Why Prepare for Disaster?
Disaster can strike without warning, forcing you to go for days without the basic necessities or to evacuate your home. Relief workers will be on the scene following a disaster, but may not be able to reach you immediately.
You need to be prepared and know the steps to take before, during and after a disaster. This guide will help you and your family plan for a variety of emergency situations, persevere during them, and recover afterward.
Contact your local Emergency Management Office or American Red Cross Chapter to learn which disasters could strike your community. Use their information, along with this guide, to help you prepare for and reduce the risks you face.
The year-round phone number for the Emergency Operations Center for all types of disasters is 561-712-6400.
In case of Evacuation:
In a disaster situation, it may be necessary to evacuate your home for several days or longer. Because disasters can strike with little or no warning, you should be prepared to leave at a moment's notice. Knowing the steps to take beforehand, in case of evacuation, can make a big difference.
- Contact the local Emergency Management Office to learn evacuation routes for your area.
- Determine where you will go if your community is evacuated.
- Discuss with your family the possibility of evacuation.
- Check that your disaster supply kit is assembled and ready to go.
- Make sure your vehicle's gas tank is filled up, as fuel may be in short supply during a disaster or completely unavailable in the case of power outages.
- When authorities tell you to evacuate, leave immediately.
- Wear sturdy shoes and clothing.
- Unplug home electronics.
- Lock all doors and windows.
- Turn off the main source that supplies gas, water and/or electricity.
- Inform a friend or relative of your route and destination.
- Follow recommended evacuation routes. Watch for washed-out bridges, flooded areas and downed power lines.
The following organizations and agencies can help you prepare even more thoroughly for emergencies and disasters that could strike your community.
Federal Emergency Management Agency - www.fema.gov
U.S. Fire Administration - www.usfa.dhs.gov
CitizenCorps - www.citizencorps.gov
U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention - www.cdc.gov
U.S. Department of Energy - www.energy.gov
U.S. Department of Homeland Security - www.ready.gov
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - www.epa.gov
National Weather Service - www.nws.noaa.gov
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission - www.nrc.gov
American Red Cross - www.redcross.org
Institute for Business & Home Safety - www.disastersafety.org
Residents living in a Hurricane Evacuation Zone or a mobile/manufactured home who require special transportation assistance due to a disability, can pre-register for STAP. All registered persons will be called when an evacuation order is issued. A Palm Tran bus or Palm Tran Connection vehicle will transport you to the nearest American Red Cross hurricane evacuation shelter. To pre-register call Palm Tran at (561) 649-9838.