Hurricane Preparedness Procedures

Hurricane season is an annual event in South Florida that spans a period of time between June 1 and November 30th.  The most active time of the hurricane season corresponds to the beginning of the school year.

Living in South Florida we have very busy hurricane seasons. Which makes it very easy to get involved in our preparation mode of stocking up, preparing the house and keeping informed by watching the news. This makes it easy to forget that our Children are seeing, hearing, and feeling all of the commotion around them. Please take time to inform, listen and stay tuned to your children.

Here are some signs to suggest that the children have been exposed to too much:

  • Increase of fear and worries
  • Increase of clinginess to parents or teachers
  • Increase in whining
  • Changes in Behavior
    • Increase activity level
    • Decrease in concentration and attention
    • Withdrawing from social situations
    • Increase anger
  • Increase in Somatic Symptoms:
    • Headaches
    • Tummy aches
    • Nausea
  • Changes in sleep and appetite
  • Increase of hate, anger or death statements
  • Some regression (Example: bed-wetting)
  • Nail Biting
  • Repeats scenarios over and over
  • Recreates the events seen on T.V.
  • Remember that children relive the event every time they see it on T.V. They believe hat it is occurring over and over.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Limit their exposure to the news.
  • Reassure them that they are safe, go over the Family Safety Plan and Precautions
  • Listen to them retelling the stories.
  • Limit if the stories are scary and frightening.
  • Reassure them that their feelings are O.K. and normal.
  • Engage in relaxing and soothing activities, drawing, playing games, puzzles, etc.

Remind them of how much WE LOVE them!

Hurricane season extends from June 1 to November 30 each year.  Please be aware that if Broward Public Schools are closed, PAL WILL ALSO CLOSE. 

** NOTE **

PAL may open early if we have electricity, water and roadways are accessible.


The official season for our Hurricane Season is from June 1 to November 30 of each year.

Hurricanes are categorized by intensity using the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. This scale ranges from one to five and uses sustained wind speed to estimate the potential property damage and flooding from a hurricane landfall.





74-95 mph

No real damage to building structures.

Damage primarily to unanchored mobile homes, shrubbery and trees; also, some coastal road flooding and minor pier damage.

Examples: Irene 1999, Allison 1995


96-110 mph


Some roofing material, door and window damage to buildings; considerable damage to vegetation, mobile homes and piers.

Coastal and low-lying escape routes flood in two to four hours before arrival of the center of the storm.

Small craft in unprotected anchorages break moorings.

Examples: Bonnie 1998, Georges 1998 and Gloria 1985.


111-130 mph


Some structural damage to small residences and utility buildings with a minor amount of curtain wall failures.

Mobile homes are destroyed.

Flooding near the coast destroys smaller structures with larger structures damage by floating debris.

Terrain continuously lower than five feet above sea level may be flooded inland eight miles or more.

Examples: Keith 2000, Fran 1996, Opal 1995, Alicia 1983 and Betsy 1965





130-156 mph


More extensive curtain wall failures with some complete roof structure failure on small residences; major erosion of beaches.

Major damage to lower floors of structures near the shore.

Terrain continuously lower than ten feet above sea level may be flooded requiring massive evacuation of residential areas inland as far as six miles.

Examples: Andrew 1992, Hugo 1989 and Donna 1960


157 mph or higher


Complete roof failure on many residences and industrial buildings.

Some complete building failures with small utility buildings blown over or away.

Major damage to lower floors of all structures located less than 15 feet above sea level and within 500 yards of the shoreline.

Massive evacuation of residential areas on low ground within five to ten miles of the shoreline may be required.

Examples: Mitch and Gilbert 1988, Andrew 1992


Hurricane Watch

Means residents in a designated coastal area could experience hurricane conditions within 36 hours.

Families should enact their Disaster Action Plan and begin to secure homes, vehicles and boats.

Residents on barrier islands should consider evacuating.

Hurricane Warning



Indicates sustained winds of at least 74 mph are predicted for a designated area of the coastline within 24 hours.

Residents should complete their Disaster Action Plan and seek shelter in the safest location during the storm.

Main Hazards during a Hurricane

Storm Surge

Storm surge is water that is pushed toward the shore by the force of the winds swirling around the storm.

This advancing surge combines with the normal tides to create the hurricane storm tide, which can increase the average water level 15 feet or more.


Inland Flooding

During the last 30 years, inland flooding has been responsible for more than half the deaths associated with tropical cyclones in the United States.

High Winds

Hurricane force winds can destroy poorly constructed buildings and mobile homes.

Debris such as signs, roofing material, and small items left outside become flying missiles in hurricanes.


Hurricanes can produce tornadoes that add to the storm’s destructive power.

Tornadoes are most likely to occur in the right-front quadrant of the hurricane.

Emergency procedures when a Hurricane strikes.

The state of Florida uses a detailed response and recovery action plan that involves close coordination with public agencies at the county and local levels.

Key players include local emergency management officials and boards of county commissioners; state emergency management area coordinators; the state directors of emergency management; Florida secretary of community affairs and the governor.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Director is responsible for the overall coordination of federal preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation activities.

The President of the United States may declare an area a federal disaster emergency, and authorize federal assistance such as food, military support or other necessary response and recovery resources.




A leading source for the most current, accurate and reliable home safety information on the Web.

This site offers statewide emergency management information straight from the source.

NOAA’s experts at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida are leading authorities on Atlantic Basin hurricanes.

One of the most complete disaster preparedness libraries on the Web.

The American Red Cross keeps residents informed on disaster response and recovery operations before, during and after the storm.

The National Weather Service: Southern Regional Headquarters Website provides unparalleled access to current weather conditions across the Southeast.

The Local School District’s contact for live weather information.

Largest exclusive weather network in the world.









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