Before a Storm

Home preparation


Protect areas where wind can enter. Windows and doors should be secured with County-approved storm shutters. One option is to board up windows with 5/8-inch plywood. Tape does NOT prevent windows from breaking. Protect electronics with surge protectors and waterproof coverings. Bring in lawn furniture or other outdoor items not tied down that could become airborne. Withdraw cash from the bank and get fuel for your car, generator and other gas-powered tools.

Construction sites


In the event of a tropical storm warning or hurricane watch, licensed contractors are obligated to secure their work sites. Potentially hazardous objects must be fastened down or removed.

Tourists


Listen to announcements from your hotel, cruise line or airline. Be sure to follow any orders issued by local officials, such as evacuation and sheltering.

Tree pruning


Properly pruning trees and shrubs before a hurricane approaches can reduce the debris generated during a storm. Proper tree pruning also increases the likelihood that a tree can weather a storm. Make sure to consult or hire a certified and licensed arborist prior to pruning trees. Get more hurricane tree pruning tips here or call 3-1-1.

Water


Keep aluminum/plastic containers handy and fill them with potable water once a warning is announced. Plan for about one gallon per person per day. In addition, keep other containers two-thirds full with potable water and keep them in your freezer for ice after a storm.

Gasoline storage and generators


Store fuel in an approved container, holding five gallons or less, in a cool, dry, ventilated and secure area, away from appliances. Keep it out of the reach of children. Generators must only be operated outside of inhabited structures in a well-ventilated area away from windows, doors, vents or other openings. They should not be operated on the balcony of a multi-unit structure.

Trash pickup


Dispose of household and yard trash before a storm:
  • with your twice-weekly garbage collection service; 
  • by scheduling a bulky waste pickup here or calling 3-1-1; or 
  • dropping off trash or tree cuttings at one of 13 Neighborhood Trash and Recycling Centers (TRC). 
If you must dispose of trash or bulky waste—including tree trimmings—weather conditions will determine whether Neighborhood Trash and Recycling Centers are open. Call 311 for information. Secure your trash and recycling carts in a garage, utility shed or covered patio before the storm arrives. If you do not receive waste collection services from Miami-Dade County, contact your city for information about waste removal services before and after a storm.
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guide-to-hurricane-readiness 12

Public transit


Metrobus, Metrorail and Metromover services, as well as County transportation facilities, may shut down at sustained 39 mph winds.


Driving on the road


Local law enforcement agencies will issue advisories regarding when roadways and bridges will be locked down. Bridges generally go into lockdown at least eight hours before winds of 39 mph are expected. Expressway tolls may be lifted to ease traffic flow. Call 311 to report any traffic signs, traffic signals or street lights damaged due to a storm.

Travel


For seaport and airport passenger information, contact your local carrier or call 311 for the latest news about closures.

Boats


If you own a boat, remember to secure it. Use double lines at a marina or consider dry-dock storage. Never try and ride out a hurricane in your boat. Marinas will close when winds reach a sustained 39 mph. Biscayne National Park tows all boats to the Everglades and closes at least 24 hours before the landfall of a tropical storm or hurricane. Once evacuations have started off the barrier islands, Intracoastal Waterway bridges will only open infrequently until lockdown.