Hurricane Season is Here05/31/2017

Hurricane Season is HereHurricane season is here. And with experts predicting above-average Atlantic activity, now is the time to be prepared. Better to spend half a day getting ready now than being rushed in the days leading up to a storm when all supplies have been purchased by the more prudent.

Five Things to do Now Before a Disaster

1. Refer to the hurricane evacuation zones and maps online at Determine if and when you would have to evacuate. Remember: All mobile home residents are advised to evacuate, regardless of location. If you need help determining your zone, contact Santa Rosa County Emergency Management BEFORE A STORM THREATENS at 850-983-5360.

2. Decide NOW where you would go if ordered to evacuate - a friend or relative's home, a hotel, or as a last resort, a public shelter. REMEMBER, if you are going to leave the area or go to a hotel, don't delay. Determine your route, leave early and travel the shortest distance possible. Think tens of miles, not hundreds.

3. Purchase a battery-powered NOAA weather radio and, if you have a landline, be sure to have a non-electric phone. Even though phone service may not be disturbed, a cordless phone will not work during power outages. Also be sure you have a car charger or portable battery charger for your cell phone and mobile devices. If there is a power outage, you will not be able to charge your phone or tablet inside your home.

4. Make sure your street address number is clearly marked on your home.

5. Whether you rent or own your home, review your insurance policies with your agent now.  You may wish to take photos or videos of your belongings at the beginning of each hurricane season.

Disaster Planning for Special Needs

In a disaster, people with special medical needs have extra concerns. Take the following steps if you or your family members have special medical needs:

  • Have at least a three-day supply of necessary medical supplies, like bandages, ostomy bags or syringes.
  • For medical equipment requiring electrical power such as beds, breathing equipment, or infusion pumps, check with your medical supply company and ask about a back-up power source such as a battery or generator.
  • If you use oxygen, have an emergency supply (enough for at least a three-day period).
  • Oxygen tanks should be securely braced so they do not fall over. Call your medical supply company regarding bracing instructions.
  • Prepare copies of vital medical papers such as insurance cards and power of attorney.
  • Store extra batteries for hearing aids, implants, TTY and light phone signaler.
  • If hearing impaired or non-verbal, bring additional communication devices if applicable.
  • Service animals may become confused, frightened or disoriented during and after a disaster. Keep them confined or securely leashed or harnessed, this will help a nervous or upset animal.

Preparing your Medication

  • Always have at least a three-day supply of all your medications. In some emergencies, you may need to prepare for a week or more.
  • Store your medications in one location in their original containers.
  • List all of your medications: name of medication, dose, frequency and name of prescribing doctor.

For those with special needs or are considered vulnerable, Santa Rosa County has a special needs shelter. Santa Rosa County offers transportation to a shelter in the event of an evacuation. Registration is required prior to any disaster. To register:

 What to Bring to a Shelter

  • A change of clothing, rain gear and sturdy shoes.
  • Toiletries, personal items and all medications.
  • Blankets or sleeping bags.
  • Identification.
  • Special items for elderly family members.
  • Any dietary needs and snacks.
  • Flashlights and spare batteries.


Santa Rosa County also offers a welfare check for those that request one in the event of a disaster. Emergency Management staff is available to conduct public speaking engagements on safety and preparedness when requested.

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