Hurricane Tips… Are We Ready

Prior to the start of this year’s hurricane season, Commissioner Sally Heyman hosted her annual Hurricane Preparedness Strategy meeting with Emergency Operations Director Curt Sommerhoff. Representatives from all over District 4 participated, including administration and police management from all municipalities and UMSA in District 4; critical services and vendors; agencies and organizations; and other government representatives. Rest assured, District 4 residents know that their leaders are updated on how to prepare and are ready for any impending storm.

Two named storms had already generated prior to the official start of hurricane season on June 1. NOW is the time for your p reparation. These suggestions can be incorporated into a “to do” list to help your family prepare. Here are the essentials:

1. Download a free copy of Miami-Dade County’s Hurricane Guide with tips on creating a hurricane kit. You know best what the basic needs for you and family/household members are. That is what should be in the kit. Get a waterproof container to store your items and put it in a safe place.

2. Now is the time to start saving some newspapers and clean plastic bottles. When the storm warnings come, the bottles should be filled with tap water. Newspapers can be rolled up, secured with a rubber band, and placed by windows and door to absorb any water that leaks in. One entire newspaper works per windowsill or door. Have enough papers and bottles to cover your needs. You can always toss them in recycling later.

3. Use a camera or cell phone to take pictures throughout the interior and exterior of your residence to document the condition of your home prior to the storm. Secure copies of the pictures in case it is needed for insurance and/or FEMA claims.

4. Have a file with all your important documents. Now is the time to locate your insurance policies, passport, bank information, car paperwork, important personal papers, cash for a few days, and the pictures you took. Place them in a large zip lock bag or watertight container.

5. Check your medications. If there is a storm warning, make sure you have enough to get you through the storm and a few days afterward. If not, call your doctor for a full or partial refill.

6. Check the landscaping around your residence. Get your trees trimmed back and debris hauled away.

Reminder: For information on Miami- Dade County’s Emergency Evacuation Assistance Program available to assist residents with special needs, and pet-friendly hurricane shelters, please call 3-1-1. Registration is required.

Each week look for five new tips to help you create a personal hurricane plan. Should you have questions regarding these tips or any other issue in District 4, please call our district office at 305-787-5999 or e-mail us at

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