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How Should I Prepare for a Hurricane?

Learn the steps you can take to prepare for a Florida hurricane, and use our emergency supplies checklist to ensure you are equipped for the storm.

Peak hurricane season in Florida can last from mid-August to late October. These strong tropical storms can leave a wide wake of destruction in their path, but being prepared is one of the best ways to stay safe. 

Hurricane emergency plan checklist

Creating an emergency plan involves more than determining where you will go. It is also helpful to gather items and information that can help you during and after the storm. 

Here is a checklist of items to ensure you are prepared for the hurricane:

  • Consult your physician and medical supply vendors to make sure you are adequately prepared for a hurricane.
  • Identify where you will go if you need to evacuate, such as to a relative's house or public shelter.
  • Keep a full gas tank in your vehicle.
  • Keep cash in case banks and ATMs become unavailable during or after the storm.
  • Prepare a detailed medications list, including information about the specifics of your medication regimen.
  • Prepare a list of phone numbers, including evacuation sites, your doctors' offices, bank, school, veterinarian, etc.
  • Prepare a list of valuables located within the home. 
  • Prepare a set of tools to have with you during the storm. 
  • Prepare your hurricane supplies. (Please see the "emergency supplies checklist" below.) 
  • Stay informed of the latest updates and evacuation orders.
  • Wear medical alert tags or bracelets to identify a disability and/or medical condition.
  • Contact your local emergency information management office if you have any concerns.

If you are pregnant, visit our hurricane information for expectant mothers page for pregnancy-related additional hurricane preparation tips.

Hurricane Information for Expectant Mothers

If you have special healthcare needs, visit our hurricane preparedness page for tips on preparing for the storm.

Hurricane Preparedness

Emergency supplies checklist

You should have supplies available at home that may be needed during the emergency period. At a minimum, these supplies should include:

  • Clothing—seasonal/rain gear and sturdy shoes
  • Cookware—grill, cooking tools, fuel, charcoal and non-electric can opener
  • Eating utensils—paper plates, plastic utensils and plastic cups
  • Entertainment—toys, books and games
  • First-aid items—first-aid kit, prescriptions, medications, sunscreen, aloe and bug spray
  • Light sources—flashlights and batteries; avoid candles
  • Food—enough for at least three to seven days; non-perishable food and beverages, including packaged or canned snack foods, juices and foods for infants or people with strict diets
  • Important documents in a waterproof container—insurance cards, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security cards, birth and marriage certificates, etc.
  • Pet care items—pet food and water, proper identification, medical records, a carrier, a leash, medications, etc.
  • Radio—battery-operated or hand-cranked radio and/or weather radio
  • Sleep items—blankets, pillows, sleeping bags, etc.
  • Special items—such as for babies, older adults and people with disabilities
  • Toiletries—hygiene items and sanitation wipes
  • Water—at least 1 gallon daily per person for three to seven days

Hurricane preparation tips for older adults

It is important for seniors to take the following precautions when preparing for a hurricane:

  • Stock up on food, water and supplies before the hurricane season starts.
  • Have at least a two-week supply of your medications.
  • Stay aware of weather conditions.
  • Make plans in advance, whether you need to evacuate if you decide to stay.
  • If you need to evacuate, team up with a partner, neighbor or relative and plan your evacuation together.
  • Make plans in advance to stay with friends or relatives living on higher ground.