ORLANDO, Fla. – When Hurricane Irma barreled through Florida in September 2017 many households were left without power. Evacuees found traffic had come to a standstill and were left stranded due to widespread flooding.
Disasters, whether natural or manmade, can happen anywhere, any time of the year. Keeping a disaster supply kit ready at all times is essential for emergencies. Have a plan for what your family will do when disaster strikes.
A disaster kit is a collection of basic items needed in the event of an emergency, and can be assembled well in advance; evacuation orders can come with little notice at a moment’s notice.
Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. Have enough food, water and other necessities, including all medications, in sufficient quantity for each family member to last for at least 72 hours.
FEMA.gov has a list of recommended emergency supplies. Consider what your family might need, such as supplies for individuals with disabilities, children, seniors or pets, and protection against the Florida weather. Insect repellent and sunscreen should be in all your kits, as well as rainproof gear for everyone.
MySafeFlorida.org also has a list of suggested items for your disaster supply kit.
Maintaining a Kit
Just as important as putting your supplies together is maintaining them so they are safe to use when needed. Keep items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supply kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers, such as an unused trashcan, camping backpack or duffel bag.
Kit Storage Locations
Prepare emergency supplies for home, work and vehicles. If stranded when driving, stay in your car, put on your flashers, call for help and wait until it arrives.
Helping people before, during, and after disasters.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.
FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.