2023 Hurricane Season Resources
June 1 – November 30
The South Florida hurricane season is June 1 through November 30. Bal Harbour Village wants to ensure the safety of all its residents and visitors. Residents and business owners are encouraged to have a plan in case of a hurricane or other emergency. We are prepared and we want to make sure that you are too. Together, we can ensure that our community is prepared for any potential storm that may impact our area.
BEFORE A HURRICANE
Hurricane preparations should begin well before the start of hurricane season. Make a plan for your family, stock up on supplies, and review your insurance policies. Potential storms provide limited advance notice. Once a tropical storm or hurricane watch is issued, you should begin to execute your plan and finalize your preparations.
Emergency Kits and Checklists
Make plans and be fully stocked on supplies before hurricane season begins.
Hurricane Supply Kit
A supply kit is a container of items your family may need in or after an emergency. Most of the items can be found in your house.
It is important to put them in one place. Be sure every family member knows where the kit is kept.
- Keep loose items in airtight plastic bags.
- Gather the kit’s items in easy-to-carry containers or duffel bags. Put them within reach, near the exit you use most often.
- Check and update your kit at least once a year.
Your hurricane supply kit should contain:
- 7-day supply of non-perishable foods
- 7-day supply of water (one gallon per person per day, including pets)
- A manual can opener
- Battery-powered portable television or radio with extra batteries
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- First aid kit and manual
- Sanitation and hygiene items, such as instant hand sanitizing gel, disinfectant wipes, moist towelettes, toilet paper, and feminine hygiene products
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as masks and gloves
- Thermometer with batteries, if required
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Kitchen accessories and cooking utensils
- Extra clothing, blankets and sleeping bags
- Photocopies of identification, insurance, prescriptions, household inventory, credit cards and your utility bill
- Copies of important documents such as birth certificates, adoption certificates, marriage licenses, divorce papers, Social Security cards, passport, green cards, will, insurance policies (home, auto, life, health, etc.), bank statements
- Prescription medications, eyeglasses, contact lens solution and hearing aid
- Type ABC fire extinguisher
- Telephone that is not dependent on electricity and/or a cell phone
- Formula, baby food, diapers and pacifiers
- Pet carriers, leashes, shot records, and food for each animal evacuating with you
- Tire repair kit, booster cables, pump and flares
- Toys and games for children
- Mosquito repellent
- Sunscreen (45 SPF recommended)
Family Emergency Plan
You and your family members may not be together when a hurricane is approaching. Plan ahead and talk about what you will do before, during, and after a hurricane.
Discuss how you will get to a safe place, get in touch with each other and get back to each other.
Your plan should contain:
- Phone numbers of a pre-assigned contact person for family members to call
- List and contact information of family members, friends, neighbors, and physicians
- A safe place to store important documents in a waterproof container or bag
- How you will get assistance if needed for older adults or those with functional needs in the home
- How to turn off the water, gas, and electricity safely
Any preparation plans you make for yourself, remember to include your pets. If you are riding out the storm in the home of a family member, friend, or neighbor, take your pets with you.
Pet-Friendly Evacuation Centers
Animal Services operates pet-friendly shelters during emergencies. Pre-registration is not required to use the evacuation center. Evacuation centers will be announced as needed.
Upon arrival at the center, pets will be examined by a licensed veterinarian to determine if the pet presents a safety risk. Any pet deemed a risk will not be allowed to enter the evacuation center.
Visit miamidade.gov to learn more about how to prepare for a pet-friendly evacuation center.
Home Preparations – Tree Pruning
Prune your trees before hurricane season arrives. During hurricane season, the right tree in the right place may help protect your property from strong winds by acting as a buffer.
Improperly pruning trees before a storm can increase the possibility they will break or fall more easily during the storm. The large amounts of fallen and damaged trees usually seen after a storm are from improper cutting or pruning of trees.
Several months prior to hurricane season, do the following:
- Prune trees during the tree species’ dormant season or during early spring.
- Make sure the lawn care worker or tree trimmer is a certified arborist. Ask to see their registration or license and insurance.
- Never “top” or “hatrack” any tree. “Hatracking” is the term used when a tree is cut or chopped so badly that it is left with few or no leaves on the branches.
- Do not remove more than 25 percent of the tree canopy.
- Do not cut the tree root system.
- Remove mainly the interior branches. This will thin the canopy of the tree and allow the winds to pass through it more easily.
- Make sure to correctly dispose of all tree cuttings since branches and stumps left out in the open can become projectiles during a storm.
- Once the tree trimming has been completed, schedule a bulk waste pickup.
There are two types of evacuation instructions:
- Evacuation recommendation: The Mayor may recommend that certain residents take steps to evacuate due to their personal risk. A recommendation might be issued to residents who may need extra time to evacuate due to mobility challenges or people who live in areas prone to flooding that may not be in storm surge inundation areas.
- Evacuation order: The Mayor may order residents of specific areas of the county deemed to be in danger, based on a hurricane’s track and projected storm surge.
Areas of the County that should evacuate will be announced through miamidade.gov and local media.
Residents are encouraged to stay with family members or friends who live inland in a non-evacuation area. Hurricane evacuation centers will open, but should only be considered as a shelter of last resort.
Evacuation orders are issued by zones or partial zones. When an evacuation order is given you can find out if you need to evacuate by viewing the Evacuation Orders map.
Emergency Evacuation Assistance Program (EEAP)
The EEAP provides evacuation assistance to residents who need specialized transportation or whose medical needs prevent them from evacuating on their own.
Prior to hurricane season, residents who need assistance with daily living, medical needs, or specialized transportation must pre-register with the Emergency Evacuation Assistance Program. For applications call Miami-Dade 311 (305.468.5900), TTY/TDD 305.468.5402, or download an Emergency Evacuation Assistance Application.
Shelter in Place
During an emergency, an emergency alert might require the public to shelter in place by taking refuge indoors. Sheltering in place offers immediate protection for a short time in your home or other building.
In the event of an emergency, Miami-Dade County officials will issue an emergency alert on radio or television that instructs the public to shelter in place. Listen for updates because changing conditions could alter recommendations. During an emergency, Emergency Alert System messages will announce what protective measures are most appropriate.
For all emergencies requiring shelter in place, be sure to:
- Go indoors to your designated shelter-in-place room or area.
- Make sure all family members and pets are with you.
- Bring your emergency supply kit with you.
- For hurricanes or tornadoes, protect yourself with a mattress or padding.
- For wildfires, turn ON air conditioners and ventilation systems; breathe through a damp cloth.
- For a chemical, radiological, or biological threat, use plastic sheeting and duct tape to seal off windows, doors, and vents. Turn OFF fans and air conditioners.
- Don’t use gas, propane, or kerosene appliances; vapors might be toxic.
- Listen to your radio or TV for emergency information.
- Stay indoors until given the “all clear” signal or other instructions.
A safe room is a reinforced area of your home or building designed to withstand severe wind storms and chemical, radiological and biological threats. Learn more information on safe rooms and how to build one in your home. If you do not have a reinforced safe room, designate an interior room with few or no windows or external doors (e.g., a hall closet) as a temporary safe room. If you have not been told to evacuate, use your designated safe room to help protect you during an emergency.
Know Your Zone – Storm Surge Planning Zone
Bal Harbour Village is located in Storm Surge Zone B. Zone B is at risk for storm surges from Category 2 and higher storms.
Storm surge is the greatest threat to life and property from a hurricane. Storm Surge occurs as water from the ocean is pushed on shore by the force of tropical storms or hurricane winds. The potential for storm surge is a primary determinant for evacuations in Miami-Dade County.
Upon identification of a threat, Miami-Dade County will evacuate each zone (or portions of a zone) depending on the hurricane’s track and projected storm surge, independent of the hurricane’s category.
View Miami-Dade County Storm Surge Planning Zone Map.
DURING A STORM
A named storm provides very little advance notice and projected forecasts can change drastically in a matter of hours. Meaning advance preparation is critical for the safety of you and your loved ones.
Home Preparation Prior to Potential Landfall of a Storm
- Remove Balcony and Yard Items. Well before a hurricane or storm approaches, you should remove or secure any balcony or yard furniture, items, and decor that could become projectiles in strong winds.
- Cover up windows and doors. Use storm shutters or nail pieces of plywood to the outside window frames to protect your windows. This can help keep you safe from pieces of shattered glass.
- Dispose of yard trash properly and declutter drains and gutters. Clogged storm drains are a major problem when it comes to flooding from heavy rain. Right before a storm is not the time to trim trees or remove bulk items.
- Be ready to turn off your power. If you see flooding, downed power lines, or you have to leave your home, switch your power off.
- Fill clean water containerswith drinking water. You’ll want to do this in case you lose your water supply during the storm. You can also fill up your sinks and bathtubs with water for washing.
- Check your carbon monoxide (CO) detector’s battery to prevent CO poisoning.
- Keep your cell phone charged when you know a hurricane is in the forecast and purchase backup charging devices to power electronics.
- Check with neighbors, senior adults, or those who may need additional help securing hurricane plans to see how you can be of assistance to others.
Additional tips and precautions to keep in mind:
- Monitor your radio or television for weather updates and instructions from public safety officials. Upon activation of the Miami-Dade County Emergency Operations Center, all key service update information will be posted on miamidade.gov.
- Stay indoors, preferably in a room with few or no windows.
- Take your emergency kit and disaster supplies with you if you move from room to room or if you evacuate to a shelter.
- If flooding threatens your home, turn off the electricity at the main breaker.
- Use flashlights, not candles or kerosene lamps, as your light source.
- If you lose power, turn off all major appliances.
- Avoid using the phone and do not take a bath or shower during the storm.
- Fight the temptation to go outside during the eye of the storm. There’s only a brief period of calm before hurricane-force winds return.
- Keep children informed about what’s happening and watch for signs of stress.
- Keep animals in their carriers or crate.
- Get in the tub and pull a mattress over you to protect yourself from debris if your home begins to come apart.
- For seaport and airport passenger information, contact your local carrier about closings.
- Listen for advisories from local law enforcement agencies regarding roadways and bridges being locked down.
AFTER A STORM
Returning Home After a Hurricane
Before returning home after an evacuation, make sure that the authorities have declared the area safe. If an evacuation was issued, Bal Harbour PD alongside Miami-Dade County will advise when it is safe to return along with any potential restrictions and curfews.
If a hurricane causes damage such as flooding, downed power lines or trees, or traffic light outages, local authorities may issue a lockdown. This keeps people off the roads which may be dangerous due to debris. This also gives crews a chance to begin damage assessment and cleanup. Traffic will only impede their efforts and is not safe for the public. Regular status updates will be provided via our emergency alert (WENS) notification system, email, social media, and on our webpage, balharbourfl.gov/emergency.
If local authorities must restrict access, only residents would be allowed to return to the Village. A valid proof of Bal Harbour residence would need to be presented for re-entry.
After the storm has passed and you’ve confirmed that everyone is okay, it’s time to assess the damage and begin the recovery phase. Here are some tips to keep in mind when inspecting your home post-hurricane.
- Electrical power and natural gas or propane tanks should be shut off to avoid fire, electrocution, or explosions.
- If you suspect a gas leak, turn off the main gas valve, open all windows, and leave the house immediately. Then call your gas company. Do not return to the house until you are told it is safe to do so.
- Do not drive or walk through standing water. It may be much deeper than you realize and there may be hidden hazards.
- Keep manhole covers closed when streets are flooded. Opening manhole covers can alleviate the local flood impact, but it introduces additional water to the sewer system and can cause overflows.
- Learn proper safety procedures and operating instructions before operating any gas-powered or electric chainsaw.
- When using any power equipment, always wear a safety face shield or eyeglasses and gloves.
- Use battery-powered lanterns and flashlights instead of candles.
- If you must use candles, make sure you put them in safe holders away from curtains, paper, wood or other flammable items.
- Never leave a candle burning when you are out of the room.
- Contact your insurance agent. Take pictures of damage. Keep good records of repair and cleaning costs.
- Submit a Neighborhood Damage Assessment Form.
- Your electrical system may have been damaged. If you see frayed wiring or sparks when you restore power, or if there is an odor of something burning but no visible fire, you should immediately shut off the electrical system at the main circuit breaker.
- You should consult your utility company about using electrical equipment, including power generators. Be aware that it is against the law and a violation of electrical codes to connect generators to your home’s electrical circuits without the approved automatic-interrupt devices. If a generator is online when electrical service is restored, it can become a major fire hazard. In addition, the improper connection of a generator to your home’s electrical circuits may endanger line workers helping to restore power in your area.
- Replace the electrical outlet and have the system checked by a certified electrician before turning on the circuit breakers and energizing the outlet for use.
Following a storm, if flooding is affecting the interior of your property, report it by calling 311. If you have broken or leaking pipes, call the Water and Sewer Department at 305-274-9272.
- Once you have established that no structural, electrical or gas-related hazards exist in your home, dry and disinfect all materials inside the house to prevent the growth of mold and mildew.
- Walls, hard-surfaced floors and many other household surfaces should be cleaned with soap and water and disinfected with a solution of one cup of bleach to five gallons of water.
- Be particularly careful to thoroughly disinfect surfaces that may come in contact with food, such as counter tops, pantry shelves, refrigerators, etc. Areas where small children play should also be carefully cleaned.
- Wash all linens and clothing in hot water, or dry clean them. For items that cannot be washed or dry cleaned, such as mattresses and upholstered furniture, air dry them in the sun and then spray them thoroughly with a disinfectant.
- Steam clean all carpeting.
- If there has been a backflow of sewage into the house, wear rubber boots and waterproof gloves during cleanup. Remove and discard contaminated household materials that cannot be disinfected such as wall coverings, cloth, rugs, and drywall.
- Remove all wet or damaged carpeting and drywall to prevent molding.
Home Repair After the Storm
If your home is damaged and you’re hiring a home repair contractor, use this checklist to avoid being a victim of fraud:
- File a claim with your insurance company.
- Know your contractor. Call references and beware of scams.
- Check complaint history with consumer protection agencies.
- Check the license and insurance.
- Obtain at least three estimates.
- Get promises in writing.
- Avoid paying large sums of money upfront.
- Pay by credit card instead of cash.
Learn about your rights regarding price gouging. Substantially increasing the price of critical goods under emergency conditions is forbidden by law.
Important Numbers – Quick Reference
- For the most up-to-date information when a storm approaches, tune in to local network news or listen to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration(NOAA) Weather Radio
- For non-emergency information, dial 311in Miami-Dade County or 468.5900 for the Miami-Dade County Call Center, TTY/TDD 305.468.5402
- Report downed power lines or outages to FPL onlineor at 1-800-4-OUTAGE.
Bal Harbour Alerts & Notifications
Bal Harbour Alerts WENS
Receive up-to-date notices in the event of critical incidents, emergencies, or severe weather conditions. Alerts are sent by text, call, or email. Sign up at balharbourfl.gov/textalerts. In the event of an emergency or severe weather condition, an alert may be sent to the phone number provided by voice, text, and/or email.
Routine updates will also be shared via email with additional details. To sign up for email alerts, visit balharbourfl.gov/ stay-connected.
Miami-Dade County Alerts & Notifications
Sign Up for Miami-Dade County Emergency Alerts & Download “Ready MDC” Mobile App
Alerts is a free service that enables Miami-Dade County residents or visitors to receive emergency texts and/or emails regarding public safety issues, recommended public protective actions, hurricane alerts, or other emergency information. Sign up for Miami-Dade County Emergency Alerts!
Residents should also download the Ready Miami-Dade app to their iPhone or Android device for up-to-the-minute information during a storm. Visit your device’s app store and search for “ReadyMDC.”
Guides & Resources
- National Hurricane Center
- Miami-Dade County Hurricane Information
- National Hurricane Center Preparedness Information
- Red Cross: How to Prepare for a Hurricane During COVID-19
- Hurricane Q&A
- Evacuation & Emergency Contact Information
- Storm Surge Planning Zones
- Suggested Hurricane Supply List
- Sign Up for Emergency Alerts from Miami-Dade County
- Sign Up for Emergency Alerts (WENS) from Bal Harbour Village
Commonly Used Terms
Hurricane Warning – A warning that hurricane conditions, including sustained winds of 74 mph or higher, are imminent within 36 hours or less.
Hurricane Watch – An announcement that hurricane conditions, including sustained winds of more than 74 mph, are possible within 48 hours.
Storm Surge Watch – The possibility of life-threatening inundation of rising water moving inland from the shoreline within the specified areas within 48 hours.
Storm Surge Warning – The possibility of life-threatening inundation of rising water moving inland from the shoreline within the specified areas within 36 hours.
Tropical Storm Warning – A warning that tropical storm conditions, including sustained winds of 39-73 mph, are imminent within 36 hours.
Tropical Storm Watch – An announcement that tropical storm conditions, including sustained winds of 39-73 mph, are possible within 48 hours.