hurricane.jpgEmergency Management officials in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties are offering free hurricane preparedness and survival guides.

The guides are, for the most part, available online.

• For Palm Beach County, visit:

• For Broward County, visit:

• For Miami-Dade County, visit:

In Miami-Dade County, County Commission Chairman Joe A. Martinez, together with members of county commissioners, County Manager Alina T. Hudak, Emergency Management Director Curtis Sommerhoff, and American Red Cross’ Regional Chief Executive Officer Sam Tidwell, recently kicked-off the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season by stressing the importance of communitywide readiness.

The call came at the annual Hurricane Season Preparedness news conference at Miami-Dade County’s Emergency Operations Center in Doral on June 1.

“Miami-Dade is prepared to help support residents and visitors before, during and after a hurricane strikes but we cannot do it alone,” Martinez said.  “Self-sufficiency is the key.  All residents should be prepared for the first 72 hours after a storm.”

The county is encouraging residents to do the following:
• Get a Kit: Get your hurricane disaster kits in order.  The kits should include bottled water, non-perishable packaged or canned food, a battery-powered radio, flashlight with batteries, a telephone with a cord or cell phone with extra battery and any special items for infant, elderly or disabled family members or pets.

• Make a Plan: Determine if you live in an evacuation zone and decide where you will go if an evacuation is ordered; how you will contact family members, if separated; and how to best secure your home and property.

• Be Informed: Know whom to turn to for trustworthy, up-to-date emergency information to survive a disaster.  Information sources include local government information, Miami-Dade County’s 3-1-1 Answer Center and media outlets.

“If you have ever experienced a hurricane, then you know the devastation they can bring.  Now is the time to prepare your hurricane plan, so you are ready if and when a hurricane strikes,” Hudak said.

“Nothing concerns emergency responders more than complacency.  It is our biggest threat,” added Sommerhoff.  “Nothing can reduce damage and save lives more than personal preparedness.”