Hurricane Preparedness

Hurricane Preparedness

An average of 3 hurricanes strike the U.S. coastline over a typical 2 year period, one of those is categorized as a major hurricane. Hurricane season starts June 1st and runs through November 30th. Hurricane forms vary from: storm surges, heavy rainfall, inland flooding, high winds, tornadoes, and rip currents. When a storm approaches it pays to be prepared, use common sense, and follow special safety precautions for storm watches and warnings.

Prepare a Family Plan ahead of time:

Conduct family drills on meeting places, emergency numbers, and safety rules. Routinely inspect your home for repairs.

  • Plan meeting places in case of emergency. Teach children to dial 911 or local emergency numbers.
  • Install safety features such as smoke alarms and fire extinguishers, and maintain them regularly
  • Safe evacuation routes inland
  • Know where official public shelters are (most of these don’t allow pets)
  • Find pet-friendly hotels on your evacuation route
  • Prepare emergency kit supplies
  • Keep your emergency equipment in good condition, maintenance regularly flashlights, generators, and battery powered equipment like cell phones and radios for weather updates.
  • Store non-perishable food and clean drinking water
  • Store plywood or other material to protect your home
  • Keep trees and shrubbery trimmed to keep debris from flying into your home.
  • Keep rain gutters and downspouts clear
  • If your own a boat, have a plan on where you will store it
  • Review you insurance policies

Emergency Kit Supplies:

Store your emergency kits in sturdy easy to carry containers, such as backpacks and duffel bags. Keep your important documents in water proof containers. Keep a smaller emergency kit in your vehicle. Replace food and water supplies every 6 months.

  • Store at least a 3 day water supply (1 gallon per person per day)
  • Store at least a 3 day supply of non-perishable food
  • Have a change of clothing and shoes per person
  • A blanket or sleeping bag per person
  • First aid kit (make sure you are certified and other family members are certified in CPR and first aid)
  • Battery powered portable radio
  • Flashlight (extra batteries)
  • Emergency tools
  • Keep an extra set of car keys
  • Credit card and extra cash
  • Remember special items for infants, elderly or disabled family members
  • Prescription and non-prescription medications

During a Storm Watch:

  • Listen to radio for weather updates
  • Fuel and service all vehicles
  • Inspect and secure your home (secure mobile home tie downs)
  • Prepare to cover all windows and doors with storm shutters, plywood, or other shielding material
  • Check batteries in flashlights and other emergency equipment
  • Have at least a 3 day supply of stocked non-perishable food, first aid supplies, drinking water, and medications
  • Bring in any light weight objects such as garbage cans, garden tools, toys, and lawn furniture

During a Storm Warning:

  • Listen to radio for weather updates and follow instructions issued by local officials. Leave if ordered!
  • Close storm shutters
  • Stay with friends or relatives, or at a low-rise inland hotel or designated public shelter outside of flood zone
  • Do not stay in a mobile or manufactured home (unsafe in high winds, no matter how well fastened to the ground they are)
  • Notify neighbors or other family members outside of the warned area of your evacuation plan.
  • Take pets if possible (remember most public shelters don’t allow pets)

Staying at Home:

Plan to leave if you live on the coastline, an offshore island, near river or flood plains. If you live in a high rising building, hurricane winds are stronger at higher elevations.

  • Turn refrigerator to maximum cold and keep the door closed
  • Turn all utilities off if told by authorities, and unplug small appliances
  • Turn off propane tanks
  • Fill bathtubs and large containers with water in case clean tap water becomes unavailable. Use the clean water in tubs for cleaning and flushing only. Do not drink it.
  • If winds become strong stay away from windows and doors, even if covered. Take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway.
  • Close all interior doors, secure and brace all external doors
  • If your home is a two story, stay on the 1st floor in an interior room
  • In a multi-story home stay on the 1st or 2nd floor in a hallway or interior room away from windows
  • Lie on the floor under a table or other sturdy object

Stay alert! Tornadoes can often spawn during hurricanes. And be aware of the calm “eye” of the storm, it may seem that the storm is gone, but once the eye passes the storm returns with hurricane force winds that change direction quickly.

What to Expect from Miami Weather

Florida is called the Sunshine State, and none of its cities exemplify that better than Miami. It is the southernmost city in the state which means it is also the hottest due to its proximity to the Tropic of Cancer. Officially, it has what experts call a tropical monsoon climate. This means it is hot and wet in the summer and warm and dry in the winter.

More often than not, Miami weather is as sunny and vibrant as it is portrayed to be in television shows and movies. Temperatures tend to hover between the high 70s and mid 80s. During the height of summer, temperatures can easily reach the 90s. August is the hottest month, and its average temperature is 89.8 F. The record high for Miami in August was 100 degrees in July 1942.

Going to the beach in Miami is a wonderful excursion as the ocean provides a cool breeze that mitigates some of the heat. It also helps curb some of the intense humidity the city is known for. The humidity can make an 80 degree day feel like 160. For this reason, it is a good idea to stay near the coast where the breeze is. If you must be in the city, minimize your outdoor time during the spring and summer as much as possible. The evenings, fall and winter are quite pleasant. January is the coldest month with an average temperature of 59.5 degrees F and a record low of 30 degrees F.

Inclement weather can occasionally be an issue for Miami residents. Hurricanes hit the area every four years or so. Major hurricanes are less frequent, occurring less than once every 10 years. Miami has not been directly hit by a hurricane since Hurricane Cleo in 1964. Because of its location and the fact that it is surrounded by oceans and has a low-lying coast, it joins New Orleans and New York on the list of the three US cities most vulnerable to hurricanes.

Rainfall is average in Miami, hovering around 60 inches per year. Rainfall is spread out pretty evenly throughout the months, but June, August and September are the wettest. December, January and February are the driest.

As you can probably guess, snow is a real rarity in Miami, but it does happen. Snow in Miami has been recorded twice: once in January 1977 and again in January 2010. The first incident was a full blizzard, but the second was only flurries.

Miami is a great vacation spot any time of year. The beaches are beautiful and pleasant in the winter as well as the summer. Nightlife is also exciting and fun every day of the year. However, there are a few tips to ensure that you visit Miami at the best possible time. When considering both weather and price, April and May are definitely the best times to visit. The average temperatures are 82 degrees F and 85 degrees F respectively, meaning it is neither as cool or as hot as it could be. By visiting during these times, you get to enjoy the warm weather and the beginnings of summer before the crowds come, and because they are just off peak season, hotels and airlines offer great discounts on your trip.

Whether you are moving to Miami for the first time or just planning a visit, it is good to be mindful of the climate. On most days, you will be just fine with sunblock and a pair of sunglasses. Less often, you may find yourself donning a raincoat and galoshes. No matter what, Miami weather is pleasant all year.