Preparing for the Storm – Tips from our Emergency Management Team to Stay Safe

It’s that time of the year. Hurricane season began on June 1, and South Florida is preparing to receive the first storm of the year this weekend. As we closely monitor the path of Tropical Storm Isaias, which is expected to become a hurricane, and its potential impact on South Florida, preparation is a critical factor in protecting lives and personal property. It only takes one major storm to bring devastation to a particular region. Broward College has a Severe Weather Plan in place that helps the institution protect the well-being of employees and students.

Broward College Preparations

During the hurricane season, the College remains in constant communication with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Weather Service (NWS), and other agencies to receive the latest projections and information. 

 Employees and students should monitor their emails and the College’s website at www.broward.edu for updates. If there is a change in business operations and classes, additional communication updates may be sent through our emergency management messaging system, BC ALERTS. These notifications are by text, phone calls, email, and through our social media. You must update your contact information by logging into One Access.

 hurricanesafetytips2019_fb_02.pngTake Personal Precaution

We encourage you to take the necessary steps to protect you and your family. Tashika President, district director, Emergency Management Broward College, following state and local official recommendations, offers several helpful tips the community can implement before, during, and after a storm. Here are a few:

Hold a family meeting and develop a plan - Discuss the hazards of storms and hurricanes. Encourage children to talk about their fears and explain some of the things you’ll be doing to keep everyone safe. Start a written list of things you’ll need to take care of before a storm and encourage everyone in the family to contribute their ideas. Also, notify others of your plan. Let family or friends know your hurricane plans so they can check on you in the aftermath of the storm. She recommends that you establish an out-of-town contact and consider using social media as an additional method of communication.

 Ensure your assets are protected and assess your home for vulnerable areas- Inventory your possessions and videotape, record, or photograph items of value. Review your insurance policies to ensure you have adequate coverage; this includes protecting your vehicles. Do a walk-through of your home and property to evaluate your roof, windows, garage door, landscaping, etc. and determine what actions you need to take.

 Gather supplies and create a Hurricane supply kit- Determine your family’s food, water, and medical needs and assemble your hurricane kit according to those needs. Take into consideration any special requirements or vulnerable family members. Plan on supplies that will sustain your family for three to five days, and a two-week supply of medicines. For a complete list, visit www.broward.org/Hurricane.

 This hurricane season is unique, as we are currently experiencing a pandemic. Remember to include Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in your hurricane supply kit to include, but not limited to: gloves, masks, and hand sanitizers.

hurricanesafetytips2019_fb_06.png Know if you are in an evacuation zone - Identify if   you are in an evacuation zone and if so, where you need   to go. If an evacuation is ordered, compliance is   necessary. Do not hesitate, but leave as soon as possible   to avoid traffic, flooded roads, or washed-out bridges.   Consider your options if you must evacuate. If you have   a pet, consider making plans for your pet in the event of   an evacuation.

 During a Storm

 It is important to remain indoors in an interior room   away from windows. Stay in a secure location or your   “safe room.” The strongest part of a house is usually   away from windows and exterior doors.

 Remember, everything is calm when the eye of the storm   passes overhead, but do not venture outside, as the   second half of the storm will follow shortly.

 Be aware that tornadoes can appear anytime during a   hurricane. Monitor your local station, and if a tornado   warning is issued, take cover in an interior hallway or on   the lower level if in a tall building. If you lose power, use flashlights for lighting. Try to avoid using candles or any other type of open flame. The fire department may be unable to respond during a hurricane.

After the Storm

Some of the greatest hurricane dangers present themselves after the storm has passed. Being cautious after a storm is just as important as before and during one. There are many dangers, including down powerlines, fire and carbon monoxide. Be aware of flooding hazards. Use caution when operating a generator by following all of the manufacturer's instructions and guidelines and using the correct size and type of power cord to carry the electric load.

Additional Resources

For more information on additional safety tips, visit the websites listed below.

Please continue to monitor developments and keep safe.