Making a survival plan
THINGS TO DO NOW
Establish a family emergency plan. Discuss how to prepare for and respond to a hurricane, what to bring if you are evacuated.
Make an emergency kit that includes a three-day supply of water (one gallon per person per day), food that won't spoil, a manual can opener, flashlight, portable radio, a phone with a cord, plenty of extra batteries, prescription medicines, valuable documents, cash, bedding, first-aid kit, first-aid manual, change of clothing, an extra set of car keys, and special items for infant, elderly or disabled family members.
Make an inventory of possessions. Take pictures or video of each room; in case of damage, the images will help you identify what is lost. Make an additional copy to give to your insurance claims adjuster. Store photos or discs in a secure, dry place where you can retrieve them after the storm.
Assess your storm preparations. Learn safe routes inland and know where you'll go if you evacuate.
Make arrangements for pets. Registration for the two pet-friendly shelters in Miami-Dade and the one in Broward is required and space is limited.
Obtain and store materials such as hurricane panels or, as a last resort, plywood, that are needed to secure your home.
Consider your roof and the structure of your house and make necessary repairs.
Remove coconuts and other yard debris.
Check your fire extinguisher.
Make arrangements to secure your boat on a trailer or move it to safe harbor.
Review your windstorm, flood and homeowner's insurance policies.
IF A WATCH IS ISSUED
Begin listening for storm updates or check National Hurricane Center updates online at www.nhc.noaa.gov.
Fill the car's gas tank and keep it topped off. Make sure the battery is in good condition.
Fill propane tanks for gas grills and camp stoves.
Check your battery-powered equipment. A radio could be your only link with the outside world during and after a hurricane.
Review your preparedness plan with your household.
Pick two places for your family to meet: a spot outside your home in case of emergency, such as fire, and a place away from your neighborhood, in case you can't return home.
Establish an out-of-town phone number with family or friends to relay messages about your whereabouts after the storm.
Refill pending prescriptions.
Stock supplies of canned foods, soft drinks and water.
Collect medical and property insurance papers, immunization records and medical records of anyone with special needs in a rugged, waterproof container. Include a few cherished mementos. If you evacuate to a shelter, take these items with you.
If you are not in an evacuation zone, determine your ''safe room'' or a room that is away from windows and has walls close together.
Put shutters, window and door protection in place if instructed by local officials.
Do not trim branches or limbs from trees. These could become dangerous missiles if picked up by the wind.
Locate the turnoff valves for electricity, water and gas.
Inspect and secure mobile home tie-downs.