuge in a large room or in an interior bathroom, closet, or under a stairwell. Take your emergency kit with you.
- Do not go outside until announcements on the radio indicate the hurricane has clearly passed. Don't go out when winds die down as the eye passes. After the eye passes, the winds return.
After the Hurricane:
- Do not return from an evacuation until officials announce that our area is clear for reentry.
- If power is out, shut off the main circuit breaker for power entering the house. Do not turn it on until power lines have been repaired and your own circuits are in good working order.
- Stay away from dangerous area such as downed power lines and fallen trees as you inspect your home.
- Protect property from further damage using tarps from your hurricane supply kit. Do not attempt repairs or major cleanup at which you are not skilled, such as operating chain saws or climbing on roofs.
- Stay indoors and at home as much as possible to let emergency crews do their work.
- Contact your insurance company to arrange for an adjustor to visit your home.
- Make sure that any repairs are done by licensed and insured contractors and that local building permits are obtained.
If you must Evacuate:
Evacuation procedures are simple, the checklists on the following pages will show what steps to take when preparing for a possible hurricane evacuation. The 45th Space Wing has identified the Space Coast Middle School as the Wing's primary evacuation site. Wing personnel are encouraged to stay with friends, family members or in hotels located outside the predicted flooding areas. If these options aren't available, you can use local (county) shelters as a last resort.
- Obey the instructions of local authorities. Travel light, but carry essential and valuables (See recommended Hurricane Survival Kit Inventory pg 13).
- Load the hurricane survival kit and other supplies in your vehicle.
- Leave your pet(s) in an approved animal shelter, pets are not allowed in any of the local or Wing shelters (with the exception of seeing-eye dogs). Make these arrangements well ahead of time (prior to the beginning of hurricane season). Do not leave your pets in base housing or release them on base.
- Personnel residing in the dormitories, billeting and transient quarters, as well as DEOMI students, who require transportation outside the Barrier Island will meet in the parking lot South East of Falcon and Atlas Avenue (in front of the Billeting Office, Bldg 720). Bus transportation will be provided by the 45th Transportation Squadron to The Space Coast Middle School.
- Personnel residing in Base Housing who require transportation to The Space Coast Middle School will report to the following locations for convoy assembly, briefing, and deployment, as necessary.
- Personnel residing in North Base Housing will report to Hopi and Riverside Trail (next to the playground).
- Personnel residing in Central Base Housing will report to the parking lot of the Base Education Office.
- Personnel residing in South Base Housing will report to Capehart Shoppette and Chapel 2 parking lot.
- Remember to cooperate with local, state and federal authorities, this will ensure that the entire evacuation process goes smoothly.
- Only personnel residing on base can use the Space Coast Middle School (only as a last resort). If evacuating to Space Coast Middle School, proceed West on Pineda Causeway, SR 404, then North on US 1 until you reach Fay Blvd. (first light after the power plant) go West on Fay Blvd.
Important Phone Numbers:
- Joint Emergency Preparedness Office - 321-853-6861
- KSC/CCAFS Hurricane Info Hotline - 321-861-7900
- Brevard County Emergency Management Office- 321-633-1771