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Emergency Services
Emergency services will probably not be available in a timely fashion, if at all, due to impassable roadways and they prioritize those most in need. If you have a medical condition that could warrant a need, you might want to consider other arrangements until after the storm. The emergency generator only runs minimum hallway lighting, exit lights, partial security cameras. Power outage is highly probable. Plan accordingly.

Mandatory evacuation, if necessary, will be mandated by the local authorities.

Pictures and videos of the contents to your unit are crucial if you need to put in a claim to your insurance company. Also, copies of warranty booklets with model and serial numbers of your personal property should be kept with the pictures. If you are leaving your unit, it is advisable to take copies of your pictures and policies with you. In the event your local agent is not available, make sure you have a corporate headquarters office telephone number to call.

Guests should be kept at a minimal when a Hurricane Warning is issued and after the storm has passed until the property is fully operational again.

Most shelters do not permit pets. Pets cannot be left in your home unattended. Should you decide to leave the county, please make proper arrangements with your vet, kennel, friends, or family to care for your pet(s).

Shelter for Evacuation
The public shelters are far from comfortable. You must bring a bed roll, pillow, food for at least three meals, flashlights, toilet paper, personal hygiene products, diapers, and water for each person in your family. The supply of food is limited and might not be to your liking.

If you are staying in your home, you might lose water pressure due to the County’s lack of service or loss of electric for the pump stations. Keep at least one gallon of water per person for each day. A two-week supply is prudent. Clean your tub with bleach and fill your tub for cooking, washing and to flush your toilets.

Forecast Terminology

  • Tropical Depression: An organized system of clouds and thunderstorms with a defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds * of 38 mph (33kt*) or less.
  • Tropical Storm: An organized system of strong thunderstorms with a defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 39-73 mph (34-36kt).
  • Hurricane: An Intense tropical weather system of strong thunderstorms with a well-defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 74 mph (64 kt) or higher.
  • Category 1: Sustained winds of 74 to 95 mph
  • Category 2: Sustained winds of 96 to 110 mph
  • Category 3: Sustained winds of 111 to 130 mph
  • Category 4: Sustained winds of 131 to 155 mph
  • Category 5: Sustained winds of over 155 mph
  • Hurricane Watch: This is when conditions are possible within 36 hours. Evacuation zones are identified by the likelihood of being flooded by this rising water.
  • Hurricane Warning: This is when hurricane conditions are expected within 24 hours. Complete all storm preparations and immediately follow local emergency management official’s advice about evacuating dangerous or low-lying locations.

Preparation Plan

Residents are urged to develop a disaster preparedness plan before an emergency strike. Plan in advance where you will stay, how you will get there, and what supplies you will take.

  1. Make arrangements with friends or relatives living in a non-evacuation area or check into a hotel located inland: or, as a last resort, use a public shelter.
  2. Have a transportation plan for emergencies.
  3. Tell family or neighbors where you would go to stay in case of an emergency.
  4. Don’t leave your pet(s) behind; make arrangements with a kennel or friend to care for your pet(s). There are hotels that will accept pets with prior registration.

Before Evacuating, Secure Your Home

Take down and bring in any signs, tables, garbage cans, plants, furniture, umbrellas, and other loose and/or unsecured structures from outdoors, including balconies.

Please keep the following in mind when preparing your home before evacuating:

  • Fill prescriptions and fill vehicle gas tanks.
  • Unplug TV/computer and bring antenna and satellite dish inside.
  • Move furniture and electronics away from windows and cover with plastic.
  • Turn refrigerator to its coolest setting
  • Place valuables in waterproof containers and store in high place.

Two-Week Supply of Necessary Items

Maintain a two-week supply of food and drink for when you return to the city after a storm.
You may include the following items:

  • Water and ice
  • Special dietary needs items
  • Small containers of canned meats, fruits, soups, etc.
  • Dry cereal and crackers
  • Granola/protein bars, nuts, peanut butter
  • Dry or non-refrigerated milk and baby food or formula (if applicable)

Survival Kit

Keep a kit at your home with the following items in it. Some of these items will be needed to secure your home, some you will take with you when you evacuate, and others will be needed once the storm has passed and you are allowed to re-occupy your home.

  • Radio/TV/fan (battery or hand crank powered)
  • Seasonal clothing
  • Flashlights
  • Blanket and pillows
  • Batteries
  • Mosquito/insect repellent
  • Can opener
  • Matches, lantern, or lighter
  • Baby diapers, feminine hygiene products, and other toiletries
  • Spare keys to home and vehicle(s)
  • Fuel (stored in an approved container) and fire extinguisher
  • Map of the area
  • Emergency cooking facilities, sterns, propane for gas grills
  • Cash (small bills) as the power will prevent credit card usage

Hurricane Pet Kit

  • Do not leave your pet(s) at home.
  • Pets should have proper ID (microchip, collar with tag, tattoo) including name, address and phone number.
  • Photo of pet and owner (to prove ownership)
  • Up to date veterinarian records
  • Flea and tick prevention/treatments
  • Medications, food, and water
  • First aid kit, cat litter& litter box, cleaning supplies
  • Proper leash, collar, and appropriate pet carrier (1 per pet)

Disaster Kit

Food and Water

  • Water – two gallons per person per day for drinking, cooking, and hygiene
  • Canned meat
  • Canned fish
  • Canned soup
  • Canned fruit
  • Canned vegetables
  • Canned fruit juice
  • Dried foods
  • Evaporated milk /Powered milk/ baby formula
  • Coffee/ tea/cocoa
  • Bouillon
  • Cereal
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Bread
  • Peanut butter
  • Candy
  • Crackers
  • Trail mix
  • Beans dry or can
  • Salt, sugar, honey, pepper
  • Dry pet food
  • Granola bars
  • Pre-packed beverages
  • Baby food

Kitchen Accessories

  • Manual can opener
  • Paper plates, cups, towels, knives, forks, spoons, cooking pots, utility knife
  • Cooking fuel and container for the fuel, camp style cook stove
  • Aluminum foil
  • Plastic resealable bags


  • Paper, pencil
  • Needles and thread
  • Pliers
  • Wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Duct tape
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Candles, matches
  • Battery powered radio/TV

Hygiene Items

  • Bar soap
  • Waterless soap
  • Sanitary napkins
  • Toilet paper
  • Paper towels
  • Plastic garbage bags
  • Bleach
  • Liquid detergent
  • Shampoo
  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Comb
  • Brush

Physical Comfort Items

  • Change of clothing
  • Extra socks
  • Extra underwear
  • Coat and Rain Gear
  • Waterproof hats
  • Towels
  • Blankets
  • Sleeping bags
  • Sturdy shoes
  • Lawn chairs

Medical Items

  • First aid kit
  • Prescription medication
  • Insulin
  • Scissors
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Non-prescription pain medication
  • Antihistamine
  • Anti-diarrhea medication

Entertainment Items

  • Games
  • Books
  • Puzzles

Suggested Hurricane Supply & Preparation List

The following is a list of items and suggestions to help you prepare for a hurricane:

  • Make sure your gas tank is full at all times.
  • Make sure you have cash with you in small bills, as due to power outage credit cards will be of no use.
  • Make sure your cell phone is fully charged and have a car charger with you.
  • Flashlights and spare batteries.
  • Battery-operated radio, clock and TV.
  • Camera with film (for insurance)
  • Personal, legal, and insurance documents in waterproof containers.
  • Local and state maps
  • First Aid Kit
  • Prescription medicines and specific medical supplies and information. Including eyeglasses, contact lenses, hearing aids, batteries, canes prosthetic devices etc.
  • Personal hygiene items, feminine items, infant items, disposable diapers, washcloths, towels, toilet paper, paper towels.
  • Portable ice chest with lots of ice (you can freeze your water supply)
  • Manual can opener.
  • Disposable plates, cups, eating utensils and plastic trash bags.
  • Can food, dry milk, baby formula can or bottled juices, instant coffee or tea.
  • Liquid detergent and household chlorine bleach (without additives).
  • Toolbox with pliers, duct tape utility knife, scissors, gloves, hammer, nails and tarp or plastic sheet for temporary repairs.
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • For pets make sure you have enough canned pet food (to preserve water) newspapers or cat litter and plastic sheets to cover floor of pet’s room.
  • Pillows, blankets or sleeping bag.
  • Develop your own emergency plan.
  • Plan to relocate if you live in an evacuation zone.
  • Know your evacuation zone and route.
  • Arrange for safe keeping of your pets or animals. Most shelters will not accept pets.

Staying at a Public Shelter


Area public shelters are for people who have no other place to go. If you must stay in a shelter, listen to news broadcasts for announcements of shelter openings. Shelter volunteers do their best to make you comfortable, but a shelter is not a very comfortable place. Stay with friends or relatives if at all possible.

  • Those with special medical needs (oxygen, etc.) should go to special needs shelters only. Special needs shelters do not provide hands-on medical care, only medical monitoring. Bring a caregiver with you if needed.
  • Only service animals are permitted in public shelters.
  • Eat before you arrive. Meals may not be available during the first 24 hours. Bring snacks.
  • Bring your identification, valuable papers and medications in their original containers.
  • Bring baby supplies.
  • Bring blankets/sleeping bags, pillows. Those are either not provided or limited in supply.
  • Bring cards/games/books to pass the hours.
  • Bring flashlights and a battery-operated radio or TV with extra batteries for all.
  • Stay inside and follow directions that are given for your comfort

Salvation Army

1.800.SAL.ARMY – salvationarmyusa.org

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Phone: 1.800.621.3362
TTY: 1.800.462.7585

Office of Emergency Management – Sarasota County

Phone: 941.861.5000
Transportation Plan (Hurricane Evacuation Centers):


Preparation is Everyone’s responsibility

Planning ahead helps to safeguard lives and property. It can also relieve anxiety as a storm approach. The best time to plan how you will secure your property, assemble your disaster kit and where you will ride out the storm is before hurricane seasons begins.

Home and Family

  • Develop your disaster plan and ensure that each family member knows it.
  • Make sure your children know how and when to call 9-1-1.
  • Make sure your shutters are adequate to secure all vulnerable areas of your home, and that all necessary hardware is close by.
  • Locate a “safe room” in your home and stock it with at least three days’ worth of emergency supplies.
  • Put valuables, photos and important papers in waterproof bags and store in a safe place.
  • Check if you need flood and windstorm coverage. Take photos of your home.
  • Post emergency contact numbers by your phones including in-and out-of-state contacts.
  • Prune your trees and dispose of all tree-cuttings or schedule a curbside bulky waste pickup.
  • Dispose of small items with twice-weekly garbage collection service.
  • Take home chemicals like used paints, pesticides and solvents to a County Home Chemical Collection Center.

Food, Water and Supplies

  • Stock at least a two-week supply of food, water and medication for yourself and your pet.
  • Bottle your own water with reusable waters containers. Some are even collapsible for easy storage. Figure about one gallon per person, per day.
  • When a hurricane warning has been issued, make sure your weather radio has fresh batteries and some to spare.
  • Replenish your first-aid kit.

Prepare your Home

Here’s what to do:

  • Secure your home, inside and out, including windows, doors, boats and patio areas.
  • Charge all mobile phones and keep a corded phone handy.
  • Withdraw cash from the bank.
  • Get fuel for your car, generator and other gas-powered tools.
  • Protect your electronics with surge protectors and waterproof coverings.
  • If you own a boat, use double lines at a marina or consider dry-dock storage.
  • Do not begin any tree pruning or household cleanup activities.

During the Storm

When a hurricane threatens, watch and wait:

  • Stay indoors until the eye of the storm has passed.
  • Watch local news or listen to the radio for weather updates.
  • Turn off circuit breakers but leave one on so you know when power is restored.
  • Use flashlights not candles or kerosene lamps, as your light source.
  • Stay in your safe room.
  • Keep children informed about what is happening and watch for signs of stress.
  • Keep animals in their carriers.
  • Use the phone only for urgent calls.
  • Go to a lower floor if you live in a tall building.

Recovery After the Storm

After the storm, roadways may be impassable making it impossible to return to the building. The landscaping crew, once they are able to return to work, will make a diligent effort to clear the roadways. Electricity and water may not be available. You should have water on hand to carry you through until services are restored.

Returning to the Property

Please be patient; officials’ priority is public safety. Listen to the local news media for possible road closures and curfews. A reoccupation order can take hours, days or even weeks depending on the severity of damage to the roads, bridges and buildings. After the order for reoccupation is issued, you will have to provide proof of residency (driver’s license and/or utility bill with current address) to road-block officials to re-enter the area. This is to protect your home and/or business from unwelcomed visitors. To enter the property, you will also need to provide ID and we encourage NO guests be allowed until all systems are fully operational again.

After the Storm

Studies show that many disaster-related injuries occur after the disaster.

Post- Storm Recovery Tips

Be safe and keep your guard up even after a storm passes with these tips:

  • Listen to media announcements for information on when your waste collection service will resume.
  • Take small amounts of hurricane debris to a Neighborhood Trash and Recycling Center.
  • Place large piles of debris on the right-of-way of your property – away from fences, mailboxes, drains, power lines and low-hanging wires.
  • Don’t place debris on a vacant lot.
  • Don’t place debris in front of commercial properties, nurseries and farmland.
  • Check local media advisories for information on the resumption of waste collection services.
  • If your garbage or recycling cart is lost or damaged during a hurricane, it is your responsibility to ask for a replacement.

Be patient. Be careful. Cleanup after a storm can take time.

Electrical Damage

  • Your electrical system may have been damaged. If you see frayed wiring or sparks when you restore power, or if there is an odor of something burning but no visible fire, you should immediately shut off the electrical system at the main circuit breaker.
  • You should consult your utility company about using electrical equipment, including power generators. Be aware that it is against the law and a violation of electrical codes to connect generators to your home’s electrical circuits without the approved, automatic-interrupt devices. If a generator is online when electrical service is restored, it can become a major fire hazard. In addition, the improper connection of a generator to your home’s electrical circuits may endanger line workers helping to restore power in your area.
  • Any electrical outlet or device exposed to flood waters needs to have the wires dried. Replace the electrical outlet and have the system checked by a certified electrician before turning on the circuit breakers and energizing the outlet for use.
  • Once you have established that no structural, electrical, or gas-related hazards exist in your home, dry and disinfect all materials inside the house to prevent the growth of mold and mildew.
  • Walls, hard-surfaced floors, and many other household surfaces should be cleaned with soap and water and disinfected with a solution of one cup of bleach to five gallons of water.
  • Be particularly careful to thoroughly disinfect surfaces that may come in contact with food, such as counter tops, pantry shelves, refrigerators, etc. Areas where small children play should also be carefully cleaned.
  • Wash all linens and clothing in hot water or dry clean them. For items that cannot be washed or dry cleaned, such as mattresses and upholstered furniture, air dry them in the sun and then spray them thoroughly with a disinfectant. Steam clean all carpeting.
  • If there has been a backflow of sewage into the house, wear rubber boots and waterproof gloves during cleanup. Remove and discard contaminated household materials that cannot be disinfected such as wall coverings, cloth, rugs, and drywall.
  • All carpeting and all dry wall damaged or wet from the storm needs to be removed to prevent molding or other hazards.

Downed Power Lines

  • To report a downed power line call 407.823.9150. Do not call 911 to report downed power lines.
  • If a powerline falls across your car while you are driving, continue to drive away from the line. If the engine stalls, do not turn off the ignition. Stay in your car and wait for emergency personnel. Do not allow anyone other than emergency personnel to approach your vehicle.
SOURCE: Hammock Preserve, Sarasota, FL, Hurricane Plan 2020, Castle Group

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