In Hollywood and across South Florida and the entire United States, storms and natural disasters can occur at any time. In Florida, especially, tropical storms and hurricanes can be a danger during parts of the year, threatening lives and causing serious injury.
Authorities recommend that every home have an emergency preparedness kit to keep households safe during and after a natural disaster. To avoid injury, you will want to pack and check your emergency kit regularly. Your kit should contain:
- One gallon of water per day for every person in your home, plus extra water for pets. Have at least enough to last three days. After a natural disaster, water may be turned off and you need water for drinking, preparing food, and washing. If it has been some time since you have assembled your emergency kit, check your water to make sure it is still potable.
- Pillows and blankets. Should you need to evacuate your home, sleeping materials will be needed.
- A first aid kit. You will want to have an assortment of bandages and ointments or disinfectants for cuts, burns, and scrapes as well as ibuprofen and other painkillers. Larger bandages, tweezers, gloves, and other first aid kit items are also useful. If anyone in your household takes medication, be sure to include a few weeks of this medication in your kit. Exchange it regularly so it does not expire.
- Enough food for three days. Look for shelf-stable and easy-to-prepare foods, such as canned items or food designed for camping. Bring can openers and utensils you will need to eat the food. If you have pets, pack pet food, too.
- Weather radio. Cell phone service may be unreliable after a disaster, so a hand-crank, solar, or battery-operated radio helps you listen for weather reports, evacuation procedures, and public announcements. If you choose a battery-operated radio, pack extra batteries.
- Clothing. Pack a few changes of clothing for everyone in the household, including some gear for rainy days or inclement weather.
- Personal hygiene items. Soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and other items are useful if you have been evacuated. There are even compacted towels which take up very little space but which become full-sized washcloths when soaked in water.
- Flashlight. Since the power can be out for some time, a hand-crank or battery-powered flashlight (with extra batteries) is a useful item to pack.
- Basic tool kit. A small toolkit can help you in case you need to reinforce shutters or boarded windows or in case you need to shut off power or water after a storm.
- Cash. ATMs may not work for some time after a natural disaster and any stores or businesses open may not be able to take credit cards until the power is restored.
- Any important documents. Insurance documents and ID can help you get needed services after a storm. Keep hard copies and upload scanned versions for easy access in case you are evacuated. You can purchase a small safe which will keep your documents safe from theft and flooding. Among your important documents, include contact information and phone numbers of insurance companies and anyone else you may need to contact after a disaster.
- Entertainment. Some games, books, and other entertainment items can help keep you occupied and are especially important if you have children.
Keep your kit in a weather-proof backpack or box for easy transport in case you need to evacuate. If you are injured in a disaster in Hollywood or South Florida and think you may have a case or believe your insurer is acting in bad faith, contact Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN) to arrange a free consultation with a Hollywood personal injury attorney.