Hurricane Season Preparedness

Basic Preparedness Tips:

  • Know where to go. If you are ordered to evacuate, know the local hurricane evacuation route(s) to take and have a plan for where you can stay. Contact your local emergency management agency for more information.
  • Put together a disaster supply kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, and copies of your critical information if you need to evacuate
  • If you are not in an area that is advised to evacuate and you decide to stay in your home, plan for adequate supplies in case you lose power and water for several days and you are not able to leave due to flooding or blocked roads.
  • Make a family emergency communication plan.
  • Many communities have text or email alerting systems for emergency notifications. You can sign up for alert Indian River County by Registering Here.

Preparing your Home:

  • Hurricane winds can cause trees and branches to fall, so before hurricane season trim or remove damaged trees and limbs to keep you and your property safe.
  • Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property.
  • Reduce property damage by retrofitting to secure and reinforce the roof, windows, and doors, including the garage doors.
  • Purchase a portable generator or install a generator for use during power outages. Remember to keep generators and other alternate power/heat sources outside, at least 20 feet away from windows and doors and protected from moisture; and NEVER try to power the house wiring by plugging a generator into a wall outlet.

Basic Emergency Kit Supplies:

  • Water (one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation)
  • Food (at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food)
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
  • Flashlight
  • Batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

    Humane Society Offers Hurricane Preparedness Tips to Keep Pets Safe:

    • The Humane Society of Vero Beach and Indian River County (HSVB) is urging all pet parents to make the following preparations for themselves and their pets as our community prepares for the possibility of Hurricane Irma impacting our area. 


    • Never leave your pets behind during a natural disaster. HSVB urges all pet parents to begin making the appropriate arrangements. Begin securing your home if it is a safe option for housing during a storm or finalize plans for you and your pets should you need to stay elsewhere. 
    • Pet parents should create two “go” kits: one for themselves and one for their pets. A “go” kit contains essential items needed during a disaster. A pet “go” kit should include items such as pet food, water sufficient for two weeks, leashes, pet medications, toys, cat litter and any other pet-related necessities. 


    • Indian River County’s Pet-Friendly shelter is Liberty Magnet School, located at 6850 81st St, Vero Beach. This pet-friendly shelter has limited space and is a shelter of last resort for residents living in a flood zone or homes that may not be safe during a natural disaster. No registration/reservation is required however the Liberty Magnet pet-friendly shelter should only be utilized if absolutely no other sheltering option (relatives, friends, veterinary hospitals, boarding kennels or hotels) is available. Sheltering is provided on a first-come/first-serve basis and pet parents are expected to bring a comfortable crate for each animal, sufficient food, water, personal care items and supplies for themselves and their pets. To hasten admission paperwork, pet parents can download and fill out the necessary forms in advance by visiting the Indian River County Emergency Services website at or


    • The Humane Society provides pet housing for Indian River County’s First Responders and special-needs residents who are pre-registered on a space-available basis. If you are a First Responder or an individual with special needs, please register immediately with the Humane Society by calling (772) 388-3331. The shelter is located at 6230 77 Street, Vero Beach.


    • Some facilities such as kennels may turn away unvaccinated pets. Please call your veterinarian immediately to schedule any needed or lapsed vaccinations, microchips, to obtain medication refills or prescription foods. Vaccinations and microchips are also available by making an appointment with the Humane Society’s Animal Wellness Clinic at (772) 388-0801.


    • The Humane Society provides FREE pet ID tags to anyone who needs them. Tags can be picked up at the shelter, located at 6230 77th St., Vero Beach between the hours of 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Your pets do NOT need to be present for Humane Society staff to issue the tags, however, the shelter will need all current pet parent contact information.


    • Even with the best planning, pets can become lost during transport or when homes are damaged. Please keep your pets’ collars and tags on them at all times and have your pets microchipped. Make sure carriers and crates are secure and as an added precaution, take photos of your pets from the front, back, sides and above as well as with you in the photo to prove ownership and hasten recovery of your animals should they go missing. Once your pet is microchipped, register the microchip by calling the microchip manufacturer and the Humane Society at (772) 388-3331 ext. 110. Update your information with the microchip company and the shelter if you have moved or your phone number or email has changed. 


    • The Humane Society has created the free brochure “If You Go They Go!” to help pet parents prepare for a natural disaster. This brochure is available at the shelter, located at 6230 77 St., Vero Beach or online at
Nikki Kalin
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