prepare boynton beach with trees in background

Hurricane Preparedness

Quick Links:

In addition to the information below,  FEMA  and the Florida Division of Emergency Management are great resources. 

    Hold a family meeting -Discuss the hazards of hurricanes. Encourage children to talk about their fears and explain some of the things you’ll be doing to keep everyone safe. Start a written list of things you’ll need to take care of before hurricane season and encourage everyone in the family to contribute their ideas.
    Discuss whether you’ll need to evacuate - Determine whether you live in an evacuation zone and, if so, where you will go if an evacuation order is given. Going to a family or friend’s house or hotel outside the evacuation area is your best choice. If you choose to go out of town, do so well in advance of the storm. Since shelters provide for only basic needs, this should be your choice of last resort.
    Ensure your assets are protected -Inventory your home possessions and video-tape, record or photograph items of value. Review your insurance policies before hurricane season starts to ensure you have adequate coverage. Once a hurricane watch has been issued, insurers will not issue new or additional coverage.
    Assess your home for vulnerable areas -Do a walk-through of your home and property to evaluate your roof, windows, garage door, landscaping, etc. and determine what actions you will take. Seek professional expertise and assistance as necessary.
    Make a plan to protect your vehicles -Decide where you will store or park your vehicle, boat, or RV. Check your vehicle insurance policy and keep it in the same safe place as your homeowner’s policy.
    Secure your home -Decide what actions you will need to take to protect your home and your property (shutters, generator, tree-trimming), and to keep as comfortable as possible during recovery.
    Determine whether anyone in your home has special needs -Discuss whether anyone in your home has special medical needs and, if so, make arrangements in advance to accommodate those needs.
    Make a plan for your pets -Determine how you will address your pet’s needs and make a plan in case you have to evacuate.
    Gather your supplies -Determine your family’s food, water and medical needs and assemble your disaster supply kit according to those needs (see checklist on page 6 for essential items to include).
    Notify others of your plan -Let family or friends know what your hurricane plan is so they can check on you in the aftermath of the storm.  Establish an out-of-town contact.

    If you are in an evacuation zone , a mobile home, or an area that is easily flooded, you must evacuate. If you are elderly, in poor health, or have special needs, it is recommended that you evacuate. If you live on an upper floor of a building and are dependent upon an elevator, you should plan to evacuate since power outages can affect your building’s elevator system. Many elevators do not have generator power, and those that do have generator power may not have sufficient fuel for a prolonged outage.

    There are approximately 17 shelters throughout Palm Beach County.  Shelters are run by Palm Beach County. The county recommends residents shelter in place if they are able (at home or a friend's home). Should you wish to relocate to a shelter, you can find a shelter online. Shelters are often crowded and uncomfortable, but should be used if you have no other option. If you go to a shelter, be prepared for an extended stay. Do not proceed to a shelter until the media has announced that it is officially open.

    If you must evacuate…
    • Have a good meal before you get on the road or go to a Red Cross shelter.
    • Evacuate as soon as possible, preferably during daylight. Roads and bridges frequently become crowded and traffic moves slowly. Be sure to take a map if you are going to an unfamiliar area.
    • Unplug appliances and turn off electricity and the main water valve. This will reduce potential damage to your appliances and the risk of fire from power surges. If you have natural gas, check with your natural gas supplier for information.
    • Tell someone outside of the storm area where you are going.
    • If time permits, and you live in an identified surge zone or area prone to flooding, raise furniture, photographs and other irreplaceable items to a higher place.
    • Bring pre-assembled emergency supplies (Evacuation Kit on page 8.)
    • Remember – firearms, explosive devices, intoxicating beverages, and illegal drugs are not allowed in shelters.
    • Only service animals such as guide dogs for the visually impaired, not pets, are allowed in shelters. If you bring a service animal be sure to bring food, water, bowls and any other necessities they require.
    • Important documents such as birth or marriage certificates, social security cards, passports, immunization records, checkbook and bank account files, wills, vehicles titles, insurance policies, stocks, bonds deeds, computer backup disks, etc. should be copied and secured. Take a complete set with you when you evacuate.

    A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:

    • Water - one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
    • Food - at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
    • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
    • Flashlight
    • First aid kit
    • Extra batteries
    • 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
    • Manual can opener for food
    • Local maps
    • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
    • Hurricane winds can cause trees and branches to fall, so before hurricane season trim or remove damaged trees and limbs to keep you and your property safe.
    • Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property.
    • All major vegetation cutting and/or tree removal should be done between December 1 and April 30.

    • No vegetation trimming or bulk items should be placed at the roadside after a named storm.  We cannot guarantee pick-up of vegetation or bulk items before landfall.
    • Reduce property damage by retrofitting to secure and reinforce the roof, windows and doors, including the garage doors.
    • Purchase a portable generator or install a generator for use during power outages.
    • Remember to keep generators and other alternate power/heat sources outside, at least 20 feet away from windows and doors and protected from moisture; and NEVER try to power the house wiring by plugging a generator into a wall outlet.
    • Typically, there's a 30-day waiting period from date of purchase for a flood insurance policy to go into effect.

    If you keep your boat on a trailer, water can collect inside the hull. Let some air out of the trailer's tires so water will drain out the back of the boat, and block the wheels to prevent rolling.

    • Prepare in advance: Devise a comprehensive plan in advance: the sooner the better.  
    • Understand your Insurance Coverage -Understand your insurance policy and your marina contract. Your policy may pay at up to 50 percent of the cost of hauling or moving your boat prior to a hurricane. Some marinas require that you haul your boat in advance of a storm to protect your boat and the marina.
    • Get on Land -If you plan on hauling your boat, coordinate in advance with your marina. Evidence shows that boats stored on land fare better on average in a hurricane compared to boats kept in the water. When you haul, locate jack stands along the hull in areas reinforced by a bulkhead to withstand the pushing force of the wind. You should also chain the jack stands together to keep them from spreading apart. If jack stands are located on soft ground, be sure to place plywood pads under them to keep them from sinking into the ground.
    • Moor Wisely -If you must moor your boat in the water during a hurricane, try to locate it in an area with the least amount of fetch, in other words, where waves have the least distance to build up. Canals are ideal, because lines can be run from both sides so the boat does not pound against the dock. Remember that the wind will veer around as the storm goes by, so be sure your boat is protected from a wide range of wind angles. "Hurricane holes" provide protection since they are completely enclosed.
    • Use Long Lines -If your boat will be moored to a fixed dock or piling that does not ride up as the water level rises, you will need to use long lines so your boat can float up as the water level goes up. Lines that are too short can break or in some cases actually pull the piling out of the water. Tie up your boat with the bow facing the anticipated wind direction. If you moor your boat to a floating dock, take note of the height of the pilings, which must be higher than the anticipated storm surge. If they are not, the entire dock will become a raft and take your boat with it. So if you think the pilings might be too short, get your boat out of the water.
    •  Anchor Properly-Boats on moorings face special challenges. Most moorings can withstand storms and squalls, but hurricanes place an extraordinary load on the anchor and anchor rode. The best anchors are helix types, which screw into the seabed. They hold much better than mushroom or deadweight anchors. According to Boat US tests, mushroom anchors hold about 2 1/2 times their dry weight. Concrete anchors hold about 1/2 of their dry weight. Helix anchors however, hold between 12,000 and 20,000 pounds and in the BoatUS test could not be pulled free. One problem with mushroom anchors is that they may have taken a set with the prevailing wind direction. The storm however, may come from a completely different direction. Also, if your boat will be on a mooring, or anchor, now is the time to replace or upgrade your mooring pennant, making sure that it has chafe protection.
    • Set Multiple Anchors, if NecessaryIf you must anchor out, select your location so there is as little fetch as possible, so as to reduce the size of the waves. Two or even three anchors can be used. One approach is to set two anchors in linear formation connected together by chain or in multiple directions at 90 degrees to the anticipated direction of the wind. Three anchors can be set in an array of 120 degrees and led to a single swivel and line leading to the boat’s bow. This can be especially effective where the boat has little room to swing.
    • Replace Old Dock Lines-Now is also time to get rid of your worn dock lines. According to Practical Sailor Tests, old lines lose 49-75 percent of their strength. Lines should nylon, either two or three strand and in many cases larger than what you normally use. Reduce the possibility of your dock lines breaking due to chafe by installing chafing gear, which is inexpensive and easy to install. You can also switch to dock lines with a thimble spliced to the end, through which a short length of chain is run that is shackled to the dock cleat. To reduce stress on your dock lines, mooring compensators, or snubbers can also be used.
    • Reduce Windage-You can do this by removing all canvas, including dodgers and biminis. Furling genoas should be removed, halyards should be attached to a small line and run to the top of the mast. Mainsail covers and mainsails should be removed. Cockpit covers for powerboats should be removed. Even if the storm does not damage your boat, it is likely that your canvas will be damaged or destroyed by wind or debris in the air.

    Source: West Marine

    Important Safety Notes!

    • Before you fuel, turn off the generator and let it cool to prevent fire or explosion. Gasoline spilled on hot engine parts could ignite.
    • From 2004 to 2014, 751 people died from carbon monoxide poisoning stemming from using a generator, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Running a generator the wrong way can kill you in 5 minutes if the carbon monoxide levels are too high, according to Consumer Reports. If you’re going to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a generator, spend the extra $30 to $40 for a carbon monoxide detector. 

    • The primary hazards to avoid when using a generator are carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from the toxic engine exhaust, electric shock or electrocution, and fire. Follow the directions supplied with the generator.  
    • To avoid electrocution, keep the generator dry and do not use in rain or wet conditions. Operate it on a dry surface under an open canopy-like structure, such as under a tarp held up on poles. Do not touch the generator with wet hands.
    • Store fuel for the generator in an approved safety can. Use the type of fuel recommended in the instructions or on the label on the generator. Local laws may restrict the amount of fuel you may store, or the storage location. Ask the fire department.
    • Store the fuel outside of living areas in a locked shed or other protected area. To guard against accidental fire, do not store it near a fuel-burning appliance, such as a natural gas water heater in a garage.
    • Plug appliances directly into the generator, or use a heavy duty, outdoor-rated extension cord that is rated (in watts or amps) at least equal to the sum of the connected appliance loads.
    • Check that the entire cord is free of cuts or tears and that the plug has all three prongs, especially a grounding pin.
    • Never try to power the house wiring by plugging the generator into a wall outlet. Known as “backfeeding,” this practice puts utility workers, your neighbors and your household at risk of electrocution.
    • Remember, even a properly connected portable generator can become overloaded, resulting in overheating or generator failure. Be sure to read the instructions.  If necessary, stagger the operating times for various equipment to prevent overloads.

    For more information on generator safety, visit the Red Cross online.

    Please contact stores directly, as the City cannot guarantee that they will be open and/or have supplies in the event of a storm.

    Home Improvement

    Hardware Stores

    • Ace Hardware | 510 E Boynton Beach Blvd | 561-732-2161
    • Nationwide Parts & Hardware | 1330 W Industrial Ave | 
    • Boynton Window & Door Hardware | 555 N Railroad Ave # 8
    • Hessler Paint & Ace Hardware | 4591 W Atlantic Ave (Delray)
    • Titan’s General Store | 2481 Hypoluxo Rd. (Lake Worth) 
    • Lantana Ace Hardware | 1212 W Lantana Rd. (Lantana) 


    • Aldi | 4730 Hypoluxo Rd. | 855-955-2534
    • Kenny’s Market |214 E Ocean Ave. 
    • Publix | Canyon Town Center | 8780 W Boynton Beach Blvd. | 561-369-4800
    • Presidente Supermarket | 4753 N Congress Ave. 
    • Publix | Whitworth Farms | 12425 Hagen Ranch Rd. | 561-292-4489
    • Publix | Fountains of Boynton | 6627 W. Boynton Beach Blvd. | 561-731-2065
    • Publix | Boynton Plaza | 133 N. Congress Ave. | 561-364-3707
    • Publix | Sunshine Square Shopping Center | 501 SE 18th Ave. | 561-292-4080
    • Publix |Aberdeen Square | 4966 Le Chalet Blvd. | 561-369-3500
    • Publix | Aberdeen | 8340 Jog rd. | 561-734-6252
    • Publix | Quantum Village | 1005 Gateway Blvd. | 561-732-6148
    • Publix | Shoppes at Woolbright | 10935 Jog Rd. | 561-731-2900
    • Publix | Boynton Lakes Plaza | 4770 Congress ave. | 561-868-5530
    • Publix | Lantana Plaza Shopping Center | 5970 S. Jog Rd. | 561-649-7409
    • Publix | At Lake Worth | 214 N Dixie Hwy. | 561-493-5042
    • Publix | Town Commons | 8899 Hypoluxo Rd. | 561-304-0697
    • Publix | Lantana Shopping Center | 1589 W Lantana Rd. | 561-585-4225
    • Publix | Village Square - Village of Golf | 3775 W Woolbright Rd. | 561-734-4401
    • Publix | The Plaza at Delray | Delray Beach - 1538 S. Federal Hwy. | 561-272-1291
    • Publix | North Delray Commons | Delray Beach - 555 NE 5th Ave. | 561-272-9460
    • Target | 650 N Congress Ave.
    • Target | 10201 Hagen Ranch Rd.
    • Walmart Neighborhood Market | 12700 S Military Trail
    • Walmart Neighborhood Market  | 9840 S Military Trail 
    • Walmart Supercenter | 3200 Old Boynton Road
    • Notify your health agency where you will be during a hurricane and when care can be re-established.
    • If you are home-bound and under the care of a physician, but not a home health agency, contact your physician.
    • If you require oxygen, check your supplier about their emergency plans.
    • If you evacuate, remember to take medications and prescription numbers, written instructions regarding your care, name and numbers of physicians and pharmacies, insurance and Medicare cards, your bedding and your walker, wheelchair, canes or any special equipment. Label all of your special equipment with your name and contact information.
    • If you require hospitalization, you must make prior arrangements through your physician, including securing any documentation that the hospital may require prior to admitting you at the time of the storm.

    Note: A caregiver should never drop an elderly and/or frail person at a medical facility without assuring that they will be admitted, which may require written documentation and prior arrangement with a physician and the hospital.

    View this 'Preparing Makes Sense" video created for citizens with special needs.

    Palm Beach County has established a Special Needs Shelter to provide for citizens with certain medical problems during a major hurricane. The Special Care Units (also known as SCU’s) are facilities that have auxiliary power and are not located in an area that has a high risk of flooding during a hurricane. Physicians and nurses are assigned to the Special Care Units by the Palm Beach County Health Department. Space is limited at the Special Care Units and is based on need and established criteria. Registration must be done in advance, before a storm threatens. Call the Palm Beach County Emergency Operations Center at 561-712-6400. You will need a physician authorization; your eligibility will be determined by the Health Department.

    You may be eligible if:
    • You are dependent upon electricity for oxygen
    • You have minor health/medical conditions that require professional assistance
    • You are dependent on medication
    • You are immobile and/or have a chronic but stable illness

    If you are accepted, you will be phoned and provided transportation to the shelters if you need it.

    What to bring: When you register for a Special Care Unit, ask the Special Needs Coordinator what you should bring specific to your situation. You will also need to bring the following:
    • Full and up-to-date prescription medications
    • Medical Supplies and equipment, including nebulizer, oxygen, syringes, etc.
    • Any special food items
    • Books, cards or board games to occupy yourself
    • If you bring a care-giver, he/she has to bring a chair, something to sleep on, pillow, and personal items.
    • Carry your medical insurance, Medicare cards and a list of doctor and pharmacy names and numbers with you.
    • Bring supplies for several days, including batteries for hearing aids and/or wheelchairs.
    • Label all personal belongings, including walkers or canes.

    • No pets are allowed in the Special Care Units. Make pet shelter arrangements in advance.
    • If you are unable to return home, assistance will be provided for you.
    • Food is provided. Bring your own dietary food.
    • Notify friends and family if you intend to evacuate to a special needs shelter.

    For further information about the Special Needs Program, call 561-712-6400 or contact Boynton Beach's ADA Coordinator.

    • Don’t leave pets at home by themselves during a storm, especially if you live in an evacuation area. If they survive the storm, they may flee and be lost.
    • Make sure vaccinations are up-to-date. Up-to-date vaccinations are required to shelter a pet with a veterinarian, a boarding facility or kennel.
    • If you change your address, make sure your updated address and phone numbers are on file with Animal Care & Control.
    • Pets are not allowed at Red Cross shelters. Make sure you have a family plan that includes evacuation procedures with your pet.
    • To keep your pet safe in the event of a hurricane, your choices are to keep the pet with you at home, take it with you if you evacuate, leave it with a friend or board it at a kennel.
    • Don’t plan on taking your pet to a public shelter. Because of safety and public health concerns, almost no public shelters allow pets, except assistance dogs.

    At Home

    • Be sure the pet has proper identification. Tags increase the chance of an owner-pet reunion after a storm.
    • Arrange to make the pet as comfortable as possible; give it a familiar place to stay and leave a familiar towel. Have on hand a two-week supply of food, water and any medications. 

    If you are going to board your pet, now is the time to call your veterinary clinic or the Humane Society for kennel locations.


    • Consider buying a portable carrier or cage.
    • Consider leaving exotic pets, such as parrots, reptiles or ferrets with friends or relatives.

    Pet Friendly Shelter
    The Pet Friendly Shelter is located inside the West Boynton Recreational Center at 6000 Northtree Blvd., Lake Worth, FL 33463 and is only available to Palm Beach County residents who reside in a mandatory evacuation zone, in a mobile home, or in sub-standard housing. Proof of residency will be required.  Pre-registration a must, but does not guarantee you a spot. Call 561-233-1266. 

    • Continue listening to a NOAA Weather Radio or the local news for the latest updates.
    • Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding even after the hurricane or tropical storm has ended.
    • If you evacuated, return home only when officials say it is safe.
    • Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.
    • Keep away from loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company.
    • Stay out of any building that has water around it.
    • Inspect your home for damage. Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance purposes.
    • Use flashlights in the dark. Do NOT use candles.
    • Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are sure it’s not contaminated.
    • Check refrigerated food for spoilage. If in doubt, throw it out.
    • Wear protective clothing and be cautious when cleaning up to avoid injury.
    • Watch animals closely and keep them under your direct control.
    • Use the telephone only for emergency calls.

    As you rebuild

    • Secure double entry doors at the top and the bottom.
    • Strengthen existing garage doors to improve the wind resistance, particularly double- wide garage doors.
    • Protect windows with permanent storm shutters or one-half inch marine plywood that is pre-cut to fit your doors and windows.
    • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts to prevent flooding and unnecessary pressure on the awnings.
    • Select trees that are not as subject to uprooting to replace damaged ones. A gardening or landscaping professional can give you excellent advice.
    • Identify a place to store lawn furniture, toys, gardening tools and trash cans that is away from stairs and exits to prevent them from being moved by high winds and becoming missiles.

    Ask a professional to

    • Ensure roof sheathing is properly installed.
    • Ensure end gables are securely fastened to the rest of the roof.
    • Fasten the roof to the walls with hurricane straps.
    • Elevate your home if it is near the coast and subject to flooding from storm surge.
    • Let Your Family Know You're Safe

    Download these helpful documents:

    Source: Red Cross

    Vegetation Guidelines: Pile must be made up of vegetation only with no other solid waste products mixed in with the vegetation pile. Do not use plastic bags. The City will not be able to remove piles containing plastic bags. Place loose vegetation on top of vegetation pile.  

    Depending on the severity of the storm, we cannot provide a timeline as to when all the debris will be removed from Boynton Beach Communities.  Please be patient and assist by following the guidelines. 

    By donating: The Salvation Army, 2100 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd., West Palm Beach; 561-686-3530
    With animals: Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control, 7100 Belvedere Road, West Palm Beach; 561-233-1200
    Provide Emotional Support: United Way of Palm Beach County, 2600 Quantum Blvd., Boynton Beach; 561-375-6600
    Work at shelter: 

    • American Red Cross, 825 Fern Street, West Palm Beach; 561-833-7711
    • United Way of Palm Beach County; 2600 Quantum Blvd., Boynton Beach; 561-375-6600

    What if I have questions not listed below? 

    The City has a non-emergency hurricane hotline - 561-742-6921.  For any emergencies, dial 911.

    How long after a storm  will my garbage be picked up? 

    That depends. Check back this site and follow the city on Facebook and Twitter. We will be posting information as soon as it becomes available after a storm. Please be patient.

    I have special needs. Who at the city can I contact for help? 
    Please contact Debbie Majors, ADA Coordinator at 561-742-6241 or via email at   You may also contact Palm Beach County's Division of Emergency Management at 561-712-6400. Please note that preregistration is required for those who wish to stay at a special needs shelter.