MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Hurricane season starts Saturday and Governor Rick Scott, along with other state and South Florida officials, want you to be prepared.

Thursday morning, Gov. Scott held a news conference at the Miami-Dade Emergency Operations Center in Doral where he was joined by Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez, and other local officials.

Scott’s main message to Florida families is to “Get A Plan.”

“Saturday marks the official start of the 2013 hurricane season. Last year was predicted to be a slow season, but with three weather events impacting Florida, as well as the landfall of Hurricane Sandy, we saw firsthand how one storm can significantly alter a community. Last year also marked the 20th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew, a hurricane that devastated many Florida communities and change the way we prepare and respond to a disaster. Following the storm, the world witnessed the resilience of Florida’s citizens as we recovered and rebuilt our communities,” said Gov. Scott.

“We’ve worked to keep families in Miami-Dade safe by investing more than $22 million this year in state and federal funding to ensure this community is protected as best possible for hurricanes.  Preparing for the upcoming hurricane season should be a priority for every Florida family – and that’s why it’s so importance families ‘GET A PLAN!’ and visit for critical life saving tips,” said the Governor.

National Hurricane Preparedness Week runs May 26 – June 1, 2013, and the Florida Division of Emergency Management is reminding all Floridians of the importance of personal preparedness and building a disaster supply kit before a hurricane threatens your area.

“We encourage every Floridian to be proactive in preparing their family for potential hurricanes,” said Bryan W. Koon, Director of the Division of Emergency Management. “A family disaster plan and a well-stocked disaster supply kit are essential tools to ensure your family’s safety and security during a hurricane.”

However, the Governor also wanted to remind everyone that preparing for a hurricane requires more than water and flashlights, it requires a well thought out family emergency and possible evacuation plan.

The Governor also said you may need to help yourself this year more than ever. He blames the federal government sequester for a potential lack of manpower if a major hurricane hits.

“Right during hurricane season, we’re going to have some of our national guardsmen that are going to be furloughed off and on during the summer so it’s going to impact the readiness and if something happens, it’ll impact their ability to respond,” explained Gov. Scott.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez urged residents to start preparing now and it doesn’t have to break the bank.

“You can start getting ready now, little by little When you go to the grocery store, be sure to pick up an extra can or two of canned goods and start storing tap water in plastic jugs,” said Mayor Gimenez.

Miami-Dade County recently updated  its storm surge zone maps. Click here to see if you live in an evacuation zone. 

In a major disaster, emergency workers may not be able to reach everyone right away, and in some cases it may take three or more days for help to arrive. Having a plan for this possibility will help residents take care of their family’s unique needs during this time.

Building a disaster supply kit is a simple and effective way to make sure a family has enough water, food, medicine and other essential supplies when other resources may not be readily available. Different families have different needs, so residents need to be sure to take into account their family’s specific needs, and include:

  •  Water – at least 1 gallon daily per person for 3 to 7 days
  •  Food – at least enough for 3 to 7 days
  •  Blankets / Pillows, etc.
  •  Clothing
  •  First Aid Kit / Medicines
  •  Special Items – for children and the elderly
  •  Toiletries
  •  Flashlight / Batteries
  •  Radio – Battery operated and NOAA weather radio
  •  Keys
  •  Toys, Books, and Games
  •  Important documents
  •  Tools
  •  Full vehicle fuel tanks
  •  Pet care items

Click here for the printable CBS4 Hurricane Guide. Click here for the Spanish version.

Get prepared by watching the CBS4 Special: “Hurricane 2013: Surviving The Season” on Saturday, June 1st at 7:00 p.m. on CBS4 and you can always visit our Hurricane News and Hurricane Preps information right here on