The hurricane season is June through November. Be Prepared!
Refer to the Hurricane Evacuation Maps on the Web sites below, or in the Official Hurricane Guide for Manatee County and/or Sarasota County, or in the front information section of the local telephone directory. Locate where you live and your evacuation level. Determine if and when you would have to evacuate.
- U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (USICE) Web site:
Emergency Evacuation Tips for International Students
- Evacuation Route Maps and Shelter Lists for Manatee County and Sarasota County are listed below:
- For any county in Florida:
- For Manatee County:
- For Sarasota County:
REMEMBER: All mobile home residents must evacuate, regardless of location.
- Decide NOW where you would go if ordered to evacuate (a friend or relative, a hotel or motel,
out of the region, or, as a last resort, to a public shelter). Remember, if you are
going to leave the region or go to a hotel, you must leave early. Determine your route.
Also note that pets--except for seeing-eye dogs and service dogs--are not allowed
in public shelters.
- Check your Disaster Supplies Kit and obtain any items you need [see list of suggestions
below under "Disaster Supplies Kit"]
- Inventory your property (either a written list including all information, or, if possible, a
video tape is best)
- Whether you rent or own, review your insurance policies with your agent now.
Suggested List of "To Dos" to Prepare for a Hurricane
(Compiled by Kay Mackenzie, University of West Florida
Contact anyone in the U.S. you know who might take you for a couple of days or weeks if we must evacuate again. Do it now and try to make a plan of how you would get to this person's home.
Get necessary prescriptions filled and keep any medicine you might need with you. Take enough for at least two or three weeks.
Double plastic bag your textbooks and notebooks to keep them dry and save them. Do the same with your computer equipment, any other valuable electronic equipment and musical instruments. Try to keep these with you if possible. -- You might also want to join with a few other friends to rent a small storage compartment to store important things in a dry, safe place.
Keep your passport, I-20 or DS-2019, I-94, and any important papers double bagged and on you, with you. Do the same for any car keys or house keys.
Throw out everything from your frig or kitchen that will go bad in 3 or 4 days without cool air.
Keep the car filled with gas, the tub filled with water (for flushing the toilet). Keep sturdy shoes with you at all times and wear them--don't go barefoot.
Keep flashlights (and extra batteries) with you and a battery radio tuned to a local radio station. It will be a lifeline!
Buy non-perishable food that is easy to eat and you don't have to cook. If anyone has a yummy list, give it up!
Wash all your clothes and get everything clean because you might not be able to wash them again for a while! Remember that one?
AS THE STORM APPROACHES
- Listen for weather updates on local stations and on NOAA Weather Radio. Don't trust
rumors, and stay tuned to the latest information.
- Check your Disaster Supplies Kit. Obtain any needed last minute items. [see suggested
list of supplies below under "Disaster Supplies Kit"]
- Stock up on canned foods (and a non-electric can opener) enough for 2-3 weeks.
- Refill prescriptions. Maintain at least a two-week supply during hurricane season.
- Clear yard, porch, patio (e.g., lawn furniture, potted plants, bicycles, watering
hoses and trash cans).
- If you have a car, fill your car's gas tank and check oil, water, and tires. Gas pumps
don't operate without electricity!
- GET CASH! Banks and ATMs won't be in operation without electricity, and few stores will be able to accept credit cards.
IF YOU MUST EVACUATE
Stay tuned to your local radio and television station for emergency broadcasts. If ordered to evacuate, you
must do so immediately! Shelter openings will be announced (not all shelters may be open).
- Take your Disaster Supplies Kit with you!
- Take ORIGINAL documents with you, including your driver's license, visa, passport, SEVIS-issued
I-20 or DS 2019, I-94 card, Social Security card, EAC card, SCF ID card, special medical
information, insurance policies, financial records, CASH, checks, credit cards, plane
tickets, and anything else of value to you and to your staying in the U.S.
- Let friends and relatives know where you are going.
- Inform the SCF International Student Office where you are going.
- Turn off major appliances. Turn off electricity and gas.
- Lock windows and doors.
- Make safe arrangements for any pets. Pets are not allowed in public shelters.
IF YOU CAN STAY AT HOME
IF you are outside the evacuation area (not close to river, bay, or beaches) and do not live in a mobile home, you can stay at home.
- Make sure your windows are protected and the home is secured (all loose items put
- Clean the containers for drinking water and clean your bathtub for storing cleaning
water. Plan on at least three gallons per person, per day for all uses.
- During the storm, stay inside and away from windows, skylights and glass doors.
- Wait for official word that the danger is over. Don't be fooled by the storm's calm
"eye" because the "eye" is followed by even worse winds and storm.
- If flooding threatens your home, turn off electricity at the main breaker.
- Offer your home as shelter to friends or relatives who live in vulnerable areas or
- If you lose power, turn off major appliances, such as the air conditioner and water
heater to reduce damage when the power comes back on.
AFTER THE STORM
- Be Patient! Access to affected areas will be controlled. You won't be able to return to your
home until search and rescue operations are complete and safety hazards, such as downed
trees and downed power lines, are cleared. It may take up to three days for emergency
crews to reach your neighborhood. It may take 2-4 weeks before utilities are restored.
- Stay tuned to your local radio station for advice and instructions about emergency medical aid, food, and other forms of
- Carry valid ID and your ORIGINAL documents with you on your person. Security operations will include checkpoints.
Valid identification with your CURRENT LOCAL ADDRESS will be required.
- Avoid driving. Roads will have debris which will puncture your tires! Don't add to the congestion
of relief workers, supply trucks, law enforcement, etc.
- Don't sight-see, especially at night. You may be mistaken for a looter [someone stealing other people's property after a disaster] and be arrested!
FOR YOUR SAFETY
- Avoid downed or dangling utility wires. Metal fences may have been "energized" [electrified]
by fallen wires. Be especially careful when cutting or clearing fallen trees. They
may have power lines tangled in them and you could be electrocuted [killed].
- Beware of snakes, insects, or animals driven to higher ground by floods.
- Enter your home (apartment, or room) with caution. Open all windows and doors to ventilate
and dry your home.
- If there has been flooding, have an electrician inspect your home before turning on
the electric circuit breaker.
- Be careful with fire. Do not strike a match (or use a lighter) until you are sure
there are no breaks in gas lines. Avoid candles. Use battery-operated flashlights
and lanterns instead.
- Keep cookout grills outdoors.
- Assess and photograph damage to your home (apartment, or room) and its contents.
- Use your telephone ONLY for emergencies.
Disaster Supplies Kit:
One of the most important tools for emergency preparedness is the Disaster Supplies Kit. Below are the most important items for your kit. Stock up today and replenish as necessary.
Two-week supply of prescription medicines
Two-week supply of non-perishable/special dietary foods
Drinking water in clean containers = 3 gallons per person
Flashlights and 7 sets of batteries for each family member
Portable radio and 7 sets of batteries
First-aid kit including bandages, antiseptic, pain reliever, anti-diarrhea medication
Two coolers (one to keep food; one to go get ice)
Plastic tarp, tools, screening, and nails
Water purification kit (tablets, chlorine[plain] or iodine)
Infant necessities (medicine, water, diapers, ready formula, bottles)
Clean-up supplies (mop, buckets, towels, disinfectant)
Camera and film
Non-electric can opener
Extra batteries for camera, flashlights, radio, portable TV, lamps, etc.
Plastic trash bags (lots of them)
Toilet paper, paper towels, and pre-moistened towelettes
If you evacuate, you also should take:
Pillows, blankets, sleeping bags or air mattresses
Extra clothing, shoes, glasses, etc.
Folding chairs, lawn chairs or cots
Personal hygiene items such as toothbrush, comb, deodorant
Quiet games, books, playing cards (and favorite toys if you have children)
ORIGINAL documents and important papers (driver's license, Visa, passport, I-94 card, EAC card, SCF ID card, medical information, insurance policies, property inventory, etc.) AND CASH!
Precious commodities after a storm:
Cash (with no electric power, banks and ATMs may be closed; checks and credit cards may be unaccepted at stores)
Charcoal, matches, and cookout grill (use ONLY outdoors!)
Repairs & Safety Precautions:
- Make temporary repairs to correct safety hazards and minimize further damage.
- Only hire licensed contractors to do repairs. Check with the city or county Building
Department to ensure the contractor is licensed. If you hire a contractor, DON'T get
the building permit for him. If the contractor makes this request, that may be an
indication that he is not properly licensed.
- Take photographs of all damage before repairs and keep receipts for insurance purposes.
- Call professionals to remove large, uprooted trees, etc.
- Always use proper safety equipment such as gloves, safety goggles, heavy boots, light-colored
long-sleeved shirts and long pants when working outdoors after a storm.
- Tie back long hair, wear a hat, and wear sunscreen.
- Drink plenty of liquids/fluids. Rest, and ask for help when you need it.
- Lift with the legs, not with the back.
- Don't burn trash! Bag it or put in waste cans for yard trash pickup. Call the local
Garbage/Trash Service for "after-storm pickup" rules and regulations.
- If you can't identify it, don't touch it.
- Be extremely careful with a chain saw, and always heed safety warnings.
Some Useful Web Sites:
Manatee County Emergency Links > "Emergency Mgt" > "Emergency Links"
With Appreciation for information obtained from:
Verizon's Telephone Directory Emergency Information pages on hurricanes
"The Official Hurricane Guide for the Tampa Bay Area" (published by St.Petersburg
Times, Tampa Bay's Channel 10, and the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council)
Manatee County (FL) Emergency Mangement
Sarasota County (FL) Emergency Mangement
- Be Patient! Access to affected areas will be controlled. You won't be able to return to your home until search and rescue operations are complete and safety hazards, such as downed trees and downed power lines, are cleared. It may take up to three days for emergency crews to reach your neighborhood. It may take 2-4 weeks before utilities are restored.