Prepare for a Safe and Healthy Fall and Winter Season

Woman coughing and blowing her nose in autumnTallahassee, Fla.— The Florida Department of Health reminds Florida residents and visitors about the importance of having a family emergency plan and supply kit ready during any time of the year. Although Nov. 30 will mark the official end of hurricane season, Floridians should continue to be prepared for the unexpected. Now is the perfect time to restock your emergency supplies and review preparedness plans with family and friends, or create them if you haven’t done so already.
“Preparing your home now for cooler weather can ensure a safe and healthy place for family and friends during the holiday seasons,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong. “Stay focused on healthy habits in eating and activity—these don’t change with the seasons.”

Eat and drink wisely this fall and holiday season

  • Eat well-balanced meals;
  • Stay hydrated with water; and
  • Practice moderation with drinking alcoholic or caffeinated beverages, which may cause your body to lose heat more rapidly.
  • Wear layers so you can adjust your clothing as temperatures often change drastically throughout the day. Dress so the inner layer allows sweat to escape, the middle layer insulates for added warmth, and the outer layer shields you from wind;

Dress appropriately for winter weather and don’t forget the sunscreen

  • Stop crucial heat loss by protecting your head, face and neck with hats and scarves, wearing waterproof, insulated gloves and boots; and
  • Always use sunscreen, lip protection and skin moisturizer—a sunny day at cool temperatures still involves ultraviolet light exposure. In addition, protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses.
    Heat your home safely

Heat your home safely

  • If you plan to use a wood stove, fireplace, or space heater, be very careful and follow manufacturer’s instructions;
  • Ensure heaters are properly vented to the outside and do not leak flue gas into the indoor air space;
  • Use only the type of fuel your heater is designed to use—don’t substitute;
  • Do no place a space heater within 3 feet of anything that may catch on fire, such as drapes, furniture, or bedding, and never cover your space heater;
  • Never place a space heater on top of furniture or near water; and
  • Store a multipurpose, dry-chemical fire extinguisher near the area to be heated.

For more information on creating healthy emergency plans the department offers a number of tools to help families prepare for all types of disasters—the Florida Emergency Preparedness Guide is available in English, Spanish, Creole and Large Print at

Additional information about preparing for Florida’s fall and winter weather season is available on the Florida Division of Emergency Management’s Web site at and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at

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