Just in Time Preparedness for Hurricane Ian

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Hurricane Ian is bearing down on Florida, bringing life-threating storm surge, powerful winds and the possibility of flash floods. Most of Florida, as well as southern states, will be affected by the hurricane.

It is important to listen to local officials if they recommend that you evacuate. If you are unable to evacuate or if you are told to shelter-in-place, here are some last-minute ways you can prepare.

Stay informed

Information changes. It’s important to stay updated, so you know what to expect and when to expect it. One way to do this is to have several ways to receive alerts.

  •  Download the FEMA app and receive real-time alerts from the National Weather Service.
  • Sign up for community alerts in your area.
  • Have you ever received a loud emergency alert on your phone or the radio? These automatic alerts can warn you of extreme weather, so make sure to pay attention to them.
  • A battery-operated or hand-crank radio can help you stay informed even if the power goes out.

Gather Supplies

Utilities, roads and stores may be damaged after a storm hits, making it difficult to find food and water. While FEMA and our partners have prepositioned food and water supplies to help assist those after the hurricane, it’s important to have supplies ready in case you can’t leave your home. Some basic supplies include:

  • Several days’ supply of food and water for your family, pets and service animals. If your kit includes canned food, be sure to also have a manual can opener. Fill empty containers—even bathtubs—with potable water.
  • Flashlight and backup batteries.
  • First aid kit.
  • Whistle (to signal for help).
  • Local maps.
  • Alternate methods for charging a cell phone or radio.

Know the risks you face – and how to stay safe

Hurricanes can cause major damage and present many different risks. Here are some risks you should understand to help prepare you and your family for Hurricane Ian.

  • Storm Surge. This is fast and dangerous flooding caused by hurricane winds. Storm surge is expected along both the East and West Florida coastlines. Some areas on the west coastline may see storm surge up to 12 feet. If you are trapped in a building, never climb into a closed attic where you may become trapped by rising water.
  • Floods. Remember never to walk, swim or drive through flood waters. It is difficult to tell how deep water is or what dangerous items might be hidden in the water. Just one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away, while just 6-inches can knock you down. If your car is trapped in rapidly moving water, stay inside your car. If water begins to rise inside of the car, move to the roof.
  • Power Outages. Hurricanes often cause power outages. Take inventory of the items that rely on electricity, so you know what you might be without or need back up power for, such as medical equipment or medication that depends on refrigeration. If you have a generator, remember to ONLY use it outdoors and away from windows.

Look out for others

Remember that not everyone is able to make these preparations. Check on your neighbors to see if they need help. Be sure to consider the needs of everyone in your household, such as those who may require medication or communication assistance.

Another member of your household that may need your help is your pet. Be sure to have a plan for your pet. If you are evacuating, be sure to know which shelters take in pets.

For more ways you can prepare now for a hurricane, visit ready.gov/hurricanes.

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