City of Stuart
Hurricane Information

 

Home

The Hurricane Season officially starts on June 1 and continues into fwindall, but now is time for all Stuart residents to make preparations for the season with the record setting 2005 season as a guide!

When a tropical storm or hurricane threatens the National Hurricane Center will issue advisories based on the storm's projected strength and estimated time of landfall.
 

In general

Check with your employer to see if you will have any special job responsibilities when a storm threatens. Have a clear understanding that you will require an appropriate amount of time to prepare your home and family.

Assign an emergency meeting place in case your family gets separated. Designate an out of town family member or friend as an emergency contact.

Write down the important points in your plan so it is clear who will handle each task and you won't forget anything in the heat of the moment.



Do This Now

Before Hurricane Season
Do This Now!


Check with your employer to see if you will have any special job responsibilities when a storm threatens. Have a clear understanding that you will require an appropriate amount of time to prepare your home and family. Assign an emergency meeting place in case your family gets separated. Designate an out of town family member or friend as an emergency contact.

Write down the important points in your plan so it is clear who will handle each task and you won't forget anything in the heat of the moment.

Take photos or slides and make an inventory of personal belongings and think about purchasing a renters insurance policy for your personal possessions. Store the inventory information off the premises, i.e., at the office or in a safe deposit box. Review your insurance coverage. Wind damage may be covered under a standard homeowners policy, but it is very important to check with your insurance provider to assure that you're covered. Ask your agent to review the policy limits, including coverage for contents.

Flooding is generally not covered under standard homeowner policies, so ask your agent about flood insurance, which is available through the National Insurance Flood Program. If you rent a house or apartment, talk to your agent about purchasing a renters insurance policy if you don't already have one.

A family plan is a work in progress. It should be reviewed each year and appropriate changes made. Most importantly, you should practice your plan before the beginning of each season. No two hurricane plans are identical. Each family has its own set of unique individuals and that will be reflected in your own personal plan. It is important that everyone knows what will be expected of them and what they can expect of others. Children should be given assignments as well. Keeping children occupied during a storm will make them easier to control and help calm their fears. During a hurricane emergency make sure that at least one parent, relative or very close adult friend will be with the children at all times.

First decide where you will go when a storm threatens. If you live in an evacuation zone, a mobile home, an area prone to severe flooding or a dwelling considered to be unsafe, you must plan on evacuating for even a minimal hurricane If you are unsure whether you five in a flood-prone area, call your county Office of Emergency Management and give them your address to determine if your home is in an evacuation zone. If you live outside an evacuation zone and have a sturdy roof, impact code approved window shutters and door braces, you should probably plan on staying in your home when a storm threatens.

If evacuating, make a decision now about where you will go. If you have friends or relatives outside an evacuation zone who live in a hurricane-safe house, try to make arrangements to stay with them. Obviously you should make those plans now so that they will be expecting you. Those arrangements should include who will be responsible for food, water and all the necessary items you will find listed throughout this Guide. One of the advantages of an arrangement like this is that you can divide up responsibility for some of the tasks. Plan on leaving as early as possible to avoid rapidly deteriorating weather and increased traffic.

Historically, many people have planned on evacuating to an inland hotel. Hotels tend to fill up fast and if they are all sold out you may be forced to make a last-minute decision to find a shelter.

If you intend to attempt to leave South Florida you should plan on leaving as early as possible, at least 72 hours before anticipated landfall. If you try to fly out be prepared for the possibility that the airport may close or all flights may be full or canceled.

Attempting to drive away from an approaching storm could be a big mistake. Many people from our area tried to evacuate to Orlando when Hurricane Erin threatened South Florida in 1995. Eventually, that storm turned north and headed for Central Florida. Fortunately, it was not a very strong storm.

BE ADVISED: TROPICAL STORMS AND HURRICANES ARE NOTORIOUS FOR CHANGING DIRECTION. YOU MAY FIND YOURSELF HEADED DIRECTLY INTO A THREATENED AREA. A HURRICANE CAN TRAVEL FASTER THAN A TRAFFIC JAM AND THE WORST PLACE TO BE IN A HURRICANE IS STUCK IN YOUR CAR. A BETTER PLAN IS TO STAY IN A WELL-CONSTRUCTED, PROPERLY-PREPARED STRUCTURE.

A Red Cross shelter should be your last resort if you have nowhere else to go. Shelters will be crowded and uncomfortable with no privacy. Bring pillows, blankets and your own supply of food, water and prescription medicines. If you have young children you'll need a few of their favorite small toys, games and books. Do not go to a shelter until you hear from officials that the specific shelter has opened. NOT ALL SHELTERS WILL BE OPENED WHEN A STORM APPROACHES. Familiarize yourself with the location of 2 or 3 shelters in your area so that you know exactly where to go when the shelter opens. Pets, alcohol and firearms are not allowed in shelters.

Emergency Management Officials will be glad to schedule a FREE presentation about Hurricane Preparedness for groups (Condo Associations, Mobile Home Parks, Civic Organizations, Homeowners Associations, etc.) CALL (772) 288-5353


Watch

A tropical storm or hurricane "watch" means that tropical storm or hurricane conditions are a possible threat within 36 hours in the specified region. Begin preliminary preparations to protect life and property. Stay tuned to your local news for updates.


Warning

A tropical storm or hurricane "warning" means tropical storm or hurricane conditions are expected in a specified region within 24 hours. All of your preparations should be completed.

REMEMBER: Winds and storm surge from tropical storms are not normally as strong as a hurricane. However, many tropical storms (and even tropical depressions) may contain tornadoes, torrential rains, and flooding.


During Storm

A hurricane can be a terrifying experience. Your survival may depend on your ability to think quickly and clearly. Talk or read to young children. Explain what they are hearing, as hurricane winds can be very loud and frightening. Reassure them that it may take a while, but eventually the storm will pass. Children can sense when adults are upset. Keep a clear head for their sake and yours.

If you live in an evacuation zone but did not evacuate, you may still be able to escape rising water. Emergency managers suggest you look for a last resort refuge. Evacuation zones are prone to surge flooding, so if you are trapped in an evacuation zone as the storm is hitting, try to get into a two story or taller building. If you are in a high-rise, avoid the upper floors because winds are stronger the higher you go. Try to quickly, identify a safe room (i.e., parking garage, interior room, etc.).

IMPORTANT!!! Last-resort refuges are named just that for a very good reason. You should not consider this as an option in your hurricane plan. If you live in an evacuation zone you should plan to evacuate when told. But just in case, it's a good idea to identify a last resort refuge now.

Weather conditions will deteriorate rapidly as the storm gets closer. All your preparations should have been made. If you missed anything, it may be too late to prepare further.
Stay indoors, away from windows and doors.

Consider turning off circuit breakers before the power goes off (as it probably will). Power surges and spikes can damage electronic equipment. Also, broken or shorted wires become fire hazards when the power is turned back on. You may want to leave one breaker on that feeds a lamp, so you will know when the power comes back on.
When the power goes out, use flashlights (not candles or kerosene lamps) during the storm.

Once you're in your safe room, stay there even if you hear breaking glass or worse. It is extremely dangerous to expose yourself to the hurricane's winds.
Animals should be placed in their carriers.

If your house begins to break apart, cover yourself with the mattress and pillows. If your safe room is a bathroom, you can get in the bathtub and cover yourself with the mattress.
Do not leave your safe room until you hear an official "All's Clear." If the wind dies down, you may be in the eye of the storm. Winds may resume at any time as strong (or stronger) than before, but will be coming from a different direction.

Use the phone for urgent calls only. Avoid contact with the phone if you hear thunder.


Safe Rooms

Large interior closet, bathroom, stairwell or hallway with no windows may serve as safe room. If your home begins to break apart during a storm, a safe room is where your family would have the best chance of surviving. You should identify the safe room in your home and make sure that everyone knows where it is. When a storm hits, this is where you should be. Safe rooms can also be used in other weather relate emergencies such as tornadoes. A designated safe room built into every new home could provide significant additional protection for you family. This can be relatively inexpensive and has proven to be effective. Existing closets and bathrooms can be improved to provide additional strength to the walls and ceiling. A well-built designated safe room can provide relatively safe haven and peace of mind.



Boat Safety

Hurricane Boat Safety

Check insurance policies and coverage. Is your coverage adequate? You should understand the coverage's exclusions and your duties as the vessel owner.

Make an inventory of all equipment on board. Note which items should be removed or secured.

Check deck hardware and electronics. Keep batteries charged and confirm that all bilge pumps are operable.

If you trailer your boat, check your trailer tires, bearings and hitch. Make sure your intended tow vehicle is properly equipped.

Rehearse your plan and make note of how long it takes to complete (including drive time to and from the boat). Double the total time to allow for increased traffic and deteriorating weather conditions. If you will be moving your boat on the water, know your route, including bridge clearances at low and high tides as well as channel depth. If you dock in a residential facility, coordinate your plan with neighbors.

If there is a chance you may be away when a storm threatens, assign someone to carry out your plan. Provide them with a copy of your written procedures.

Protecting your boat from a storm may be the most time consuming portion of your hurricane plan. As important as that boat may be, you can not allow it to interfere with your need to protect your family and home. If you secure your boat first You can concentrate the rest of your time on preparing your home. That means you need to begin your boat preparations very early.



Special Needs

Hurricane Special Needs Information


The goal of the Martin County special needs program is to ensure that Florida residents who have mental, physical or emotional challenges receive consideration and assistance during times of emergency. Over time, Martin County has continued to enhance the special needs program.

In 1997, Martin County initiated the Martin County Cares Program to help special needs registrants better prepare for assisted evacuation. The program provides each such registrant with a sturdy "MCCARES" container to hold those personal belongings that will accompany them to the Martin County special needs facility.

All county home healthcare agencies will assist their clients who are special needs registrants with the task of preparing their "MCCARES" container prior to hurricane season. To simplify the task, the agencies also prepare an inventory list of items to pack and attach it to each client's "MCCARES" container.

In the past years, Martin County improved the special needs program by taking advantage of computer technology. We will be using laptop computers and bar-code readers to reduce paperwork and improve activity monitoring. Special bar-coded armbands will be created for all special needs registrants. The armbands will identify the registrant and provide information about their individual needs.

If you have questions regarding special needs or the "MCCARES" program, please call the Office of Emergency Management in Martin County at (772) 287-1652

Homeland Security
 

capitolpoliceOur nation faces dangers from a variety of sources. Hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, hazardous materials spills, etc., can impact the lives of people over large areas. The attacks of September 11th, as well the train bombings in Madrid and London, showed that Americans must prepare for terrorist acts. To that end, governments at all levels have adopted a Strategy for Homeland Security.

The purpose of our Strategy is to guide, organize, and unify our Nation's homeland security efforts. It provides a common framework by which our entire Nation should focus its efforts on the following four goals:

•Prevent and disrupt terrorist attacks;
•Protect the American people, our critical infrastructure, and key resources
•Respond to and recover from incidents that do occur; and
•Continue to strengthen the foundation to ensure our long-term success.


Governments are not the only one that can strengthen the nation's security. Citizens can aid the effort by preparing their homes and business for disasters. They can also help by staying informed about current threats and calling the proper authorities if something, "doesn't seem right."  

Please see the helpful links below that further explain homeland security and opportunities for you to help. 

 Department of Homeland Security
 Florida Citizen Corps
 Ready America

City of Stuart Emergency Management

Frank Lasaga, Community Safety Coordinator
(772) 288-5353

Get A Plan!
rcmpindexheader_04

Our community is vulnerable, to varying degrees, to numerous hazardous conditions.  Disasters, such as hurricanes, floods, tornados, chemical releases and terrorist incidents can all profoundly impact the lives of the City's residents and business owners.While no one can predict when and where the next disaster will strike, we can all take steps to lessen the impact of a disaster on our families and businesses.

One of the most common effects of a disaster is the disruption of services. Most people take advantage of the considerable degree of convenience built into the American lifestyle. In almost every community, people can purchase gas for the car, milk, and a DVD player in the same store at any time of day or night. There is very little need to carry cash during normal conditions, because most retail businesses take credit or debit cards for any size purchase. It is important to remember, however, that these services may not be available for some time after a disaster. How does one feed the family, keep the car running for necessary trips, make sure the business survives, etc. post-disaster?

It is important to plan ahead. A little planning now goes a long way to reducing the hardships faced after an incident.  How much food and water do you need for at least 3 days, but preferably 5 days?  Do you and your family need to evacuate if there is a hurricane approaching the area?  If there is an incident of sudden onset, such as a tornado or a chemical accident, how can occupants of your home or business stay as safe as possible within the building? There are a variety of information sources available that will assist in making these and other important decisions. Please follow the links to our other information pages and the external websites.

City staff is available for Emergency Preparedness Presentations upon request.  For more information, please contact the Community Safety Coordinator at (772) 288-5353.

More Articles...

  1. Chemical Safety
   

   
© City of Stuart * 121 SW Flagler Ave. Stuart Fl. 34994 * 772-288-5300