Disaster Preparedness

Announcements & News

Now about 200 miles E-NE of the central Bahamas, forecasters predict Hurricane Joaquin makes a sharp turn to the north Oct. 1, away from South Florida.Gentle reminder for us here in Palmetto Bay that we are still in the thick of the 2015 hurricane season. Read more in The Miami Herald. SEP 30, 2015


A hurricane prep presentation hosted by Mayor Flinn and Councilmember Cunningham took place June 15 at Village Hall. Robert Molleda, Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the Nat'l Weather Service addressed seasonal predictions, NWS info/services during an event, and awareness tips. See on demand video- and photo-coverage. JUN 15, 2015

Public Works dept. has a supply of
extra handouts from the 2015/16 Disaster Preparedness Workshop, June 15 (see list of brochures in June 2015 e-news); and also provided links to educational videos, in Spanish and English, on disaster preparedness against natural and man-made hazards. JUN 15, 2015

Office of Emergency Management reported on May 27 to all municipal public information officers that 2015 will be a less-than-active season with 7 named storms predicted; evacuation assistance info is on the County website; as are points of distribution, and grocery stores/gas stations that will be open on generators during big storms. MAY 27, 2015

Miami-Dade County posted its list of Hurricane Evacuation Centers (HECs) for 2015, in English, Spanish, and Creole. Please note, evacuation centers are to be used as a last resort if you cannot find accommodations with family or friends outside the evacuation area. Acquaint yourself with the location of the nearest HEC -- before a storm hits. MAY 4, 2015

News Archive

Hurricane Information - General

Hurricane 101

A hurricane is defined as a low-pressure system that generally forms in the tropics. The system is accompanied by thunderstorms and, in the Northern atmosphere, a counter-clockwise circulation of winds near the earth’s surface. Tropical systems are classified as follows:

  • Tropical Depression – An organized system with a defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 38 mph.
  • Tropical Storm – An organized system with a defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 39-73 mph.
  • Hurricane – An intense tropical weather system with a well-defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 74 mph or higher.

What is the difference between a watch and a warning?
A hurricane watch predicts that hurricane conditions could be experienced within 36 hours. During a watch, residents are urged to enact their disaster plans and secure their homes. A hurricane warning indicates that sustained winds of at least 74 mph are expected within 24 hours. Residents are urged to finalize disaster action plans and seek shelter in a safe location.

What are the main hazards associated with hurricanes?
The main hazards associated with hurricanes are storm surge, which refers to water that is pushed toward the shore by the force of the hurricane winds, inland flooding and high winds.

"Hope for the best, plan for the worst"
If you have never heard this expression, you must be a newcomer to South Florida! Either way, allow Palmetto Bay to help you plan for the hurricane season with this Public Works brochure produced by our staff. It answers questions such as "Why do I need to separate my yard trash and bulky waste" and "What do I do with household hazardous waste?"

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale

Storm Category Wind Speed Damage
1 74-95 mph Minor building damage. Damage primarily to unanchored mobile homes, shrubbery and trees. Some coastal road flooding and minor pier damage.
2 96-110 mph Some roofing material, door and window damage to buildings; considerable damage to vegetation, mobile homes and piers.
3 111-130 mph Some structural damage to small residences and utility buildings. Mobile homes are destroyed. Flooding near the coast destroys smaller structures with larger structures damaged by floating debris.
4 131-155 mph More extensive damage with some complete roof structure failure. Extensive flooding probable requiring massive evacuation of residential areas.
5 155 mph and higher

Extensive complete roof failure and some building failure. Major damage to structures located less than 15 ft above sea level and within 500 yards of shoreline. Massive evacuation of residential areas on low ground within five to ten miles of the shoreline may be required.

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Evacuation & Shelter

Who should evacuate:

  • Residents who live in mobile homes
  • Residents on life-dependent medical or electric equipment
  • Residents who live in an evacuation zone mandated to be evacuated

Those residents who live in mobile homes as well as those who depend on life-dependent and/or electric medical equipment should evacuate for any category storm. Evacuation orders will be transmitted by direct warnings or through the media. It is recommended that residents make the decision to evacuate as early as possible.

Hurricane Evacuation Centers: Miami-Dade County posted its Hurricane Evacuation Centers (HECs) for the 2015 season. The lists are provided in English, Spanish, and Creole. Please note, evacuation centers are to be used as a last resort if you cannot find accommodations with family or friends outside the evacuation area. Acquaint yourself with the location of the nearest HEC -- before a storm hits.

Special Needs Shelters: Residents requiring evacuation assistance or residents with special needs must pre-register with the county by calling 305-468-5900 TDD 305-468-5402. Click here for information and required forms.

Public transportation will be provided during a mandated evacuation order. For information regarding the activated bus pick-up locations, call 305-468-5900 TDD 305-468-5402.

Sheltering at Home: Follow these important guidelines if you are home during a major storm:

  • Seek shelter in an interior space, preferably in the center of your home, in a room without windows (safe room)
  • Identify an accessible exit in case of fire
  • Keep a mattress or padding nearby and bring your hurricane supplies into the safe room with you
  • Stay in the safe room throughout the storm to decrease the potential for a serious injury
  • Opt for battery operated flashlights and lanterns to provide lighting. Refrain from using open candles or gas lanterns
  • Set the refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings and store some of the bottled water in the freezer to keep your perishables cold for a day or two in the event of a power outage
  • Store additional water in your bathtub and other containers for bathing and other sanitary purposes. Make sure to scrub the tub with bleach and rinse it thoroughly before filling it up.

Evacuation Zones within Palmetto Bay: In the event an evacuation order is mandated, Red Cross Evacuation Centers will open throughout the county. To the extent possible, residents should first arrange to evacuate to the home of friends or relatives who live outside the evacuation zones. Because not all designated Red Cross Evacuation Centers will open, residents reporting to evacuation centers are asked to first contact the Miami-Dade Answer Center at 305- 468-5900 TDD 305-468-5402 to check which shelters they should report to. Please be aware that only service animals are permitted in public evacuation centers and therefore pets will not be allowed. For information on pet safety and pet accommodations during a storm, please contact Miami-Dade County Animal Services at 305-884-1101 or 305-232-1771.

Zone B (Yellow): All areas of mainland Miami-Dade County lying (north to south) east of Biscayne Boulevard, Brickell Avenue, S. Miami Avenue, South Bayshore Drive, Main Highway, Ingraham Highway, Old Cutler Road, the Florida Turnpike south to U.S. 1 to State Road 9336 [SW 344 Street (Palm Drive), SW 192 Avenue (Tower Road) and Ingram Highway] south to Everglades National Park. The only exception to this pattern is a small area east of Old Cutler Road, west of SW 67 Avenue and north of SW 152 Street that is not in the evacuation zone.

Zone C (Green): The area of Miami-Dade County west of Zone B and a line defined by SW 152 Street (Coral Reef Drive) at Old Cutler Road going west to U.S. 1, then south to SW 184 Street (Eureka Drive), then west to SW 127 Avenue (Burr Road), then south to U.S. 1 to SW 312 Street (Campbell Drive or Homestead’s NW 8 Street), then west to Everglades National Park.

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Securing Your Home

Preparation is the key to safety. In addition to the following guidelines to properly secure your property in case of a hurricane, also see a brochure produced by the Village's Public Works department:

  • Move all objects and debris from your property that could potentially become airborne projectiles in a storm, and ask your neighbors to do the same.
  • Anchor any free standing fixtures in the yard
  • Prepare your pool by:
    -Turning off all electric power to the pool.
    -Clearing the pool and pool area.
    -Adding extra chlorine to prevent contamination.
    -Removing and storing removable child safety fences
  • Replace all gravel or rock landscaping material with fire treated, shredded bark to reduce damage
  • Trim down foliage
  • Cover all large windows and doors, including patio doors, that are not impact-resistant with impact-resistant shutters, making sure the shutters are safely secured. If plywood is used, make sure the wood is 5/8” or greater exterior grade. Add 8” to the width and height measurements so that the plywood sheet overlaps the wall framing around doors and windows.

Please note that plywood shutters do not meet the requirements of the new Florida Building Code for the High Velocity Wind Zone. Log onto www.floridabuilding.org for additional information or contact the Building and Permitting Division at 305-259-1250.

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Important Links and Telephone Numbers

Important Links:

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Important Phone Numbers:


Animal Care and Control:

Consumer Services (price gouging):

Disaster Hotline :
311 -or- 305-468-5900
305-468-5402- TDD

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency):

Hurricane Pool-Safety Information:

Emergency Assistance Program:
305-513-7700 305-468-5402– TDD

Florida Power & Light:

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People Gas:

Humane Society:

National Flood Insurance Program:
1-888-FLOOD29 1-888-356-6329


Palmetto Bay Village Hall:

Palmetto Bay Building & Permitting:

Palmetto Bay Code Compliance:

Palmetto Bay Policing Unit:

It’s all in a name...

Atlantic storms have been named since 1953 from lists originated by the National Hurricane Center. Today, they are maintained and updated by an international committee of the World Meteorological Organization. Should more than 21 named storms occur in the Atlantic basin in one season, additional storms will be given names from the Greek alphabet such as Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta.

2015 Hurricane Names:

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Contact Information


Public Works Department
Village of Palmetto Bay