It’s that time of year again, hurricane season, designated annually as June 1 through November 30th. And the best way to weather the choppy seas and high winds is to be well prepared – and we’re going to help! We cover all the main issues to be aware of and ways to stay safe, with specific advice for those who live in Brevard County.
Below is a list of ways to prepare for a hurricane, suggested by the CDC. Some of these suggestions anticipate your possible evacuation. In addition, you should follow your local hurricane preparedness team for any specific alerts in your area. In Brevard County, you can sign up for these alerts by visiting www.brevardfl.gov/EmergencyManagement/AlertSignup.
I. What to Prepare Ahead of Time in Case of A Hurricane:
- An emergency food and water supply.
- An emergency medicine supply.
- Emergency power sources such as flashlights (don’t forget extra batteries).
- Safety and personal items that you cannot do without. This includes medications, hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol and clean masks for yourself and your family.
- Important documents, including medical documents, wills, passports and personal identification.
- A fire extinguisher.
- Stay up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines as this will minimize your chance of contracting (or spreading) the disease.
- If you use a generator, make sure you take measures to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
In addition to the above, the Red Cross advises that if you’re asked to evacuate by local authorities, you should heed their advice and go to a safe place. To ensure you’ll find safe shelter, it’s important you plan in advance. Know about local shelters and/or other places you could seek refuge, and how you will get there. Please note that mobile/manufactured/trailer homes and recreational vehicles (RVs) cannot provide safe shelter from hurricane winds or tropical storms.
II. For People with Special Needs:
If you have special needs, and local authorities advise going to a shelter, you should go to a local special-needs shelter. To ensure you get a space, complete the special-needs application ahead of time. You can find the application for Brevard County by visiting the Emergency Management section of the Brevard County Government website (www.brevardfl.gov/EmergencyManagement). For more information, call Brevard County Emergency Management office at (321) 637-6670. Please note that the Emergency Management Division of Brevard County has to approve and register all potential people for the shelter and this process takes time, so be sure to do fill out the form asap. Please note that transportation will be provided for those who may need it. And for those with pets, while the special-needs shelters don’t allow them for health reasons, don’t worry, an animal-safe shelter will be provided for your pet by Animal Services, who will pick your pooch up before you leave for your shelter.
III. Pet-friendly Shelters for able-bodied people (in other words, the pet can accompany the person to the shelter):
Brevard County has pet-friendly evacuation shelters. Typically, the county provides a list of these shelters a week or so before the hurricane is predicted to hit. You can find this list by visiting the Emergency Management section of the Brevard County government’s website at: www.brevardfl.gov/EmergencyManagement. Please note that you must bring an animal crate sizeable enough to comfortably accommodate a place for your pet to sleep, in addition to other items, including a collar, leash, pet food and cleaning supplies. You’ll also need to show proof of a current rabies vaccination as well as a county license, if applicable.