Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam urges Floridians to prepare for the 2017 hurricane season, which begins June 1. Expecting weak El Nino conditions, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts an above-average hurricane season.
“Preliminary forecasts point to an active hurricane season this year,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam. “It’s crucial that Floridians plan early to protect their families and homes this hurricane season.”
Floridians can take the following steps to prepare for the 2017 hurricane season:
- Have a Plan: Know what you and your family will do in an emergency. Research the locations of hurricane shelters and find out if you can take your pet. Make sure everyone in your house knows the plan and where your emergency supplies are stored.
- Prepare a Kit: Keep a kit stocked with emergency supplies. This should include a three-day supply of food and water for each family member. Plan for one gallon of water per person per day. Supplies should also include: cash, blankets and sleeping bags, first-aid kits, battery-powered radios, flashlights and extra batteries, clothing, necessary medications, pet care, a list of important phone numbers and important documents stored in waterproof containers.
- Stay Informed: Keep up-to-date on the latest weather information. Watch local news and weather, listen for radio updates or stay informed with your computer or smartphone.
In addition to these tips, it is imperative to have an adequate supply of food and water during a disaster.
- Keep an appliance thermometer in your fridge and freezer to provide an accurate temperature reading even if the power is out. A freezer should be at or below 0°F and the fridge at 40°F.
- Store food on shelves high enough that it will not be contaminated in case of flood.
- Have coolers on hand to keep food cold if the power is out more than four hours. Keep the fridge and freezer doors closed as much as possible.
- Discard perishables, such as meat, fish, cheese, milk, eggs, leftovers and deli items, if the power is out more than four hours.
- Use bottled water if you are concerned about your water supply. If you don’t have bottled water, boil water and let it cool before storing to drink.
During an emergency, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services provides necessary food and water to affected areas and helps protect animals and pets. The department’s Florida Forest Service is responsible for incident management and assists emergency responders in clearing debris and distributing supplies. Additionally, the department’s Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement provides law enforcement services to police departments and county sheriff’s offices as necessary.
For more information and tips on hurricane preparedness, visit FloridaDisaster.org.
For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit FreshFromFlorida.com.