Severe Weather Preparedness

Take the time to learn more about the dangers associated with these powerful storms and create a plan in the event a hurricane or tropical storm threatens our coastline. Learn evacuation routes, assemble a disaster kit, locate a safe room in your home and make a plan for your pets. Being prepared is the best thing that you can do to protect your family, and taking these steps can make a huge difference when faced with a disaster.



General Prepardness Tips


Get a Game Plan

The following are web sites and contact information for various federal and state agencies:


Top Tips to Be Prepared:

  • Make plans to protect your property such as storm shutters or plywood for windows. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking. Bring things indoors including lawn furniture, toys, trash cans or anything that could fly through a window.
  • Learn evacuation routes and contraflow procedures. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you need to evacuate. Florida Disaster - Division of Emergency Management - Evacuation Zones designated by counties.
  • Gather personal documents, including Social Security cards, proof of residence, insurance policies, wills, deeds, birth and marriage certificates, etc. Make a record of these documents and all valuable possessions.
  • Keep your automobile fully fueled; if electric power is cut off, gas stations may not be able to operate pumps for several days.
  • Be prepared to survive on your own for a few days. Assemble a disaster kit. Include a battery-powered radio, flashlights, extra batteries, a first-aid kit, blankets, clothing, food and water, prescription medications and medical supplies.
  • Talk to your family about the dangers hurricanes can present. Plan a centralized meeting place for your family in case you are separated from one another. Choose an out of state family member or friend for everyone to contact and check in with.
  • If you are receiving Social Security or Veterans Benefits make sure you have direct deposit. This will ensure you receive all of your benefits if you have to evacuate. The Social Security Administration's telephone number is 1-800-772-1213 or visit their website. The Veterans Administration's telephone number is 1-877-222-8387 or visit their website.
  • Know how to shut off utilities. Know where gas pilots are located and how the heating and air-conditioning system works. If you have any questions, contact your local utility company.


During storm season, it is important to pay attention to updates from the local media outlets. Also, contact my office with any needs or concerns you may have. If any of our district offices are ever required to evacuate, you can always reach my staff in our Washington, D.C. office at (202)-225-4136.

Important Contacts

Escambia County

Holmes County

Okaloosa County

Santa Rosa County

Walton County



Federal Emergency Management Agency

Disability Disaster Information

Pet Rescue/Triage

U.S. Small Business Administration

Open Shelters

Congressman Gaetz Congressional Offices in Florida:

  • Pensacola Office: (850) 479-1183 226 S. Palafox Place, 6th FloorPensacola, FL 32502
  • Fort Walton Beach Office: Phone: (850) 479-1183 | Fax: (850) 479-9394 *Call for an appointment* 1170 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Bldg. 4, Rm 454 Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547


Important emergency preparedness Twitter handles to follow: