Preparing for hurricane season

The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 each year and lasts through November 30. Hurricanes are one of nature's most powerful and destructive forces. You must consider a hurricane a serious, life-threatening situation and take necessary measures to ensure your family’s safety well in advance of hurricane season. Eastern Florida State College has provided information about the following topics, collected from a variety of sources, to assist students, faculty and staff with their personal preparations for the tropical storm season. Also be sure you've signed up to receive emergency notifications via text, email and phone through EFSC's Titan Alerts system. EFSC students, faculty and staff should log into the myEFSC portal and click the Titan Alerts link to update your contact information. UCF students, faculty and staff impacted by Brevard regional campuses at EFSC can also sign up for alerts. Rest assured the EFSC team will carefully monitor any threatening storms and make every effort to keep you informed.

— Joe Ambrose, EFSC Emergency Manager/Collegewide Security Chief

 

Hurricane Watch

Indicates the possibility that you could experience hurricane conditions within 36 hours. This watch should trigger your family’s disaster plan, and protective measures should be taken, especially those actions that require extra time, such as securing a boat, leaving a barrier island, etc.

Hurricane Warning

Indicates that sustained winds of at least 74 mph are expected within 24 hours. Once this warning has been issued, your family should be in the process of completing protective actions and deciding the safest location to be during the storm.

Hurricane Scale

  • Tropical Storm – Winds 39-73 mph
  • Category 1 Hurricane – Winds 74-95 mph
  • Category 2 Hurricane – Winds 96-110 mph
  • Category 3 Hurricane – Winds 111-130 mph
  • Category 4 Hurricane – Winds 131-155 mph
  • Category 5 Hurricane – Winds 156 mph and up

Hurricane Hazards

  • Storm surge
  • High winds
  • Tornadoes  hurricanes generate tornadoes, which often occur in the front right quadrant as the hurricane travels
  • Flooding
  • Damage from flying debris
  • Electrocution from downed power lines

Before the Storm Suggestions

  • Protect yourself and family with a Family Action Plan  discuss types of hazards that could affect your family, determine if you are in an evacuation area and identify an out-of-town family contact
  • Assemble an emergency supply kit
  • Make sure you have a well-stocked first aid kit
  • Ensure all family members know the same emergency contact in case of separation (save numbers in cell phones)
  • Designate two contact persons: one local and one out-of-town
  • Teach children when and how to dial 911 or dial long distance to their emergency contacts
  • Plan the most convenient and safe evacuation route to an alternate location out of the storm path
  • Pet owners should have a plan to care for their animals; Brevard County does have pet-friendly shelters
  • Remember, shelters are primarily for those persons who do not have other sheltering options
  • Prepare your home – protect windows, bring in loose items (debris, plants, etc.) that can be blown around
  • Prepare your vehicles  ensure they are safe to drive; check tires, battery and fuel level
  • Prepare your boat and be aware of marine safety if you are on or near the water
  • Secure valuables and important documents
  • Test-run generators with full loads
  • Have cash in small denominations in case ATM/credit cards are not available
  • Check insurance coverage (including renters insurance) for the pending storm – flood damage is usually not covered unless you have extra federal government flood insurance
  • Take first aid and CPR classes

Home Preparedness Recommendations

  • Board up windows or close storm shutters
  • Trim trees and bushes around your home, ensuring you can have the trimmings disposed of before a hurricane watch is declared
  • Clear rain gutters and downspouts – ensure they are secured properly
  • Perform inventory/take pictures of home contents (electronics, furniture, jewelry, appliances, etc.) and store items in a safe place as a storm approaches (or covered with plastic and above the ground level)
  • Secure or bring in all outside items (grills, plants, tools, etc.)
  • Tie down small or young trees to prevent uprooting
  • Secure boats properly  loosen lines to accommodate high surge and winds, extra fenders
  • Store all important documents (insurance papers, wills, credit cards, passports, social security cards, birth certificates, etc.) in a waterproof container and in a secure location
  • Prepare emergency disaster/evacuation supply kit
  • Prepare first aid kit
  • Turn off propane tanks
  • Close all windows and doors
  • Fill bathtub and large containers with water to be used for sanitary purposes
  • Have sandbags for low areas to prevent water from entering the home
  • Barrier Island Residents  Brevard County will shut off power, water & gas in a major storm

Emergency Supply Kit

  • Recommendation: Gather common items around the home that are vital during a disaster to ensure your family’s basic comfort and well-being in case of evacuation; assemble the items in easy-to-carry containers, such as a backpack or duffel bag
  • Water - plan on 1 gallon of water per person per day for 3-7 days; include water for pets
  • Food - plan for 3-7 days – non-perishable packaged or canned food and juices, including food for infants
  • Snack food, non-electric can opener
  • Medicines/prescriptions - minimum 3-5 day supply (keep in original bottles)
  • Paper plates, plastic utensils
  • Telephones fully charged with extra batteries
  • Radio  battery powered or hand-crank and NOAA weather radio with extra batteries
  • Knife
  • Whistle – to assist in locating help if needed
  • Blankets, pillows, sleeping bags, etc.
  • Baby Items  formula, bottles, diapers, baby wipes, rash ointment
  • Clothing change of clothes, rainy weather, work boots/sturdy shoes, hats and gloves
  • Special Items  for babies and the elderly
  • Toiletries  hygiene items, dental care, moisture wipes, hand sanitizer
  • Flashlight with extra batteries and candles with matches
  • Toys, books, games for entertainment
  • Cash or traveler’s checks, coins
  • Map of the area for locating shelters
  • Tools  shovel, pliers, screwdrivers, hammer, knife, adjustable wrench (for shutting off gas and/or water)
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Tire jack, spare tires
  • Plastic sheeting, storage containers and bucket with tight lid
  • Plastic garbage bags and ties for sanitation
  • Tape (duct, masking)
  • Paper, pencil
  • Aluminum foil
  • Toilet paper, moistened towelettes and towels
  • Soap, liquid detergent, disinfectant

First Aid Kit Recommended Items for Your Home and Cars

  • Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
  • 2-inch and 4-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)
  • 2-inch and 3-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)
  • Triangular bandages (3)
  • Nitrile or Latex gloves (at least 2 pairs)
  • Cleansing agent, soap and moistened towelettes
  • Antiseptic and antibiotic ointment
  • Petroleum jelly or other lubricant
  • Assorted sizes of safety pins
  • Scissors, tweezers, needle and thermometer
  • Tongue depressors (2)
  • Non-prescription drugs
  • Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever
  • Anti-diarrhea medication, antacid and laxative
  • Syrup of Ipecac (used to induce vomiting if advised by the Poison Control Center)
  • Activated charcoal (use if advised by the Poison Control Center)
  • Mosquito repellent, with DEET when appropriate
  • Extra prescription glasses, sunglasses and/or contact lenses
  • Personal items required to perform basic daily functions
  • Sunscreen
  • Hearing aid and batteries

Important Documents  Keep in a Waterproof, Portable Container

  • Family records (birth, marriage certificates)
  • Social Security Cards, passports
  • Medical records
  • Insurance policies
  • Wills, powers of attorney, deeds, contracts
  • Bank account information
  • Credit card account information
  • Stocks, bonds
  • Immunization records/prescriptions
  • Inventory of valuable household items
  • Current photographs of family members

Pet Plan  Be sure to plan for the safety and well-being of your pets if you need to evacuate

  • Animal collars and ID tags
  • Vet records showing immunizations/medicines
  • Ample supply of food and water
  • Medicines
  • Carrier/kennel/cage
  • Leash or muzzle
  • Toys/treats

Evacuation-Related Information

  • Shelter from wind; evacuate from water
  • If an evacuation is recommended, do not wait or delay; traffic will build up
  • Plan to be in traffic and in your vehicle for long periods of time
  • Ensure your destination is confirmed to receive you – hotel/family/friend
  • Bring your Emergency Supply & First Aid Kit (Pet Kit if applicable)
  • Public shelters are your last resort if no hotel/family/friend is available
Evacuate if you:
    • Live in a storm surge zone
    • Live in a low-lying or flood-prone area
    • Live in a mobile home or manufactured housing
    • Live on a barrier island (the loss of causeways can cause isolation)
    • Are a person with special medical needs
    • Don’t feel safe in your home

Shelter Information

Special Needs Shelter Information

  • Specific support shelters are available
  • Pre-registration is required – so your needs can be identified and planned for. Visit the Brevard County Emergency Management Website for special needs shelter registration information, which can be handled online, via mail or fax or through your healthcare provider
  • If you have a caregiver, bring them
  • Arrangements can be made for  your pets
  • Once registered, shelter assignment will be given
  • Transportation can be provided

Stay Informed