Miami Beach residents and businesses are urged to develop a disaster preparedness plan before an emergency strikes. Know where you will stay when you evacuate, how you will get there, and what supplies you will take. Prepare an emergency supply kit for evacuation and for your return (a minimum of three days of food and water for each member of your household). Consider the needs of elderly and infant family members and pets. Make sure you know where to turn for complete information.
Plan & Prepare for Emergencies
Build A Kit
Keep a preparedness kit at your home at all times with the following suggested items in it.
Have an Emergency Plan
Learn more about preparing your home and family for an emergency.
Prepare to move your boat when a hurricane is likely, even before a Hurricane Watch is issued. If you wait too long to relocate the boat, bridges may be locked down and you may not be able to get your boat and yourself to safety. Be advised that high-rise dry storage racks can be toppled by a storm’s high winds. If possible, put your boat on a trailer and take it further inland. If you must leave your boat in water, make sure it is securely anchored, secure extra lines and add chafe protection. Check local marinas for more advice. Most important: Have a predetermined boat plan as you would for your other belongings.
Vehicle Storage for Residents
Participating municipal parking garages are typically made available for residents to safeguard their vehicle during hurricanes and tropical storm events that impact Miami Beach. Announcements will be made via social media and local media outlets.
Upon the issuance of a Tropical Storm Warning or Hurricane Warning or if an evacuation order is issued for Miami Beach by the Miami-Dade County Department of Emergency Management, residents may bring their vehicles on a first-come, first-served basis to specified garages. The garages are safer places to store your vehicle than out in the open, but please be aware that you park your vehicle at your own risk.
The severity and impact of each weather event vary per incident. Therefore, it is difficult to predict the duration of this service for each weather event. However, as a general rule, the program will be in effect from the issuance of one of the aforementioned notifications until the city returns to normal operations, as determined by the City Manager or designee. For more information, call the Parking Department at 305.673.7505.
Miami-Dade County Emergency Evacuation Program for Persons with Special Needs.
If you or someone you know requires skilled nursing care, has medical equipment that relies on electricity, needs assistance with daily living, or may need assistance evacuating from ANY disaster, it is recommended that you register them with the Miami-Dade County Emergency Evacuation Assistance Program. To register, call: 311 (voice)
What is the Emergency Evacuation Assistance Program?
When disasters occur, people need to evacuate their homes quickly to get to safety. Due to their medical needs, mobility issues, or other conditions, some Miami-Dade County residents will need assistance to do this. The Miami-Dade County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) has developed the Emergency Evacuation Assistance Program (EEAP), which is a registry of our neighbors that need help when an emergency evacuation is necessary.
The program offers:
- Specialized transportation
- Safe shelter
- Medical monitoring
- Wellness checks
Who is eligible?
Miami-Dade residents who on a daily basis require skilled nursing care, assistance with daily living, or have life-saving medical equipment dependent on electricity should register with the EEAP.
How can people register?
Call the Miami-Dade Answer Center at 311 to request an application to be mailed, or download the application from the Miami-Dade County Emergency Evacuation Assistance Program website. Click on “How do I register for the EEAP?” under FAQs.
The application is available in Creole, English, and Spanish. Please fill out the application and return it to the address listed. Your vital medical information will help Miami-Dade County determine your eligibility for the program and the types of services you’ll need. Please have your doctor sign the form to declare medical need for transport to a medical shelter in the event of an emergency. If eligible, you will be assigned to an appropriate facility, and a determination will be made on the transportation type. Miami-Dade OEM will then notify you in writing of your assigned location.
Don’t wait; when a disaster is occurring, services will be limited. You can deny services when called, but the program won’t call you if you are not registered.
In the event of an impending storm, it may be necessary to evacuate Miami Beach because we are a barrier island. We take the safety and security of our visitors very seriously. Should an evacuation order be given, it is likely that hotels will be evacuated first so that tourists have a chance to return home or seek shelter at a location that is not in the path of a storm or in an otherwise hazardous area.
Don’t be fooled by the great weather. If the very rare decision is made to evacuate tourists, it could be made 72 hours – three days – before the weather begins to deteriorate. But hotel staff and City crews need time to prepare for the storm. We appreciate your visit, and we hope that you return as soon as possible. Let us make the City safe for you, our residents, and businesses. We hope you return to the “Sun and Fun Capitol of the World” when you can optimize your fun in the sun.
A few things to keep in mind:
- Hurricane Season runs from June 1 to November 30 each year.
- The height of the season typically occurs from late August to mid-October.
- Miami Beach has not taken a direct hit from a hurricane since 1926.
- Miami Beach was open to visitors just two days after Hurricane Irma.
- If you visit during hurricane season, make sure to stay tuned to local weather to keep informed.
- Miami Beach hotels communicate with guests about weather and other important information.
- It’s easy to pack light for a vacation here, but consider packing some extra items in case you have to relocate. Here are some suggestions.
- You can minimize the inconvenience of being separated from your luggage by packing necessities, including toiletries, essentials, snacks, and a change of clothes in your carry-on bags.
- Families or groups should have a plan.
- Determine a meeting place should the group be separated (do this for all the places you visit while here).
- Know where you can access food, water, first aid kits, and flashlights (check with your hotel if they can supply them for all guests in an emergency).
- Have a contact person “back home” so if your group gets separated everyone can check in with that person.
- Do a little research. Make a list of resources to reach out to for assistance. Local resources.
- Consider purchasing travel insurance. If a hurricane is forecasted while you are in the area, it is too late to purchase insurance. If you obtain travel insurance, carry a hard copy of your description of coverage page. (Keep it in a plastic zip seal bag).
Remember, the more prepared you are, the more enjoyable and stress-free your stay will be!
Miami Beach Businesses
Every business should have an emergency plan. Hurricanes, floods, fires, terrorism, and other potential hazards pose serious threats to businesses everywhere. How quickly your company can get back to business after a disaster or crisis often depends on emergency planning done today.
Our weather can be very unpredictable. Strong storms can develop very quickly, even if they don’t develop into hurricanes. Public safety is paramount. If you receive information from the City of Miami Beach advising that your business should take certain preventative actions, such as pulling in umbrellas, tables, and chairs, or rolling in awnings, please pay heed to the direction. The City advises that you take an abundance of caution in ensuring that your business and your patrons are safe. Because of the uncertainty of weather developments, decisions may be made asking the business community to make preparations even though storm warnings have not been issued. Please understand that this is in the interest of public safety. When a hurricane warning is issued, Code Compliance Officers and Police personnel will enforce compliance. Being prepared as early as possible can make the difference between secured property and destructive damage.
- Allow employees adequate time to prepare themselves and their homes.
- Keep emergency contact information for all personnel, and keep it current.
- Have multiple back-ups of critical data and, if possible, a store that's off-premises.
- Checks, titles, and financial information should be stored in water-tight containers or off-premises.
- If a storm is imminent, protect computer and electronic equipment by wrapping them in plastic and pulling it away from windows.
Is Your Site Under Construction?
Miami Beach residents are urged to develop a disaster preparedness plan before an emergency strikes. Plan in advance where you will stay, how you will get there, and what supplies you will take. As part of your plan, you should have an emergency supply kit ready. When you return to the city, you may not have electricity or water for weeks. Consider the needs of elderly and infant family members and pets.
Check out recommendations for Hurricane Supplies.
Make prior arrangements to stay with friends or relatives living in a non-evacuation area or check into a hotel located inland; or, as a last resort, use a public shelter (bus evacuation pick-up sites). Make sure that you take proper Miami Beach identification with you. You may need it to re-enter the city.
- Have a contact person out of the affected area if your groups gets seperated so everyone can check in with that person.
- Send a list of friends’ and neighbors’ numbers and copies of important papers to family members in another city.
- Tell family, neighbors, and service agencies where you would go to stay in an emergency.
- Have a transportation plan for emergencies.
- If necessary, register with Miami-Dade County’s Special Needs Evacuation Assistance Registry.
- Make arrangements with a kennel or friend to care for your pets.
- Have a plan to secure your boat or take it elsewhere.
- Review your insurance policies to ensure that you are fully covered. Information can be found at The Insurance Information Institute, The Florida Insurance Council, Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, Florida Market Assistance Plan and Florida Department of Financial Services.
- Inventory and take photos of your property and valuables, and store these photos and other important documents in a waterproof container and take with you when evacuating.
- Practice your Disaster Plan.
Quick Home Inspection
- Inspect your roof
- Trim trees
- Update insurance coverage
- Check your shutters (practice installing especially if you bought a new home or new shutters)
- Test your generator and chainsaw for proper operation.
No tree is immune to storm damage, but with proper pruning, you can reduce the risk. Remember that you must obtain a permit to prune and/or remove certain trees. View the City Codes or call Public Works at 305.673.7080 for more information.
Have your trees inspected by an International Society of Arboriculture certified arborist to see if your trees need pruning. Do this as soon as possible, because they will be increasingly busy as the hurricane season approaches. It is the responsibility of the tree trimmer to remove all branches and debris from your residence when the job is finished. If you prune the trees yourself, be sure to dispose of organic waste properly (see bundle guidelines). Most importantly, do it now; once a storm is on its way, it is too late to prune.
Roof and Gutters
Inspect your roof for proper overflow drainage, especially on flat roofs. Make sure that all drains are clear of debris. Clogged drains will cause water to pool up on roofs and cause extensive damage. Check for loose rain gutters and drain spouts and secure.
Do not leave your pets at home unattended during a hurricane. Whatever plans you make for yourself, please include your pets by reviewing the Pet Supply Kit. Miami-Dade County offers pet-friendly evacuation centers for families to go along with their furry, feathered, and scaly friends -- up to four pets per family. Evacuation centers, however, are shelters of last resort. Placement in pet-friendly shelters is not guaranteed. The centers will accept pets on a first-come, first-served basis, and are subject to some restrictions. You must bring with you the following information:
- Proof of residency.
- Medical and current vaccination records for each pet.
- Dogs must have a visible Miami-Dade County dog license and an annual rabies vaccination for both dogs and cats.
- Animals may be required to remain in carriers or crates.
Pet owners must bring supplies for themselves and their pets. At least one family member must remain in the evacuation center with the pet. For complete information on pet safety during a disaster, call the Miami-Dade County Answer Center at 311 or go to the MDC Pet Preparedness page. The County will announce (through local and social media) the locations of the pet-friendly shelters when they are open.
Evacuation centers provide shelter of last resort, but if you want your pets and household to be as comfortable as possible, have a plan in place now as to where you can bring your pets. Make arrangements with family or friends inland who are willing and able to accommodate people and animals for up to two weeks. Many hotels and other accommodations accept pets, some loosen their pet policies in the event of emergencies. Two informative websites to check out are petswelcome.com and gopetfriendly.com.
No matter what arrangements you make for your pets, make sure that they stay in a comfortable environment, wearing proper identification, and with access to enough food and water for two weeks. Never leave your pet outside on a leash during a storm.
- Make prior arrangements to shelter with friends or relatives living in a non-evacuation area.
- Consider checking into a hotel located inland, but call ahead and reserve and ask about the rules on the property at the time of your stay. Check in advance if pets are allowed on the property.
- Click here for a map of evacuation routes and a list of evacuation pick-up points. Evacuation route buses will take evacuees to the nearest available evacuation center. Riders cannot choose their destination.
- Communication is important. Send a list of friends’ and neighbors’ telephone numbers and copies of important papers to family members who are in areas outside of the storm's path.
- Tell family, neighbors, and service agencies where you will stay in an emergency.
- If necessary, register with Miami-Dade County’s Special Needs Evacuation Assistance Registry
- Review your insurance policies to ensure that you are fully covered. Insurers cease issuing policies when tropical systems are within a certain distance.
- Have a plan to secure your boat (click here for more information) or to take it elsewhere.
- If you cannot take your pets with you, make care arrangements with a kennel or friend. There are County-run evacuation centers that will accept pets (to be announced when necessary) but you should make other arrangements.
- Inventory and take photos of your property and valuables, and store these photos and other important documents in a waterproof container and take with you when evacuating.
- Practice your Disaster Plan.
- Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for real-time updates.
- Download the Ready Miami-Dade (Ready MDC) mobile application from the County's Department of Emergency Management, available via Google Play and the App Store.
- Text MBAlert to 888777 to receive emergency alerts via text.
- Visit www.mbalerts.com to sign-up for text/email/phone call alerts to receive emergency notifications and automatic weather alerts.
Where to go for information
Local media takes hurricanes and threats seriously and will report continuously on the situation in the event we are truly at risk of impact. The National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center deliver the same information to all local television and radio stations, and local broadcast stations also use the internet to post updates. Choose your favorite broadcast station and stay tuned to receive the latest information on weather and safety developments. Updates will also be made available on MBRadio 1670 AM.
Information on where to receive assistance will be provided through radio, television or newspapers, as long as those sources are available following a hurricane. In case all communications fail after a hurricane, City public safety personnel along with CERT and other volunteers will disseminate information via flyers into the neighborhoods.
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MBAlert® Emergency Notification
This service gives the Department of Emergency Management the ability to contact you for any situations that could affect you directly. Register here to receive text messages, emails, and/or phone call messages. Whether it be a hurricane heading our way, an evacuation order, a missing child in a certain area, or even an active shooter in a neighborhood, we have the capability to contact you directly to your home phone or any electronic device.
In order to be connected to the MBAlert® notification system for Miami Beach, you must sign up to ensure your accurate information is included in our system. Click here to register for MBAlerts
Miami-Dade Transit buses provide free transportation to the mainland shelters from 25 locations in Miami Beach once an Evacuation order is issued. Buses run continuous routes until tropical storm-force winds arrive.
Please note that pets are not allowed to go to general population shelters and therefore will not be allowed on the bus.
Look for the hurricane evacuation signs that are placed at the following addresses:
Rebecca Towers, 150 Alton Road
Council Towers South, 533 Collins Avenue
South Bay Club, 800 West Avenue
South Shore Community Center, 833 6 Street
Go-Go’s Restaurant, 920 Alton Road
Art Deco Welcome Center, 1001 Ocean Drive
CVS Pharmacy, 14 Street & Alton Road
Ida Fisher Community School, 1424 Drexel Avenue
Euclid Gardens Condominium, 1575 Drexel Avenue
Miami Beach City Hall, 1700 Convention Center Drive
Alton Pointe, 1975 Alton Road
Miami Beach Golf Club, 2301 Alton Road
Scott Rakow Youth Center, 2700 Sheridan Avenue
Edition Hotel, Collins Avenue & 29 Street
Confidante (Crown) Hotel, 4041 Collins Avenue
Temple Beth Sholom, 4144 Chase Avenue
Sherry Frontenac Hotel, 6565 Collins Avenue
Street Intersection, Normandy Drive & Rue Versailles
Normandy Pool, 7030 Trouville Esplanade
North Shore Park, 72 Street & Byron Avenue
North Shore Library, 75 Street & Collins Avenue
Intersection, 79 Street & Hawthorne
Biscayne Elementary, 800 77 Street
Street Intersection, 81 Street & Collins Avenue
St Joseph’s School, 8625 Byron Avenue
This is NOT a list of evacuation shelters; they are Miami-Dade Transit bus pick-up locations for transportation to shelters. Locations sometimes shift due to construction or other circumstances. For complete and up-to-date information about evacuation bus stops, please call 3-1-1.
If an evacuation order is issued to include the City of Miami Beach, the entire city must evacuate for optimum safety. The County determines evacuation zones, for the most part, on flooding and storm surge risks.
Consider safety not just during a storm, but what could happen afterward.
Once a storm approaches, emergency services are limited and emergency personnel cannot react if an emergency occurs until recovery after the storm. Even then, it may take time for public safety operations to fully resume. This is why evacuation is considered mandatory.
Once a storm is forecast to land near South Florida, begin to monitor information about the storm and prepare for an evacuation. Fill up your vehicle with gasoline before evacuating and be sure to have extra cash in the event of a power outage.
Tip: Your primary plan should be to stay inland at the home of a friend or relative, or another convenient location. Hurricane Evacuation Centers provide only very basic comfort and little to no privacy. Where you will go should an evacuation order be issued is an important part of your plan.
Evacuation Routes include:
Collins Avenue northbound out of the City
Julia Tuttle Causeway/I-195, westbound
MacArthur Causeway/I-395, westbound
Hurricane Evacuation Centers
Because the entire city is expected to evacuate when an order is issued, there are no hurricane shelters in Miami Beach or the nearby coastal communities.
Miami-Dade County operates evacuation centers for evacuees at mainland schools and other facilities as deemed necessary during an evacuation.
- Evacuation centers will not open until an evacuation order is given.
- Only certain centers will open per emergency, and space in the centers is limited.
- The locations that will open are not pre-determined. A list of shelters will be made available through the Miami-Dade County Emergency Operations Center as soon as they become available.
- Families with pets who wish to go to a evacuation center can go to one of Miami-Dade County's animal-friendly evacuation centers. (Locations announced when they open)
- All evacuation center announcements will be made by local TV media, online at www.miamidade.gov or by calling 3-1-1. Please do not arrive at a location that you think is an evacuation center if it has not been announced through official sources.
Evacuation centers are lifeboats, not ocean liners. These centers are not intended to be temporary housing. After a disaster, assessments will be made with local emergency managers as to continued and other shelter needs.
Do Not Leave Your Pet At Home
Whatever plans you make for yourself, be sure to do the same for your pets. Miami-Dade County offers pet-friendly evacuation centers for families to go along with their furry friends, up to three pets per family.
Evacuation centers, however, are shelters of last resort. They are not the most comfortable environments and if your pet does not get along well with other pets, please remember that you and your pets may be in close quarters.
You must bring proof of updated vaccination and medical history, as well as other information to the pet-friendly centers.
For more information, contact the Miami-Dade County Answer Center at 3-1-1, or log on to Miami-Dade County's pet preparedness page.
Some inland hotels are pet friendly, especially in times of disaster. For a list of participating hotels, check out Petswelcome.com or GoPetFriendly.com. Contact your veterinarian or the Humane Society for additional assistance. Make sure that your pets stay in a comfortable environment wearing proper identification with access to enough water and food for two weeks. Keep a current photo of your pets with you.
Your Support Network
- If you anticipate needing assistance during a disaster, talk to family, friends and others who will be part of your personal support network.
- Write down and share each aspect of your emergency plan with everyone in your support network.
- Make sure everyone knows how you plan to evacuate your home or workplace and where you will go in case of a disaster.
- Make sure that someone in your local network has an extra key to your home and knows where you keep your emergency supplies.
- Teach those who will help you how to use any lifesaving equipment, and administer medicine in case of an emergency.
- Practice your plan with those who have agreed to be part of your network.
Do you think you may need assistance should you have to evacuate the City? Special Transportation to a shelter? Special sheltering in a medical facility?
Register now with Miami-Dade County Special Emergency and Evacuation Assistance Program. If you are registered, the program coordinators will call you to arrange special transportation and assistance, should you need it. It is important to register in advance. Once a storm is coming, it may not be possible to accommodate all requests that come in at the last minute. You may also call 3-1-1 to register.
Medications & Medical Supplies
- Be sure you have what you need to make it on your own for at least two weeks (maybe longer).
- Keep written copies of your prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, and orders for medical equipment. If you can, keep this information on a computer flash drive, and make this available to family, friends, or caretakers who can help you.
- If you are able to obtain an emergency supply of prescription medication or consumable medical supplies, be sure to establish a plan for rotating your supply before the medications expire.
- Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about how best to prepare.
- Talk with your healthcare services providers, such as home healthcare or treatment centers, and find out in advance what their plans are in the event of an emergency like a hurricane.
Keep copies of the following documents in a waterproof container:
- Medical insurance & Medicare cards;
- Health records from hospitals, doctors, and pharmacies;
- Style and serial numbers of any medical devices;
- The names and contact information of your support network.
- If you have a communication disability, make sure your emergency information notes the best way to communicate with you.
DO YOU RECEIVE FEDERAL BENEFITS?
Make sure you have the essentials.
It is recommended that you have one month's supply of your required prescriptions on hand. In addition to that, be prepared with a well-stocked medicine cabinet. The basics include:
- Adhesive strip bandages
- Cough drops or cough syrup
- Fever reducer/anti-inflammatory (Check with your doctor for what is best for you, and use with caution)
- Face coverings (keep a few in your medicine cabinet, go kit and car)
- Alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Sanitizing wipes
- Latex gloves
- Pulse oximeter (measures the level of oxygen in red blood cells)
- Calamine lotion
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Isopropyl alcohol (at least 70%)
- First aid ointment
*Check your inventory every year. Get rid of medications that have expired. DON'T dispose of expired medicine by flushing down the toilet. Dispose of unused medicine properly. The FDA provides guidance.