Skip Global navigation and goto content

Preparing Your Family for Disasters and Emergencies

By Steve Huard

August 28, 2023

Preparing Your Family for Disasters and Emergencies
Prepare, Plan, Stay Informed

Today is the beginning of the 2023 Atlantic Hurricane season. In the event of a natural disaster or emergency, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) recommends Floridians take the following steps:
Make an emergency plan for your family and pets that includes:
• What you and your family will do.
• What to have on hand.
• Where to go and what to take with you if you have to evacuate.
Make an emergency supply kit that includes:
• Water- at least one gallon per person, per day.
• Healthy, nonperishable food.
• Medicine.
• Glasses, hearing aids, medical devices, first aid kit.
• Clothing and bedding.
• Important documents- list of property, contacts, medical information.
• Other items- personal hygiene, spare keys, TTYs with extra batteries, battery-powered radio and flashlight.
More tips:
• Have cash on hand and keep your car’s gas tank full.
• Let others know your intended evacuation destination and route.
• Take food safety precautions, i.e. turn your refrigerator and freezer temperature to the coldest settings.
• Locate forms of identification and important papers.
• If you’re in a flood zone, review your flood insurance policy.
• Locate shelters in your area, including special needs and pet-friendly shelters.
• Become familiar with local resources like the county health department, emergency management office, etc., and federal agencies like the American Red Cross, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), etc.
Additional items for People with Disabilities or Access and Functional Needs:
• Mark all items with fluorescent tape, large print or Braille.
• Be sure to have items specific to your disability like:
Spare parts, batteries or chargers for equipment and supplies
- Repair kits.
- Walker, crutches or canes.
- Dialysis equipment.
- Oxygen.
- Talking or Braille clock.
- Cards, notification that you have a disability.
- Electronic communicator.
- Other specialty equipment and supplies you need.
• Follow local alerts/evacuation notices on the radio, television, Internet and other warning
• Evacuate or seek medical attention quickly if instructed by authorities.
• Follow your family’s emergency plan.
• Limit use of your telephone or cell phone; make sure phones and TTY are fully charged
and back-up batteries are available.
• Wait for official notice that the emergency is over.
For further information on how to create an emergency plan for your family and pets, and for a
copy of the Florida Department of Health’s Emergency Preparedness Guide, visit


For more information please see:


Statewide Articles

JavaScript must be enabled in your browser to display articles

Local Articles