Before the Storm


Plan at Home

Learning the hurricane warning messages and planning ahead can reduce the chances of injury or major property damage.

Plan an evacuation route.

Contact the local emergency management office or American Red Cross chapter, and ask for the community hurricane preparedness plan. This plan should include information on the safest evacuation routes and nearby shelters.

Learn safe routes inland.

Be ready to drive 20 to 50 miles inland to locate a safe place.

Have disaster supplies on hand.

  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries
  • First aid kit and manual
  • Emergency food and water
  • Non electric can opener
  • Essential medicines
  • Cash and credit cards
  • Sturdy shoes

Make arrangements for pets.

Pets may not be allowed into emergency shelters for health and space reasons. Contact your local humane society for information on local animal shelters.

Make sure that all family members know how to respond after a hurricane.

Teach family members how and when to turn off gas, electricity, and water.

Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1, police, or fire department and which radio station to tune to for emergency information.

Protect your windows.

Permanent shutters are the best protection. A lower-cost approach is to put up plywood panels. Use 1/2 inch plywood--marine plywood is best--cut to fit each window. Remember to mark which board fits which window. Pre-drill holes every 18 inches for screws. Do this long before the storm.

Trim back dead or weak branches from trees.

Check into flood insurance. You can find out about the National Flood Insurance Program through your local insurance agent or emergency management office.

There is normally a 30-day waiting period before a new policy becomes effective. Homeowners polices do not cover damage from the flooding that accompanies a hurricane.

Develop an emergency communication plan.

In case family members are separated from one another during a disaster (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), have a plan for getting back together.

Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the "family contact." After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance. Make sure everyone in the family knows the name, address, and phone number of the contact person.

Hurricane Watches and Warnings - A hurricane watch is issued when there is a threat of hurricane conditions within 24-36 hours. A hurricane warning is issued when hurricane conditions (winds of 74 miles per hour or greater, or dangerously high water and rough seas) are expected in 24 hours or less.

Laboratory Preparations

Hurricanes are dangerous storms and can threaten the safety and operation of laboratories. Plans should be developed well in advance of a hurricane to insure the protection of valuable equipment, specimens and data. Once a hurricane watch is issued, these plans should be implemented in your lab areas in preparation for the hurricane. Even with backup generators available, lab personnel and researchers should protect their valuable materials in case power, water and climate control go out of service for an extended period of time. Special arrangements may need to be planned to protect and prevent release of biohazardous agents and hazardous chemicals. Here are some tips to help prepare for hurricanes:

  • When a hurricane watch is issued, make necessary preparations to suspend ongoing experiments involving biological cultures and hazardous chemicals.
  • When a hurricane warning is issued, implement activities to suspend operations in the laboratory. Plan to shut operations down within three hours of initial hurricane warning. Remember, do not count on the availability of power, water or climate control.
  • Due to the possibility of power outages, volatile, toxic and materials displaying respiratory hazards should not be stored in fume hoods or refrigerators but in tightly sealed, impervious and break-resistant containers.
  • Coordinate with Facilities Management for spot coolers and power generators in key lab areas.
  • Laboratories with outside windows should develop a secure area for the storage of water reactive chemicals and biological agents. These secure areas should be waterproof and heavy enough to not be affected by the wind.
  • Hazardous chemicals and biological agents should not be stored below ground level during a hurricane. Find a secure area to store these materials in case of flooding.
  • Keep plenty of plastic waterproof containers on hand to store lab notes, research documentation, computer media, and any other materials that you cannot afford to have damaged.
  • Keep plenty of warning labels appropriate for the hazards of the materials you work with on hand. These may be needed after the hurricane.
  • Check emergency phone numbers. Update lab personnel and researcher contact numbers and make them available to the Public Safety office, if appropriate.
  • Forward to Public Safety a complete list of faculty/staff that will need to be allowed on campus to access rooms/labs after the storm.

Remember, you must take responsibility to protect your own laboratory. Plan ahead and implement your plan as soon as a hurricane watch is issued.

Computer Preparedness Checklist



  • OneDrive for Business allows you to easily store and access your work files from all your devices. The OneDrive for Business sync tool is installed on all Barry employee computers, syncing your files from your work computer to your online OneDrive for Business account. In the event your computer is rendered inoperable due to the storm, you'll still be able to access the files from anywhere you have an Internet connection.


  • Computers:
    • Shutdown the operating system.
    • If connected to a surge protector or UPS - unplug the surge protector or UPS from the wall outlet (or unplug power cables from the surge protector or UPS if wall outlet not accessible).
    • If no surge protector – unplug the power cables from the wall outlet (or back of the computer if wall outlet is not accessible).
    • Unplug Ethernet cable from back of computer or docking station.
    • There is no need to bag equipment
  • Printers:
    • Power off the printer.
    • If connected to a surge protector - unplug the surge protector from the wall outlet (or unplug power cable from the surge protector if wall outlet not accessible).
    • If no surge protector – unplug the power cable from the wall outlet (or back of the printer if wall outlet is not accessible).
    • Unplug the Ethernet cable from the back of the printer.
    • Unplug phone cable from the back of the printer (if fax line connected).


DoIT will keep all mission critical systems in service as long as possible. However, certain services on BarryNet might need to be brought off-line and/or shutdown before the storm hits. This is necessary to ensure that equipment and services are safe from the effects of the storm.


DoIT will work as quickly as circumstances permit to restore network connectivity and services throughout all of the University's sites. Once the University reopens and you return to the office, you can reconnect your office equipment. Please ensure you reconnect them as they were before to your surge protector or UPS.

Pet Preparedness

The following information has been prepared by the Humane Society of the United States in cooperation with the American Red Cross

Our pets enrich our lives in more ways than we can count. In turn, they depend on us for their safety and well-being. Here's how you can be prepared to protect your pets when disaster strikes.

Be Prepared With A Disaster Plan

The best way to protect your family from the effects of a disaster is to have a disaster plan. If you are a pet owner, that plan must include your pets. Being prepared can save their lives.

Different disasters require different responses. But whether the disaster is a hurricane or a hazardous spill, you may have to evacuate your home.

In the event of a disaster, if you must evacuate, the most important thing you can do to protect your pets is to evacuate them, too. Leaving pets behind, even if you try to create a safe place for them, is likely to result in their being injured, lost, or worse. So prepare now for the day when you and your pets may have to leave your home.


Red Cross disaster shelters cannot accept pets because of states' health and safety regulations and other considerations. Service animals who assist people with disabilities are the only animals allowed in Red Cross shelters. It may be difficult, if not impossible, to find shelter for your animals in the midst of a disaster, so plan ahead. Do not wait until disaster strikes to do your research.

  • Contact hotels and motels outside your immediate area to check policies on accepting pets and restrictions on number, size, and species. Ask if "no pet" policies could be waived in an emergency. Keep a list of "pet friendly" places, including phone numbers, with other disaster information and supplies. If you have notice of an impending disaster, call ahead for reservations.
  • Ask friends, relatives, or others outside the affected area whether they could shelter your animals. If you have more than one pet, they may be more comfortable if kept together, but be prepared to house them separately.
  • Prepare a list of boarding facilities and veterinarians who could shelter animals in an emergency; include 24-hour phone numbers.
  • Ask local animal shelters if they provide emergency shelter or foster care for pets in a disaster. Animal shelters may be overburdened caring for the animals they already have as well as those displaced by a disaster, so this should be your last resort.


Whether you are away from home for a day or a week, you'll need essential supplies. Keep items in an accessible place and store them in sturdy containers that can be carried easily (duffle bags, covered trash containers, etc.). Your pet disaster supplies kit should include:

  • Medications and medical records (stored in a waterproof container) and a first aid kit.
  • Sturdy leashes, harnesses, and/or carriers to transport pets safely and ensure that your animals can't escape.
  • Current photos of your pets in case they get lost.
  • Food, potable water, bowls, cat litter/pan, and can opener.
  • Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems, and the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to foster or board your pets.
  • Pet beds and toys, if easily transportable.


Often, warnings are issued hours, even days, in advance. At the first hint of disaster, act to protect your pet.

  • Call ahead to confirm emergency shelter arrangements for you and your pets.
  • Check to be sure your pet disaster supplies are ready to take at a moment's notice.
  • Bring all pets into the house so that you won't have to search for them if you have to leave in a hurry.
  • Make sure all dogs and cats are wearing collars and securely fastened, up-to-date identification. Attach the phone number and address of your temporary shelter, if you know it, or of a friend or relative outside the disaster area. You can buy temporary tags or put adhesive tape on the back of your pet's ID tag, adding information with an indelible pen.

You may not be home when the evacuation order comes. Find out if a trusted neighbor would be willing to take your pets and meet you at a prearranged location. This person should be comfortable with your pets, know where your animals are likely to be, know where your pet disaster supplies kit is kept, and have a key to your home. If you use a petsitting service, they may be available to help, but discuss the possibility well in advance.

Planning and preparation will enable you to evacuate with your pets quickly and safely. But bear in mind that animals react differently under stress. Outside your home and in the car, keep dogs securely leashed. Transport cats in carriers. Don't leave animals unattended anywhere they can run off. The most trustworthy pets may panic, hide, try to escape, or even bite or scratch. And, when you return home, give your pets time to settle back into their routines. Consult your veterinarian if any behavior problems persist.

Caring For Birds In An Emergency

Birds should be transported in a secure travel cage or carrier. In cold weather, wrap a blanket over the carrier and warm up the car before placing birds inside. During warm weather, carry a plant mister to mist the birds' feathers periodically. Do not put water inside the carrier during transport. Provide a few slices of fresh fruits and vegetables with high water content. Have a photo for identification and leg bands. If the carrier does not have a perch, line it with paper towels and change them frequently. Try to keep the carrier in a quiet area. Do not let the birds out of the cage or carrier.

About Other Pets


Snakes can be transported in a pillowcase but they must be transferred to more secure housing when they reach the evacuation site. If your snakes require frequent feedings, carry food with you. Take a water bowl large enough for soaking as well as a heating pad. When transporting house lizards, follow the same directions as for birds.


Small mammals (hamsters, gerbils, etc.) should be transported in secure carriers suitable for maintaining the animals while sheltered. Take bedding materials, food bowls, and water bottles.

A Final Word

If you must evacuate, do not leave your animals behind. Evacuate them to a prearranged safe location if they cannot stay with your during the evacuation period. (remember, pets are not allowed in Red Cross shelters.) If there is a possibility that disaster may strike while you are out of the house, there are precautions you can take to increase your pets' chances of survival, but they are not a substitute for evacuating with your pets. For more information, contact The Humane Society of the United States, Disaster Services, 2100 L Street NW, Washington, DC 20037.

In a statement of understanding, The American Red Cross recognizes The Humane Society of the United States as the nation's largest animal protection organization responsible for the safety and well-being of animals, including disaster relief. The American Red Cross is committed to transforming the caring and concern of the American people into immediate action.


More information about the American Red Cross. More information about pets from The Humane Society of the United States.

Swimming Pools

Before the storm, the water level of a swimming pool may be lowered slightly, but no more than a foot or two. Otherwise the hydrostatic pressure will be too much for the pool and it will pop out of the ground. The water in the pool acts as a shield for the finish of the pool, protecting it from the damaging effects of sand and flying debris. Pool damage may add up to expensive repair bills after the storm if proper care is not taken.

The greatest storm damage is done to the pool pump and motor unless some simple precautions are taken. First, turn off the power to the pool equipment (pump, motor, lighting, chlorinators, etc.). Next, remove the motor and store it inside in a dry place to prevent it from becoming damaged due to flooding. The motor can also be carefully wrapped with plastic material (such as a garment bag) with tape or rope tied tightly around it. Extra chlorine should also be added to the pool to prevent contamination.

Remove all loose items from the pool area (patio furniture, pool cleaning equipment, filter house tops, deck lid of filter, etc.) to protect these items as well as screens and windows from damage.

After the storm , reinstall the motor or remove the wrapping and check for any flood damage. Lower the water level to normal for proper skimming action. Clean the pool thoroughly to prevent debris from staining the finish. Balance the pH of the water, superchlorinate, and run the filter until the water clears

Source: Broward County Emergency Management Division

Preparing Your Boat

From the "All Hazards" Handbook, a joint publication of Collier , Lee, Charlotte, and Sarasota County Emergency Management Departments, and RolSafe Shutters)

All Hazards Guide in Web Format!

Excellent, detailed sites for boaters:

General Hurricane Precautions For Boat Owners

The key to protecting your boat from hurricanes or any severe threatening weather is planning, preparation and timely action. The following precautions and checklists are meant only as guidelines. Each boat owner needs a plan unique to the type of boat, the local boating environment, the severe weather conditions likely to occur in that region, and the characteristics of safe havens and/or plans for protection. The following preparation and precautionary suggestions are issued as guidelines to be used by the marine community. While these suggestions may not be applicable to everyone in all instances, it is hoped that common sense and good judgment will prevail. Should even one of the suggestions save a life, prevent an injury, or reduce property damage, the purpose of these suggestions will have been served.


Winds may exceed 100 miles per hour, and tornados are often associated with landfalling hurricanes. First and foremost: safeguard human life!

  • Prior to hurricane season, develop a detailed plan of action to secure your vessel in the marina, if permitted; remove your boat from the threatened area; or take your boat to a previously identified hurricane refuge. Specifically, identify and assemble needed equipment and supplies. Keep them together. before hurricane season, practice your plan to ensure that it works.
  • Arrange for a friend to carry out your plans, if you are out of town during the hurricane season.
  • Check your lease or storage rental agreement with the marina or storage area. Know your responsibilities and liabilities as well as those of the marina.
  • Consolidate all records, including insurance policies , a recent photo of your vessel, boat registration, equipment inventory, lease agreement with the marina or storage area, and telephone numbers of the appropriate authorities (i.e. harbor master, Coast Guard, insurance agent, National Weather Service, etc.) and keep them in your possession. They may be needed, when you return to check on your boat after the hurricane.
  • Maintain an inventory of both the items removed and those left on board. Items of value should be marked, so that they can be readily identified, if dispersed by the storm.
  • Before a hurricane threatens, analyze how you will remove valuable equipment from the boat and how long it will take, so you will have an accurate estimate of the time and work involved. When a hurricane is approaching, and after you have made anchoring or mooring provisions, remove all moveable equipment such as canvas, sails, dinghies, radios, cushions, biminis, and roller furling sails. Lash down everything you cannot remove, such as tillers, wheels, booms, etc. Make sure the electrical system is cut off unless you plan to leave the boat in the water, and remove the battery to eliminate the risk of fire or other damage. NOTE: When wind and seas warrant, marine agencies remove their boats from service and will not be able to rescue foolish boaters. In addition to these general steps, which should be taken no matter where you plan to leave your boat during a hurricane or other severe weather, the following specific steps should be taken depending on your situation and the option you select.


  • Determine the requirement to load and haul your boat to a safer area. Be sure your tow vehicle is capable of properly and adequately moving the boat. Chec your trailer; tires, bearings and axle should all be in good condition. Too often a flat tire, frozen bearings or broken axle prevents an owner from moving the boat.
  • Once at a "safe" place, lash your boat to the trailer and place blocks between the frame members and the axle inside each wheel. owners of light weight boats, after consulting with the manufacturer, may wish to consider letting about half the air out of the tires, then filling the boat one-third full of water to help hold it down. (The blocks will prevent damage to the springs from the additional weight of the water.)
  • Secure your boat with heavy lines to fixed objects. Try to pick a location that allows you to secure it from four directions, because hurricane winds rotate and change direction. It can be tied down to screw anchors secured in the ground. Remember that trees are often blown over during a hurricane.


  • Determine the safest, most realistic, obtainable haven for your boat, and make arrangements to move your boat there. When selecting a "safe" location, be sure to consider whether storm surge could rise into the area. Wherever you choose to locate your boat for the duration of the hurricane, lash the boat to its cradle with heavy lines and consider, based on the weight of the boat, adding water to the bilge to help hold it down.
  • NEVER leave a boat on davits or on a hydro-lift.


The owner of a large boat, usually one moored in a berth, has three options:

  • Secure the boat in the marina berth
  • Moor the boat in a previously identified safe area.
  • Haul the boat.

Each action requires a separate strategy. Another alternative, running from the storm is not encouraged, except for large commercial vessels, unless there is enough time to get your boat beyone the storm's projected swath.

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