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Disaster Preparedness

Preparing for an Emergency

Food and Water

Do you know how much food and water you need for your family in case of an emergency? These tips are important for every Central Florida family throughout the year, but especially during Hurricane Season.  

  • Store at least 1 gallon of water per day per person.
  • You should store at least a two-week supply of water for each member of your family.
  • Store foods that your family will enjoy that are also high in calories and nutrition.
  • Don't stock salty foods, which will make you thirsty.
  • Don't forget to buy non-perishable foods for your pets.
  • Avoid whole grains, dried beans, and pasta, which can be difficult to prepare under the constraints of a disaster.
  • Have all of your items packed and ready so that you can grab them quickly in an emergency.

Get more tips from our Food and Water Disaster Guide.

Orange County Deputies handing out supplies
Trees after a Natural Disaster in Orange County

Protect Your Home From Storm Damage

During a hurricane, homes may be damaged or destroyed by high winds and high waves. Debris can break windows and doors, allowing high winds inside the home. In extreme storms, such as Hurricane Andrew, the force of the wind alone can cause weak places in your home to fail.

After Hurricane Andrew, a team of experts examined homes that had failed and ones that had survived. They found four areas that should be checked for weakness - the roof, windows, doors, and if you have one, garage door. In this brochure, we discuss some things you can do to help make your home stronger before the next hurricane strikes. You may need to make some improvements or install temporary wind protection. It is important that you do these projects now, before a hurricane threatens. While these projects, if done correctly, can make your home safer during a hurricane, they are no guarantee that your home won't be damaged or even destroyed. If you are told by authorities to evacuate, do so immediately, even if you have taken these precautions.

For quick steps to make your home safe, download "Making Your Home Safe." For a more in-depth approach, including how to inspect your roof, windows, doors, etc., download "Against the Wind - Protecting Your Home."

Pets and Disaster

Do you have plans for your pets in case of an emergency? Many evacuation shelters do not accept pets, so having a plan ahead of time is essential to your pet's survival.

  • Have a safe place to take your pets. Don't leave them behind. Prepare a list of boarding facilities who can shelter a pet in an emergency.
  • Assemble a portable pet disaster supplies kit. This should include medical records, leashes, pet carriers, food, water, etc.
  • Place an additional pet tag on your pet's collar with information from the boarding facility.
  • Learn what special procedures you should take for birds, snakes, rabbits, hamsters, and other small pets.

Download the "Pets and Disaster: Be Prepared" guide to learn what you should do to prepare your pets for an emergency.

Disaster Information, Resources, and Links

Persons with Special Needs - Important Information

You should ensure that any family members who have special needs are registered under the “Persons with Special Needs Program.”  This program ensures that the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) has an accurate accounting of those people needing special care and handling during a disaster or other emergency.  Attached is a form for you to fill out for your special needs family members.  

Additional information is also provided. This form can also be utilized by OEM for situations other than a hurricane.  For example, in the event of a spontaneous evacuation (i.e., HAZ-MAT incident), it allows them to identify the locations of persons with special needs (PSNs).  It also assists them in determining the quantity and type of transportation and medical assistance needed to support any evacuation effort.


Persons with Special Needs - FAQ's

Special Needs Form

Persons with Special Needs Brochure