In Florida, hurricane season lasts from June 1 through November 30, with storm activity generally peaking in August and September. If you are in the storm’s way, you may be advised by local authorities to evacuate and seek shelter elsewhere. To avoid panic and confusion over last-minute preparations, it is best to prepare beforehand and understand the dos and don’ts of hurricane preparedness. Here are seven frequently asked questions for seniors about hurricane evacuations in Sun City, FL to guide you.
Do I Have To Leave My Home?
While local authorities cannot force you to leave your home, it is advisable to heed evacuation orders especially if you live in a manufactured home or a potentially vulnerable structure. However, even a sturdy, well-built house may not be able to withstand a hurricane. Staying home to protect your property is not worth risking your safety. It is thereby wise to listen to your local authorities on whether you should evacuate.
When Should I Start Packing My Hurricane Emergency Supply Kit?
You should begin packing before the hurricane season begins and stockpile in advance. Once evacuation orders are made, stores will be crowded and supplies may be sold-out by the time you arrive.
What Should I Pack In My Hurricane Emergency Supply Kit?
At a minimum, you should pack the following:
- One gallon of water per person, per day, for seven days. Pack more water if you have pets.
- Non-perishable food such as canned goods, crackers and cereal.
- A manual can opener
- Battery-powered flashlights and radios, plus extra batteries.
- Medical items, such as glasses, hearing aids, or canes.
- A first-aid kit.
How Much Medication Should I Prepare?
You should have at least two weeks’ worth of medications, supplies, and medical equipment. Obtain a paper copy of all prescriptions from your doctor, as it may be difficult to purchase them from a regular pharmacy after a storm.
What Other Important Paperwork Should I Take With Me?
Bring copies of deeds, birth certificates and insurance policies with you. Furthermore, take photos of your home and belongings before you evacuate, just in case you need to make an insurance claim later.
What Can I Expect From a Hurricane Shelter?
General population shelters are well-stocked with necessities, such as food, water and a warm place to sleep. However, seniors are recommended to bring their own air mattresses, blankets and bedding, since shelters do not provide beds or cots. Often, shelters can be crowded, and if the power goes out, there will not be any air conditioning. Many shelters also do not accept pets. In the event of an evacuation, check your county website to see which shelters near you are open.
What Is A Special Needs Shelter?
For seniors with a medical condition that requires assistance, such as dialysis, oxygen, or insulin injections, going to a special needs shelter is recommended. If you require special needs assistant, it is best to consult your county’s special needs registry and sign up to help emergency management teams ensure they have the supplies necessary for you. Families, caregivers and pets are allowed to accompany you if you have special needs.
Are There Other Options For Shelter For Seniors Like Me?
Yes! You may arrange to stay in a retirement community. At Aston Gardens at Sun City Center, near Tampa, we welcome all inquiries on how to arrange for a respite stay during a hurricane emergency. Find out more and contact us on our website today!