Hurricane Ian’s approach has resulted in mandatory and voluntary evacuations along the west coast of Florida.
Officials in Hillsborough County, Pasco County, Hernando County, Pinellas County, Manatee County, Sarasota County, Charlotte County and Lee County have ordered or recommended evacuations on a zone-by-zone basis.
Residents can check their evacuation status and flood zone risks on county websites, official social media accounts and FloridaDisaster.org’s “Know Your Zone” map, which is run by the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
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Hurricane and disaster preparation experts recommend having basic emergency supplies and “go bags” ready before severe weather or natural hazard arrives.
While residents in hurricane zones may have prepared emergency supplies that’ll last if they’re sheltering at home, here’s a list of items that should be stashed away in go bags if an evacuation has been ordered for a hurricane or another catastrophic disaster.
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Hurricane evacuation go-bags: What to pack?
The U.S. Department of State recommends packing five item categories in a go bag: money, medical items, personal belongings, documentation and optional weather gear.
– ATM cards and credit cards
– Multiple currencies if evacuating from a foreign port
– Safe deposit keys
– Government travel card if applicable to eligible government workers
– Medical and dental records
– Immunization cards
– Glasses and contact lenses (with carrying case and cleaning solution)
– Prescription medications
– Over-the-counter medications
– Small first aid kit
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– Toys and games
– Pet items
– Cell phone
– Chargers for all electronics
– Small toiletry kit
Food and water:
– Passport(s) and visas if evacuating from a foreign port
– Marriage, birth, adoption and naturalization certificates
– State Department ID (applicable to government workers only)
– Driver’s license and/or state ID
– Auto insurance policies, registrations and title if applicable
– Power of attorney and will
– School records
– Pet records
– Household effects inventory
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Optional weather gear:
In flood-prone areas, evacuees might want to consider:
– Rain gear
– Insect repellant
Purchasing a go bag while on the go
With hurricane evacuations being time-sensitive, some might opt to purchase go bags or additional items for their already-packed go bags as they make their way to safer zones where evacuations haven’t been mandated.
Supplies may be limited at most retail locations, but there are a number of disaster survival brands that could be in stock at discount department stores, wholesale clubs and sporting goods shops.
Pre-packaged go bags with multi-day emergency supplies are made by Ready America, which can be found at select Walmart stores; Life Gear, which can be found at select Costco stores; and Wise Company, which can be found at select Bass Pro Shops.
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Emergency food kit brands that package 72-hour to monthlong supplies of food include Readywise, XMRE, OMEALS, Mountain House, Ready Project, Augason Farms, Nutrient Survival and Chef’s Banquet.
Other emergency supplies worth considering for hurricane evacuation go bags
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s “Basic Disaster Supplies” list on ready.gov, which has a breakdown of basic and additional supplies approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Basic emergency supply kit items:
– Non-perishable food and water (1 gallon per person)
– Extra cell phone batteries or chargers
– Battery-powered or hand crank radio
– Flashlights and extra batteries
– First aid kit
– Whistle for help signaling
– Dust masks
– Plastic sheeting and duct tape
– Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
– Non-sparking wrench or pliers
– Manual can opener
– Local maps
Additional emergency supply kit items:
– Prescription medications and glasses
– Infant formula and diapers
– Pet food, water and essential pet care supplies
– Important family documents (stored in a waterproof casing)
– Cash and change
– Emergency reference materials
– Sleeping bags or warm blankets
– Complete change of clothing
– Fire extinguishers
– Matches (stored in a waterproof casing)
– Feminine supplies, personal hygiene items and hand sanitizers
– Mess kits, paper towels, paper cups, plates and disposable utensils
– Paper and pencil
– Books, games, puzzles or other non-electric entertainment activities
Hurricane Ian evacuation maps by county
Hillsborough County: hillsborough.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=960017149a5c40d0a43860aad988d2ec
Pasco County: pascofloem.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=9fa8f4cd8c4c4c2b943c4b4ec8f6fb84
Hernando County: tbrpc.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Hernando-County-Evacuation-Map-2022.pdf
Pinellas County: kyz.pinellascounty.org/?find=315%20COURT%20ST
Manatee County: extreme-weather-dashboard-manateegis.hub.arcgis.com/pages/resident-information-tool
Sarasota County: sarco.maps.arcgis.com/apps/instant/sidebar/index.html?appid=c76eb99c8b554a5182ffe8e27b904454
Charlotte County: charlottecountyfl.gov/departments/public-safety/emergency-management/know-your-zone.stml
Lee County: leegov.com/hurricane/Documents/MandatoryEvac_20220927.pdf
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