How to Prepare for A Hurricane | Tracking Hurricane Irma in Florida

September 6, 2017 | Blog

As Hurricane Irma tracks toward Florida, the American Red Cross is urging people to get a plan together now.

If you don’t have an emergency kit in place, the Red Cross said now is the time to get it together.

To get ready, the Red Cross advises people to take three steps: Build a disaster kit, review or create your family emergency plan and be informed about how local authorities will notify the public during a disaster.

Should an evacuation order come, the Red Cross wants to make sure everyone is prepared. You’re going to want:

  • Non-perishable food and water
  • Copies of important documents and IDs
  • One-month’s worth of your prescription medications
  • First-aid kits
  • Batteries
  • Any chargers, such as electronic cords, you might need

Christian Smith, with the American Red Cross, said Monday it’s imperative to protect important personal papers and have them available at all times.

“That becomes pretty critical because once you left your home, then it may be several days before that you can go back home,” Smith said.

If you plan on evacuating, make sure you know your zone and have plans on where you can stay — whether it’s a shelter or with friends or family. You should also fill your car’s gas tank in case an evacuation notice is issued.

Red Cross Hurricane Safety Checklist:

Preparing Your Home


  • Hurricane winds can cause trees and branches to fall, so before hurricane season trim or remove damaged trees and limbs to keep you and your property safe.


  • Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property.


  • Reduce property damage by retrofitting to secure and reinforce the roof, windows and doors, including the garage doors.


  • Purchase a portable generator or install a generator for use during power outages. Remember to keep generators and other alternate power/heat sources outside, at least 20 feet away from windows and doors and protected from moisture; and NEVER try to power the house wiring by plugging a generator into a wall outlet.


  • Consider building a FEMA safe room or ICC 500 storm shelter designed for protection from high-winds and in locations above flooding levels.



Florida Disaster Management Division

Most recent updates to evacuation zones and flood warnings for Florida. 


Travel and Roadways – latest information on traffic and roads from Florida 511

Tolls suspended – tools have been suspended across the entire state

Volunteer Opportunities

Red Cross

Volunteer Florida

Mobile Apps

FLGetAPlan – preparedness app from FDEM Google Play  iTunes

Florida Storms – Florida Public Radio Emergency Network Google Play  iTunes

FEMA – mobile app

Red Cross – mobile apps

Story Source: NewsJax