Hillsboro County – 2023 hurricane season intensifying: Prepare now

As Tropical Storm Idalia intensifies and heads toward the Gulf, the time to prepare is now.

Tropical Storm Idalia is developing rapidly and moving toward the Gulf of Mexico. There is a possibility that Hillsboro County will experience the effects of flooding and storm surge. September is also National Preparedness Month and marks the beginning of the peak hurricane season. Now is the time to prepare your home, belongings and family.

The most important step you can take is to stay alert by signing up for Hillsboro County’s HCFL Alert System, which provides emergency alerts for severe weather, tornado evacuations and flood warnings. The HCFL Alert also provides Hillsboro County information on major road closures, county events, county closures, and more.

Here are six important steps to take now to prepare for a hurricane:

Step 1: Make a plan
Having a plan for each scenario is the best way to reduce risk in the event of a disaster. Where do you go if you have to evacuate? What should you do if you are sheltering somewhere? What about your job? What should be packed and ready? What’s in your disaster kit? Plans should be specific to each household or company. Visit the Staying Safe page to review the Hillsboro County disaster guide and see other tools you can use to help plan. The Florida Department of Emergency Management has additional information and resources.

Step 2: Prepare supplies
Stock your disaster kit with non-perishable foods, pet supplies, batteries, flashlights, and water. The supply kit should contain enough supplies to last each individual and pet in your group for at least seven days. The kit can also include important documents, such as bank information, medical records, and copies of birth and marriage certificates. Visit the Staying Safe page or the Florida Department of Emergency Management’s Disaster Supply Kit Checklist page to learn more.

Step 3: Get to know your area
Learn and understand the difference between evacuation and flood zones. Evacuation zones are areas that may be required to be evacuated during a storm and indicate areas that could be affected by storm surge. Flood zones indicate a property’s risk of flooding throughout the year. Use the tools on the Stay Safe page to find flood and evacuation areas in Hillsboro County. Also take the time to prepare your property by cleaning out rain gutters and downpipes, trimming limbs and bushes, and removing trees with rotting stumps that are near the house. Learn more by visiting the Florida Department of Emergency Management’s Planning and Preparation page.

Step 4: Protect your family
Make sure your preparation plan and checklist meets the needs of your children and elderly relatives, including specialty foods, clothing, medications, and other specific items meant for them. And don’t forget about pets. They are part of the family and will need food, medicine, and other necessities to weather the uncertainty of the storm just like everyone else in the family. Learn more on the Florida Department of Emergency Management’s Staying Safe and Planning and Prepare page.

Step 5: Prepare your property
Clean the rain gutters to ensure that obstructions cannot block the flow of water. Cut back leaves and shrubs near your home, and remove trees with rotting trunks. Move lightweight, unsafe outdoor items, such as patio furniture and potted plants, indoors. Items that cannot be moved must be secured. Keep your insurance information and important documents in a waterproof and fire-resistant safe or box. It is important to document everything you have with video or photos.

Step 6: Review your plan
Review your preparedness plan and all the preparations you have made with your loved ones. By making a plan that includes your children, elderly family members, pets, a disaster supply kit, and a review of the evacuation zone and routes, you’ll be prepared for the remainder of this hurricane season.

If you’re already prepared for a hurricane, stay tuned and stay alert. If you are not ready, act now. Hurricane season lasts through November 30.

get connected. Stay alert.
For more information about Hillsboro County’s response to Tropical Storm Idalia, visit HCFLGov.net/StaySafe and sign up for the HCFL Alert System. Additionally, you can follow Hillsboro County on social media on Facebook, Twitter, and Nextdoor for updates.

Residents without digital access are encouraged to call 833-HC STORM or 833-427-8676, the county’s storm information line for information about Tropical Storm Idalia or visit HCFLGov.net/StaySafe.

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