Hurricane season is in full force with the official season lasting through November, but hurricanes and other natural disasters can affect the Sunshine State and Florida Agriculture at just about any time of the year. It’s important that you are prepared for bad weather.

Experts advise that you have a kit that includes:

  • One gallon of water per person, per day, for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation.
  • At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.
  • Gear for food, such as utensils, can opener, etc.
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio (a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert is best) and extra batteries for both.
  • Flashlights and extra batteries.
  • First aid kit.
  • A least three day’s worth of medications.
  • Whistle to signal for help.
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place.
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation.
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities.
  • Local maps.
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger.
  • Waterproof identification and copies of important documents.

The above list is based on emergency needs, and you will likely want to add additional items such as bedding, clothing, cooking implements and the like to your family’s Preparedness Kit. You will also want to make a plan with your family concerning what you should do in an emergency like a hurricane and how you will contact one another if you are separated.

Additionally, don’t forget to plan for your pets and any livestock you may have as well. For pets like dogs and cats, get them indoors and make sure you have food and water for them. Having carriers on hand in the event you need to evacuate is also important. As for Ag animals like horses, have feed, ownership and identification paperwork and handling equipment on hand and evacuation or alternative stabling plans in place. For livestock that might not be able to be evacuated, the Humane Society has a guide to preparing livestock for disasters like hurricanes.

With luck and a fair amount of skill, Florida and its Agriculture producers will weather another hurricane season just fine.