Hurricane season begins June 1: County urges residents to develop a family disaster plan


The Martin County Fire Rescue Department Emergency Management Agency is reminding local residents about the importance of being prepared for the Atlantic hurricane season, which begins on June 1 and extends until the end of November. Now is the time for residents to develop a family disaster plan.

The first step in creating a disaster plan is to hold a family meeting to discuss the dangers of hurricanes, as well as sheltering options. If a hurricane sets its sights on Florida, it is important residents know where they plan to shelter during the storm. Because of the destructive winds and potential storm surge of a hurricane, residents in a manufactured home, on the barrier islands or in a low-lying area should never ignore an evacuation order.

Household emergency plans should be kept simple. The best emergency plans are those that are easy to remember. Some tips for preparing a family disaster plan include:

* Plan for your pets. If you must evacuate, it’s always best to take your pets with you. Pets are not allowed in Red Cross shelters so if you plan to go to a shelter you must make arrangements for your pets. If you are in an ordered evacuation area the Humane Society of the Treasure Coast will care for your pet at no charge, however pre-registration is required. Contact the Humane Society at 772-223-8822 to register.

* Be familiar with escape routes in case you need to evacuate your neighborhood. Plan several escape routes for different situations.

* Find the safe spots in your home.

* Select one contact, possibly a friend or relative, who family members can call if they are separated from the rest of the family.

* Learn and post emergency phone numbers and information.

* Register for the Special Needs Program if you need transportation to a shelter or have medical needs requiring you to go to the Special Needs Shelter. To register, call 772-287-1652 or visit and search for Special Needs Registration.

* Take a basic first aid and CPR class.

* Stock a disaster supply kit.

For more hurricane preparation information, call the Martin County Emergency Management Agency at (772) 287-1652 or visit and click on EOC Emergency Information – Emergency Management Agency.

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