If an evacuation order was issued, everyone should have evacuated. Sheltering at home in Miami Beach can be extremely dangerous and should only be used as a last resort. However, if you were not able to leave before the onset of storm conditions -- notify family and friends of your situation.

SAFE ROOM If you have not evacuated prior to the arrival of Tropical Storm conditions, you must shelter in place. In a high-rise building, you want to shelter in the lower levels, but not on the first three levels. Hurricane winds increase at higher levels. Stay in an interior room or hallway away from windows and doors. Take your immediate emergency supplies with you that should include, at minimum, a battery-powered radio, flashlight, important papers in a zipped-up plastic bag, and cellphone.

EMERGENCY CALLS Rescue and Police crews cease emergency operations at the arrival of Tropical Storm force (40 mph+) winds. Following a hurricane, emergency calls will be very limited due to flooding, downed power lines, and limited street access and personnel.


Re-entering the City

Please be patient; officials’ priority is public safety. Listen to the local news media for possible road closures and curfews. A reoccupation order can take hours, days or weeks depending on the severity of damage to roads, bridges and buildings. After the order for reoccupation to the city is issued, you will have to provide proof of residency (driver’s license and/or utility bill with current Miami Beach address) to roadblock officials to re-enter Miami Beach. This is done to protect your home and/or business from unwelcome visitors.


  • Find out if the authorities have declared the area safe
  • Watch for debris on the road while driving
  • Return to your pre-determined assembly point and/or contact your pre-established out-of-area contact person. Make sure all family members have been accounted for and let others know of your status
  • Make sure the main electrical switch to your home is off before entering the structure
  • Be careful when entering a structure that has been damaged
  • If you suspect a gas leak, leave immediately and notify the gas company
  • If possible, listen to the radio or contact authorities to find out if sewage lines are intact before turning on the water or using the toilet
  • Report utility damage to the proper authorities
  • Continue to monitor your local news for up-to-date emergency information such as boil water advisories


Many injuries occur after the storm. To avoid injury, use common sense and wear proper clothing, including clothes with long sleeves and long pants, and safety shoes or boots.

  • DOWNED POWER LINES Stay away and do not touch downed power lines. Stay away from standing water that may have active electrical currents. Although you may be without power in your home/business, it does not mean the lines are not active.
    If you must travel, treat all intersections as four-way stops. Some roads may be restricted. Curfews may be imposed.
    operate a generator indoors, on balconies or near open windows. Make sure that the generator is running in a well-ventilated area. Many people die from carbon monoxide poisoning every year due to improper generator use. Read instructions and use with caution.
  • TREE TRIMMING Use caution with operating power equipment (i.e., chain saws): Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and wear safety equipment (i.e., goggles and gloves). Stay clear of those using manual or other tools to cut trees. Avoid back injuries by using mechanical assistance to move debris too large to move manually.

If you are concerned that your food may have spoiled, when in doubt, throw it out. For additional food safety information, call the toll-free USDA/FSIS Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1.888.674.6854.

Uprooted insects and mosquitoes thrive in post-storm conditions. If you are without power, it is likely you have windows and doors open for periods of time. Use mosquito repellant and nets and spray entrance areas with insect killers.

You will be exposed to more heat and sun, especially if you are without power. Wear sunscreen, drink water and try to keep cool. A portable, battery-powered fan will make you feel more comfortable.


The City’s priority is to clear major roadways of storm debris as soon as it is safe immediately following a hurricane. Other roads are cleared thereafter.

A courtesy single-family home residential storm debris collection may be deemed necessary. If a special collection is issued, please separate vegetation debris from other storm-related trash and place neatly on your curb. This will facilitate and expedite the collection service.

If you have excess storm debris, please take vegetation to the Green Waste Facility at 29 Street and Meridian Avenue from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, or call 305.471.4444 to make a regular bulk waste pick-up appointment (single-family homes only).

If your home is deemed uninhabitable by the Building Official, you must leave your home until proper repairs are completed. If necessary, the Miami Beach Building Department, second floor, City Hall, will issue emergency building permits due to storm-related damages to expedite repairs.

Direct Assistance
To individuals and families may come from any number of organizations, including:

  • American Red Cross
  • Salvation Army
  • Other volunteer organizations

These organizations provide food, shelter, supplies and assist in clean-up efforts. In the most severe disasters, the federal government is also called in to help individuals and families with temporary housing, counseling (for post-disaster trauma), low-interest loans and grants, and other assistance after assessments are made. The federal government also has programs that help small businesses and farmers. Most federal assistance becomes available when the President of the United States declares a “Major Disaster” for the affected area at the request of a state governor. FEMA will provide information through the media and community outreach about federal assistance and how to apply.