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My Safe Florida Home Program.To help Floridians identify how they can strengthen their homes against hurricanes and to reduce hurricane damage exposure in our state, the Florida Comprehensive Hurricane Damage Mitigation Program is offering free home inspections by qualified hurricane mitigation inspectors to eligible homeowners.
Social Security Check Recipients
The U.S. Department of the Treasury advises Social Security check recipients who live in hurricane prone areas to switch to direct deposit to ensure seamless delivery of their federal benefit payments in the days following a hurricane or severe weather event. People who receive federal benefits by check in the mail can switch to direct deposit by calling the Go Direct helpline at 1.800.333.1795 (English and Espanol), signing up online at www.godirect.org (English) and www.directoasucuenta.org (en Espanol) or visiting their local bank or credit union.
Message from the City Manager
The City of Miami Beach wants to ensure the safety of all of its residents and visitors and urges everyone to have a plan in case of a hurricane or other emergency. We are prepared and we want to make sure that you are too. This guide includes important information on how you should prepare and what to do afterwards. It is never too early to prepare, but it can be too late if you wait.
– Jorge M. GonzalezGENERAL INFO
The Atlantic hurricane season is officially from June 1 to November 30. Hurricanes have occurred outside of these six months, but these dates were selected to encompass over 97% of tropical activity. The Atlantic basin shows a very peaked season from August through October, with 78% of the tropical storm days, 87% of the minor (Saffir-Simpson Scale categories 1 and 2) hurricane days, and 96% of the major (Saffir-Simpson categories 3, 4 and 5) hurricane days occurring. Maximum activity is in early to mid September. Once in a few years there may be a hurricane occurring “out of season” -- primarily in May or December.
TROPICAL DEPRESSION An organized system of clouds and thunderstorms with a defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds* of 38 mph (33kt**) or less.
TROPICAL STORM An organized system of strong thunderstorms with a defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 39-73 mph (34-63 kt).
HURRICANE An intense tropical weather system of strong thunderstorms with a well-defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 74 mph (64 kt) or higher. In other parts of the world, hurricane is synonymous for typhoons and cyclones.
It is advised to monitor the weather frequently and to heed the advice of local officials during hurricane season. Tropical systems can speed up, change direction and intensify without warning. Several local news stations as well as national weather services offer E-mail notifications by subscribing to their services.
The following terms are used by weather forecasters to describe the strength and probability/proximity of a storm from hitting a specific destination:
HURRICANE WATCH A hurricane may strike your area within 24 - 48 hours
HURRICANE WARNING A hurricane is expected to strike your area within 24 hours
The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale is a 1-5 rating based on the hurricane’s present intensity. Wind speed is the determining factor in the scale.
BEFORE A STORM
Residents that require special care and/or special transportation to a special needs shelter have to pre-register with the Miami-Dade County Emergency Evacuation Assistance Program immediately. The number is 305.513.7700 or 305.468.5402 TDD (hearing impaired).
Please be patient; officials’ priority is public safety. Listen to the local news media for possible road closures and curfews. A reoccupation order can take hours, days or weeks depending on the severity of damage to roads, bridges and buildings. After the order for reoccupation to the city is issued, you will have to provide proof of residency (driver’s license and/or utility bill with current Miami Beach address) to roadblock officials to re-enter Miami Beach. This is done to protect your home and/or business from unwelcome visitors.
PetsDO NOT LEAVE YOUR PET AT HOME
Miami-Dade County now offers two pet-friendly evacuation centers for families to go with their furry friends, up to three pets per family. You must pre-register with Miami-Dade County if you plan on using the pet-friendly evacuation center. However, this does not guarantee placement. To register, call the Miami-Dade County Answer Center at 311 or go to miamidade.gov. The centers are located at: Miami-Dade County Sunshine Pavilion, 10901 S.W. 24 St., Miami and Highland Oaks Middle School, 2375 NE 203 St, North Miami Beach. Inland hotels have also become more pet friendly over the years. Go to petswelcome.com for a list of participating hotels.
If evacuating with your pet is not an option, contact your veterinarian or the Humane Society for assistance. You want to make sure that it stays in a comfortable environment wearing proper identification with access to enough water and food for two weeks. Keep a current photo of your pet with you. Do not leave your pet on a leash outside during a storm.
Hurricane Pet Kit
Prepare an evacuation kit for your pets before hurricane season begins.
In the event of an emergency, the City of Miami Beach may use the Reverse 911 system to call all home phone lines within the city to provide important information. The system, however, is not able to locate wireless phone numbers to communicate important information. Miami Beach community members who wish to be notified via cell phone should go to http://secure.miamibeachfl.gov/reverse911/mainpage.asp to register for this service.
Click here to register.
Miami Beach residents are urged todevelop a disaster preparedness plan before an emergency strikes. Plan in advance where you will stay, how you will get there, and what supplies you will take. As part of your plan, you should have an emergency supply kit ready. When you return to the city, you may not have electricity or water for weeks. Consider the needs of elderly and infant family members and pets.
No tree is immune to storm damage, but with proper pruning, you can reduce the risk. Remember that you must obtain a permit to prune and/or remove certain trees. View the City’s Codes online at miamibeachfl.gov or call Public Works at 305.673.7080 for more information.
Have your trees inspected by an International Society of Arboriculture certified arborist to see if your trees need pruning; you can find a certified arborist on isa-arbor.com. Do this as soon as possible, because they will be increasingly busy as the hurricane season approaches. It is the responsibility of the tree trimmer to remove all branches and debris from your residence when the job is finished. If you prune the trees yourself, be sure to dispose of organic waste properly(seebundleguidelines).Most importantly, do it now; once a storm is on its way, it is too late to prune.
Prepare to move your boat when a hurricane is likely, even before a Hurricane Watch is issued. If you wait too long to relocate the boat, bridges may be locked down and you may not be able to get your boat and yourself to safety. Be advised that high-rise storage racks can be toppled by a storm’s high winds. If possible, put your boat on a trailer and take it further inland. If you must leave your boat in water, make sure it is securely anchored, secure extra lines and add chafe protection. Check with your local marina for more advice.
Roof and Gutters
Inspect your roof for proper overflow drainage, especially on flat roofs. Make sure that all drains are clear of debris. Clogged drains will cause water to pool up on roofs and cause extensive damage. Check for loose rain gutters and drain spouts and secure.
Quick Home Inspection
Before Evacuating Secure Your Home/Condo/Apartment/Business
Two-week supply of food/drinkMaintain a two-week supply of food and drink for when you return to the city after a storm. Keep it as a part of your survival kit (page 10). Include the following items:
Keep a kit at your home with the following items in it. Some of these items will be needed to secure your home, some you will take with you when you evaucate, and others will be needed once the storm has passed and you are allowed to re-occupy your home.
Keep an emergency suitcase ready at all times in the event of an evacuation or for any natural disaster that you can take with you to a shelter. Keep important documents sealed in an airtight bag. Shelters do not provide food. Be sure to take your own supply of non-perishable food.
Prepare for a hurricane as early as possible. Once a storm’s path is forecasted to near South Florida, begin to monitor the storm and prepare for an evacuation. Fill up your vehicle with gasoline before evacuating and be sure to have extra cash in the event of power outage.
All of Miami Beach is an evacuation zone. It is advised that you begin evacuation procedures before an evacuation order is given. This will allow you more time to calmly get off of the island to a home of a friend or relative that is not in an evacuation zone. Please remember to take your emergency suitcase of essential supplies (see pages 10-11). Red Cross shelters will not open until an evacuation order is given and spaces are limited. Families with pets must register prior to an evacuation warning at one of Miami-Dade County’s animal-friendly shelters. Once a storm approaches, emergency services are limited and emergency personnel cannot react if an emergency occurs until after the storm.
Miami Beach Parking Garages
The City of Miami Beach opens its municipal parking garages for residential parking free of charge, during a state of emergency. Availability is on a first-come basis with City vehicles taking a priority. The elevators will not be operational. Parking will resume normal operations once the city has been declared safe or a reoccupation has been granted. Make sure to remove your vehicle from the garage to avoid charges. For more information, call the Parking Department at 305.673.7505.
There are no hurricane shelters in Miami Beach or the coastal communities. The American Red Cross in coordination with other agencies operate shelters for evacuees at mainland schools and other facilities as deemed necessary during an evacuation. The locations are not pre-determined. A list of shelters will be made available through the Miami-Dade County Emergency Operation Center as soon as they become available. Shelter announcements will be made available on MBTV-77, online at www.miamibeachfl.gov or by calling 311. The shelters are not intended to be temporary housing. After a disaster, assessments will be made with local emergency managers as to continued and other shelter needs.
Hurricane Evacuation Bus Stops
The City of Miami Beach will begin evacuation procedures as soon as there is an evacuation order from the state and county. If you have not made prior arrangements to stay somewhere off of the island, the City urges residents to go to a Red Cross hurricane shelter. Miami-Dade Transit buses will provide free transportation to the mainland shelters from 21 locations in Miami Beach. Buses that will transport people for hurricane evacuations will have a special notice on the front of the bus where the route information is displayed. Remember that pets are not allowed to go to general population shelters (see Pet Evacuation Shelters, page 4) and therefore will not be allowed on the bus. Buses run continuous routes until Tropical Storm force winds arrive.
These are NOT HURRICANE SHELTERS, only Miami-Dade Transit bus pick-up locations to shelters. Look for the hurricane evacuation signs that are placed at the following addresses:
SOUTH BEACHRebecca Towers, 150 Alton Road
Ocean Point Condominium, 345 Ocean Drive
CouncilTowersSouth, 533 Collins Avenue
South Shore Community Center, 833 6th Street
Federation Towers, 757 West Avenue
South Beach Alternative School, 920 Alton Road
Ocean Front Auditorium, 1001 Ocean Drive
Alton Towers Condominium, 14th Street & Alton
Road Ida Fisher Community School, 1424 Drexel Avenue
Euclid Gardens Condominium, 1575 Drexel Avenue
Miami Beach City Hall, 1700 Convention Center Drive
Mesivta High School, 1965 Alton Road
MIDDLE BEACHMiami Beach Golf Club, 2301 Alton Road
Scott Rakow Youth Center, 2600 Sheridan Avenue
Collins Avenue & 29th Street
Crown Hotel, 4041 Collins Avenue
Temple Beth Shalom, 4144 Chase Avenue
NORTH BEACHSherry Frontenac Hotel, 6565 Collins Avenue
Collins Avenue & 65th St.
Collins Avenue & 76th St.
Collins Avenue & 81st St.
Normandy Pool, 7030 Trouville Esplanade
71st Street & Rue Versailles
North Shore Park, 72nd Street & Byron Avenue
79th Street & Hawthorne
Biscayne Elementary, 800 77th Street
St Joseph’s School, 8625 Byron Avenue
North Bay Village Synagogue, N. Treasure Drive & Hispanola
During a Hurricane
If an evacuation order was issued, everyone should have evacuated. Sheltering at home in Miami Beach can be extremely dangerous and should only be used as a last resort. However, if you were not able to leave before the onset of storm conditions -- notify family and friends of your situation.
SAFE ROOM If you have not evacuated prior to the arrival of Tropical Storm conditions, you must shelter in place. In a high-rise building, you want to shelter in the lower levels, but not on the first three levels. Hurricane winds increase at higher levels. Stay in an interior room or hallway away from windows and doors. Take your immediate emergency supplies with you that should include, at minimum, a battery-powered radio, flashlight, important papers in a zipped-up plastic bag, and cellphone.
EMERGENCY CALLS The City of Miami Beach’s Fire, Rescue and Police crews cease emergency operations at the arrival of Tropical Storm force (40 mph+) winds. Following a hurricane, emergency calls will be very limited due to flooding, downed power lines, and limited street access and personnel.
AFTER A STORM
Re-entering the City
Many injuries occur after the storm. To avoid injury, use common sense and wear proper clothing, including clothes with long sleeves and long pants, and safety shoes or boots.
DOWNED POWER LINES Stay away and do not touch downed power lines. Stay away from standing water that may have active electrical currents. Although you may be without power in your home/business, it does not mean the lines are not active.
GETTING AROUND If you must travel, treat all intersections as four-way stops. Some roads may be restricted. Curfews may be imposed.
GENERATOR USAGE DO NOT operate a generator indoors, on balconies or near open windows. Make sure that the generator is running in a well-ventilated area. Many people die from carbon monoxide poisoning every year due to improper generator use. Read instructions and use with caution.
TREE TRIMMING Use caution with operating power equipment (i.e., chain saws): Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and wear safety equipment (i.e., goggles and gloves). Stay clear of those using manual or other tools to cut trees. Avoid back injuries by using mechanical assistance to move debris too large to move manually.
FOOD If you are concerned that your food may have spoiled, when in doubt, throw it out. For additional food safety information, call the toll-free USDA/FSIS Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1.888.674.6854.
INSECTS Uprooted insects and mosquitoes thrive in post-storm conditions. If you are without power, it is likely you have windows and doors open for periods of time. Use mosquito repellant and nets and spray entrance areas with insect killers.
SUN AND HEAT ExPOSURE You will be exposed to more heat and sun, especially if you are without power. Wear sunscreen, drink water and try to keep cool. A portable, battery-powered fan will make you feel more comfortable.
The City’s priority is to clear major roadways of storm debris as soon as it is safe immediately following a hurricane. Other roads are cleared thereafter.
A courtesy single-family home residential storm debris collection may be deemed necessary. If a special collection is issued, please separate vegetation debris from other storm-related trash and place neatly on your curb. This will facilitate and expedite the collection service.
If you have excess storm debris, please take vegetation to the Green Waste Facility at 29 Street and Meridian Avenue from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, or call 305.471.4444 to make a regular bulk waste pick-up appointment (single-family homes only).
Property Damage and Emergency Building Permits
If your home is deemed uninhabitable by the Building Official, you must leave your home until proper repairs are completed. If necessary, the Miami Beach Building Department, second floor, City Hall, will issue emergency building permits due to storm-related damages to expedite repairs.
To individuals and families may come from any number of organizations, including:
If communications such as radio, television or newspapers are available, information on where to receive assistance will be listed through those sources following a hurricane. Emergency managers will designate a safe location where to disseminate information and resources where necessary. In case all communications fail after a hurricane, City public safety personnel along with CERT volunteers will disseminate information via flyers into the neighborhoods.
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY ANSWER CENTER311 or 305.468.5900 • TDD: 305.468.5402 • miamidade.gov/eoc
MIAMI BEACH FIRE DEPARTMENT, HURRICANE AND FIRE SAFETY EDUCATION(CERT)305.673.7123
MIAMI BEACH POLICE DEPARTMENT305.673.7900
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY EMERGENCY, EVACUATION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
305.513.7700 • TDD: 305.468.5402
FLORIDA’S EMERGENCY INFORMATION LINE
1.800.342.3557 • http://www.floridadisaster.org/index.asp
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE305.229.4522 • http://www.nws.gov
NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER305.229.4470 • http://www.nhc.noaa.gov
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER305.468.5400 • http://www.miamidade.gov/emergency/
AMERICAN RED CROSS305.644.1200 • http://www.redcross.org/
1.800.4.OUTAGE • 305.442.8770 (Miami-Dade) • http://www.fpl.com
AT&T (formerly Bellsouth)611 • http://bellsouth.com/
TECO PEOPLE’S GAS305.940.0139 • http://www.peoplesgas.com/
ATLANTIC BROADBAND CABLE305.861.1564 • http://www.atlanticbb.com/
HUMANE SOCIETY OF MIAMI
305.696.0800 • humanesociety.org
AMERICAN RED CROSS
305.644.1200 • miamiredcross.org/redcross.org
1.800.SAL.ARMY • salvationarmyusa.org
FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY (FEMA)
1.800.621.3362 • TTY: 1.800.462.7585 • fema.gov/disasterhelp.gov
Plan and Prepare 2008 (Video)
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