Sugarloaf Shores Property Owners Association
Sugarloaf Shores Property Owners Association


SSPOA Hurricane Preparedness Guide


April 2018


SSPOA Committee Members

Cornelis H. Pameijer

Bill Hunter

Peter Reveno




As a result of the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma in September 2017, the Board of Directors of the Sugarloaf Shores Property Owners Association formed a committee to formulate a report that would serve as a guideline to SSPOA’s members and Sugarloaf Shore residents, in general, with regards to what to expect and what to do when the Florida Keys are hit by another storm. This report by no means is intended to be complete or applicable to every person or household, and merely serves as a guide.


The report focuses on three topics:

1.      Pre-hurricane preparations

1.1  General housekeeping

1.2  Boat safe keeping

1.3 Evacuation

2.      What to have; the dos and don’ts during a hurricane

2.1  Supplies

2.2  Additional precautions

2.3  During a hurricane and the immediate aftermath

3.      Post-hurricane actions

3.1 Community First Responders

3.2 Documentation and precaution

3.3 Cleanup

3.4 Illegal dumping



1.    Pre-hurricane


Preparation of property

            Follow the general rule: If you can pick it up, the wind can as well. Please store it in a safe place or tie down. 


1.1  General housekeeping

a.      Put trash cans inside

b.      Inspect and close hurricane shutters

c.       Tie down anything that is loose or bring inside (kayak, canoes, etc.)

d.      Move your car to higher ground. A bridge embankment and the Sugarloaf School are suitable locations.  You will not be ticketed or towed unless you make a roadway totally impassable for emergency vehicles, fire trucks etc.

e.      Turn off water at the street. If water heater is electric, turn off breaker.

f.        Empty freezer and refrigerator, unplug, and leave lid/door ajar.

g.      Turning off electricity is optional. The power will most likely fail, but when it comes back on, your AC will kick in and help with removing moisture. Unplug sensitive electronics.

h.      Check your neighbor’s property and consider addressing the above items if residence is unoccupied. Make sure you have permission.

i.        Photograph and video house and property prior to storm for insurance and documentation purposes.

j.        If possible, trim trees and remove coconuts prior to the storm as they may present a safety hazard.

k.       Fuel up your vehicle(s) and keep your tank(s) full as a storm approaches.

l.        Have a well-supplied medical kit. Make sure you have a sufficient supply of medication for each individual for at least 3-4 weeks.

m.    Fill a cooler with ice.

n.      Do all of your laundry.

o.      Consider covering dryer exhaust to prevent water intake.

p.      Get extra food and medications for your animals.

q.      A basic supply of tools is recommended: chainsaw with chain oil and gas, hammer, crowbar, hand saw, etc.

r.       Freeze large Ziploc bags of water that will last much longer than cubes.

s.       Fill bathtub(s) with water.

  1. Move valuable items to higher floors or top shelves.
  2. Obtain a re-entry sticker from the county or sheriff’s office.
  3. Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio for critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS).
  4. Turn off propane tanks and unplug small appliances.
  5. Learn about your community’s hurricane response plan. Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs as required and make plans for your pets to be cared for.
  6. Keep your cell phones fully charged and bring charger.

z.       Bring copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies).




1.1  Boat Safe Keeping


Safe keeping of your boat differs between individuals. It depends on whether you have a boat lift, davits, a trailer, etc. One of the following options may be best for your particular situation.

a.    Pull your boat on a trailer when you evacuate. Possibly the safest way.

b.    Tie your boat down on a trailer and tie down your trailer.

c.       Tie down your boat on a boat lift. Extra cleats on the seawall on either side of your boat, if available, have been successful in stabilizing boats.

d.      Be aware that most losses of boats from hurricanes were experienced when you have davits.



1.3  Evacuation


Evacuation is mandatory when ordered.  Do not take this order lightly.

Instructions and brochures are available advising what is required to plan for hurricane evacuation.

Make sure you have an evacuation/re-entry sticker on the window shield of your vehicle. This can be obtained from the county or sheriff’s office.

Do not leave pets behind.




2       If you do not evacuate

If you decide to stay behind when an evacuation order has been issued, you must know that for days emergency personnel have no obligation or will not even be available to help you. There will likely be no wellness checks by law enforcement personnel. If you decide to stay, find out who is doing likewise.

From experience, we know that the Internet will be out, cell phones will not work, and a satellite phone may or may not offer communication.

A VHF radio like that on a boat would be an option.

Chances are you will have no water, electricity, sewer service, etc. Consider all convenient services we rely upon to be out for days or weeks.


  • Remember that water and wind are the main dangers.

Winds over 130 mph will drive water into your house via soffit vents, exhaust fan vents       and sliding doors and windows.

  • Don't go outside during the storm to look or check on anything. Stay inside. You can't fix anything during high winds, and with debris flying around, you can get killed.
  • Imagine in advance how you will deal with various situations. If you panic, you'll suffer the consequences.


  1.  Supplies to have on hand


  1. Lots of extra gas for a generator and for vehicles.
  2. A portable fan for cooling with a generator.
  3. A 5-gallon bucket at each toilet for flushing. If water is cut off and it is safe to collect seawater or pool water, this may be an option.
  4. Fully charge tool batteries.
  5. Pre-cut pieces of 1/2" thick plywood for possible window blow-outs
  6. 8' 2 x 4's for bracing doors and windows.
  7. High quality rope.
  8. Mop and mop bucket.
  9. Battery- or solar-powered radio, plus extra batteries.
  10. Lanterns/flashlights with extra batteries.
  11. Water / beverages / food (non-perishable ) for three weeks .
  12. Extra tanks of propane. Move grill to higher ground.
  13. Life jackets and/or flotation device for each person.
  14. Duct tape for ground level out-swing doors and garage doors and ground floor flood vents up 4 to 6 feet.  All duct taping must be done before wood and concrete becomes wet.
  15. At a minimum, you will need 1 gallon/day of water for 3 weeks per person.
  16. Fill bathtub(s) with water.
  17. Freeze large Ziploc bags of water for blocks of ice.
  18. Power charger that can plug into your car for tools and cellphones.



  1. Additional precautions


  1. Move valuable items to higher floors or top shelves.
  2. Secure your pet(s) in an interior room. Don't let them roam loose during the storm.
  3. Talk to any neighbor(s) in advance about how you will communicate after the storm.



 For more information about hurricane preparedness, visit these websites:


Monroe County Emergency Management - of Florida Emergency Management -

US Government -

National Hurricane Center -

National Weather Service Key West -




2.3  During a hurricane and in the immediate aftermath



SSPOA will make every effort to keep residents informed of the situation by email and Facebook. After Irma, a lack of communication was by far the biggest problem. The county is examining possibilities that will help preserve government communications and speed up restoration of public communications.

SSPOA intends to have at least two contact persons who will be in charge of communicating with its members. The committee is looking into possibilities to have these persons be in direct contact with the officials that are in charge.

Even with less severe hurricanes, there is always a danger that a storm surge can wash out the approaches to one or more of the bridges in the Keys and the weight of the bridge then “popping” it. If that were to happen, you will be on your own for some time and have to be self-sufficient. The sheriff’s staff will then act as emergency service provider.



3       Post-hurricane


3.1  Community First Responder


Monroe County is discussing forming a Community First Responder program. A responder would be allowed re-entry before a green light is given to all residents to return. The idea here is to have eyes on the ground to assess the damage and assist official first responder in answering questions and communicate with residents before their return.  This will require substantial training and is a volunteer program.  If the idea is implemented by the county, SSPOA is planning to participate in the training program and plans on reaching out to interested residents of Sugarloaf Shores.


3.2. Documentation and precautions


1.      Continue listening to a NOAA Weather Radio or the local news for the latest updates.

2.      Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding even after the hurricane or tropical storm has ended.

3.      If you evacuated, return home only when officials say it is safe.

4.      Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed-out bridges.

5.      Keep away from loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company.

6.      Stay out of any building that has water around it.

7.      Inspect your home for damage. Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance purposes.

8.      Use flashlights in the dark. Do NOT use candles.

9.      Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until it is announced that it is not contaminated.

10.  If your freezer or refrigerator contained food check for spoilage. If in doubt, throw it out.

11.  Wear protective clothing and be cautious when cleaning up to avoid injury.

12.  Watch animals closely and keep them under your direct control.

13.  Let far away families know you are safe.





3.3. Cleaning up


One of the biggest problem post-Irma was the cleaning of yard debris and household items.

It will be assumed that homeowners will be allowed to put these in the right-of-way of their property (not on the road as frequently happened).

Strict separation of yard debris, metal and household items is mandatory.

Please observe the following:

- Place different types of debris in separate piles (e.g. landscape, construction, household items, etc.).

- Put piles away from overhead power lines and fire hydrants to facilitate pickup.

- Put piles away from FKAA water meter box at street to avoid possible damage to box.

- Do not place your debris in another person’s yard or empty lot without the owner’s permission.

- Do not bring your debris to Sugarloaf Blvd., South Point Drive or US 1.


3.4 Illegal dumping


Another problem was illegal dumping.  We propose very large “NO DUMPING” signs and residents checking at the entrance of the boulevard and South Point, armed with cameras to document commercial trucks entering from US 1. SSPOA will contact Monroe County and request the immediate designation of staging areas for dumping debris. Emphasis should be placed on routing dump trucks to the Cudjoe Key transfer station on Blimp Road, where dumping without a fee will (most likely) be allowed.


Announcements that illegal dumping will result in fines should be posted at the entrance of South Point and the boulevard.


SSPOA will organize community cleanups of Sugarloaf Blvd. and South Point Drive after most debris has been picked up by the county.






Hurricane Preparedness Information

Information from Monroe County Emergency Management

Evacuation Information
Evacuation Route SignMonroe County Evacuation Zones
Monroe County’s comprehensive emergency plan calls for a “Phased Evacuation.” This evacuation plan is intended to avoid unnecessary evacuation if some zones are expected to be affected and others are not. Locate the zone you live in so that you will know when to leave if an evacuation for your zone becomes necessary.

  • Map your route
    • Florida Keys Zone MapDo not get on the road without a chosen destination
    • Fill your car with gas
  • Evacuate if told to do so
    • Do not get stranded, evacuate early
  • Enact your pet plan
  • Bring your disaster supply kit and important documents
  • Secure your home before leaving
    • Install your shutters
    • Board up windows
    • Anchor loose yard objects or bring them inside Evacuation In Progress Sign
    • Lock your doors
  • Get cash to have on hand

Emergency Evacuation Bus Pick-Up Stops  
        Bus Stops

Monroe County Shelters will not open in a Category 3, 4, or 5 Hurricane, you will need to evacuate to the mainland out-of-county shelter.

Monroe County residents and their pets can seek public shelter at the E Darwin Fuchs Pavilion located at the Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition, 10901 SW 24th St., Miami.   

Take the Florida Turnpike Extension from Florida City to exit 23, take ramp right toward SW 40th St./ Bird Rd. Take slight left onto SW 117th Ave. Take 1st right at lights, SW 40th St. /Bird Rd. Turn left at SW 112th Ave. Turn right on 24th St., then make U turn. Entrance on the  .
                                                       Shelter Sign



Aerial View of HurricaneHurricane
A hurricane is a tropical storm with winds that have reached a constant speed of 74 miles per hour or more. The eye of a storm is usually 20-30 miles wide and may extend over 400 miles. The dangers of a storm include torrential rains, high winds and storm surges. A hurricane can last for two weeks or more over open water and can run a path across the entire length of the eastern seaboard.

For information on hurricanes, contact the Monroe County Information Hot Line at (800) 955-5504 or view our hurricane tips.


  • The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and ends November 30 of each year.
  • Historically, the most active time for hurricane development is mid-August through mid-October.

Hurricane Preparedness
Boat Damage after Hurricane Florida is the hurricane capital of the United States and no matter where you live in the Sunshine State, you are vulnerable to the effects of a hurricane. History teaches that a lack of hurricane awareness and preparation are common threads among hurricane disasters. By knowing your vulnerability and what actions you should take, you can reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster. Pre-season forecasts can estimate how many storms may develop within a given season, but they cannot tell where storms will make landfall.

Now is the time to make preparations so that you can protect yourself, your home and your business in the event that tropical system threatens your area. Residents and visitors should stay informed of the latest information during an approaching storm by monitoring a trusted local information outlet, and knowing when to put your family disaster plan into action. The best way for residents to make their families, homes and businesses safer is to be prepared before a disaster happens.

Flooded Road During Hurricane Develop a Plan & Build a Supply Kit
personal disaster plan and a well-stocked disaster supply kit are essential tools to ensure your family’s safety and security during a hurricane. Residents and businesses can prepare for the Atlantic hurricane season now by going to the Florida Division of Emergency Management, where you can create a personal disaster plan and a business disaster plan. 

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.

Another important outlet you can use to help your family prepare for this hurricane season is This fun, interactive website presents basic weather safety and emergency preparedness concepts through age-appropriate activities and stories. While online, kids can play games that teach them how to build a disaster supply kit and understand other essential safety facts.

Hurricane Watches & Warnings
Tropical system hazards come in many forms, including storm surge, high winds, tornadoes, and flooding. These are all threats to the Sunshine State during hurricane season and this means it is important for your family to have a plan that includes all of these hazards. The National Hurricane Center will issue tropical storm and hurricane watches and warnings when these conditions are:

  • Tropical Storm Watch: An announcement that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are possible within the specified coastal area within 48 hours
  • Tropical Storm Warning: An announcement that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are expected within the specified coastal area within 36 hours
  • Hurricane Watch: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible somewhere within the specified coastal area
    • Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds
  • Hurricane Warning: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected somewhere within the specified coastal area
    • Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds 

Hurricane Preparedness Tips 

  • Have a stash of cash in case you get caught in a power outage after a storm
  • Emergency Hot Line Information toll-free number is 800-955-5504
  • Arrange for transportation now if you may need a ride out of the Keys during an evacuation
  • Decide NOW where you will go if an evacuation is ordered during hurricane season
  • If you have special needs and will need help in event of a hurricane, call 1-800-516-1665
  • If you plan to go to a shelter, start a box of things to take with you
  • Will the facility that stores your boat allow you to store it there during a hurricane?  Find out now.
  • Lash your boat and trailer down securely for hurricane season
  • Protect lines from chafing during a storm by covering rub spots with garden hose
  • If you plan to trailer your boat out of the Keys in anticipation of a storm, plan to LEAVE EARLY, before an evacuation order is issued
  • Do not stock up on frozen food for a hurricane.
  • Stock up on enough canned and dried goods to feed your family for several days after returning from an evacuation
  • Make sure your boat’s battery is fully charged before you evacuate so the bilge pump will keep working in heavy rain
  • Check for pet-friendly hotels outside of the county if you will evacuate with your animals
  • Keep spare batteries for your radio and flashlights 
  • Instead of recycling all your plastic drink containers, keep a few clean ones on hand for storing water
  • As soon as a hurricane WATCH is posted, keep your gas tank full
  • Don’t wait until a hurricane threatens to arrange for shutters
  • Save all your receipts for hurricane repair expenses
  • A hurricane WARNING means hurricane-force winds are expected in your area within 24 hours
  • A hurricane WATCH means hurricane-force winds are expected in your area within 36 hours
  • Have a map of the mainland on hand with your evacuation route highlighted
  • Fill your bathtub before you evacuate so you have water to wash with when you return
  • Find out if your insurance company will allow you to fill an extra prescription to have with you when you evacuate
  • Keep a first aid kid stocked and on hand
  • If you plan to go to a shelter, have blankets and inflatable mattresses ready to go with you   If you plan to go to a shelter, have games and books ready to go with you
  • Keep a supply of personal hygiene items on hand if you plan to go to a shelter.
  • If the power goes out during or after a hurricane, turn off all your major appliances to avoid damaging them.
  • When you evacuate, turn off all your major appliances, electricity and gas
  • Notify your family or friends outside the affected area that you are evacuating
  • Double the rigging lines on your boat when securing it for a storm
  • A small boat can be filled with water to protect it during a hurricane
  • Remove the outboard motor and electronic units from your boat before a storm
  • Contact County Emergency Management for help creating a hurricane plan for your business
  • Keep an inventory of your home and office and take it with you when you evacuate
  • If you are evacuating with your pets, bring their shot records
  • Keep yourself and your pets clear of puddles after a storm
  • Get your re-entry stickers today
  • When taking your shutters down after a storm, be aware that snakes or other animals may have taken refuge there 
  • If your house floods in a storm, call an electrician before turning the power back on
  • Take video of your home and business inside and out before and after a storm
  • After a storm, you will need one gallon of water per person per day for several days
  • Don’t forget to take a manual can opener with your canned goods when you go to a shelter
  • If you take medications with you to a shelter, label them clearly with your name, dosage and doctor
  • Get a battery-powered radio and keep extra batteries on hand
  • NOAA weather radios are inexpensive and are your best source of severe weather alerts


Another good website for hurricane preparedness: text box >>

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