Here in South Florida, we accept the fact that our tropical weather can build into a disaster in minutes. RestoreMax is ready to restore your home after a weather emergency, but it’s even more important for you and your family to be prepared before disaster strikes. Putting a family disaster plan together is one of the smartest things you can do to keep your loved ones safe.
How to Create a Household Emergency Preparation Kit
The Red Cross recommends keeping two disaster preparation kits in your home—one for sheltering in place and one that you can take with you if necessary.
Items to include in your shelter-in-place kit:
- A two-week supply of water for each person in your household. That means one gallon a day, per person.
- Enough non-perishable food to feed everyone in your home for two weeks. (If you are keeping canned goods, don’t forget a can opener!)
- Flashlights and extra batteries.
- A battery-powered or hand-cranked radio.
- A well-stocked first aid kit.
- A seven-day supply of medications.
- Paper towels, toilet paper, and personal hygiene supplies. Keep in mind that you may be without water for a few days, so keep cleaners that don’t require water on hand.
- Extra blankets.
- A map of your area.
- Emergency cash.
- Contact information for all family members.
- Copies of personal documents for everyone in the household.
- A cell phone and extra chargers.
In your portable kit, keep a three-day supply of water and food.
Depending on the makeup of your household, you may want to have items such as these on hand:
- Extra house and car keys
- Toys and games to keep children occupied
- Pet food and supplies
- Rain gear
- Extra towels
- Surgical masks
Make a Disaster Plan with Your Family
Make sure everyone in your household knows what to do in the event of an emergency. Sit down with your family and plot out:
- Where you will meet if a disaster happens—choose a spot close to your home and another spot outside your neighborhood in the event of an evacuation.
- How each family member will get out of the house in case of fire.
- Where you would go in the case of evacuation—a hotel, shelter, or other accommodations.
Get more tips on emergency preparation from the Red Cross.
Make sure you know what these flood terms mean:
- Flood Watch – Flooding is possible. Check news sources frequently for updates.
- Flash Flood Watch – Flash flooding is possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground.
- Flood Warning – Flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
- Flash Flood Warning – A flash flood is occurring; seek higher ground immediately.
If there are children in your household, make absolutely certain that they know to stay away from flood waters.
Signs of tornado include:
- Dark, often greenish clouds
- A “wall” of clouds
- A cloud of debris
- Large hail
- A funnel cloud
- Loud, roaring noise
If a tornado strikes, or is eminent, take shelter immediately in the safest part of your home. A basement or storm cellar is best; if those are not available, try to gather in a location close to the ground, as far inside your home as possible, away from windows and doors.
Hurricane preparedness is critical in South Florida. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends that, in addition to taking measures to secure your home, you should know your community’s hurricane evacuation routes and make a plan for where you would go if you need to evacuate.
Florida hurricane resources:
- Florida Division of Emergency Management
- The South Florida Sun Sentinel’s Hurricane Preparation Guide
In any emergency, the most important priority is to keep your family safe. Learn as many emergency preparedness tips as you can—every little bit helps.