Hurricane & Emergency Preparedness

Watercolor Community Emergency Management Plan


Coastal Florida is subject to extreme forces of nature, from severe winds, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, and even wildfire. This page and the WaterColor Community Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) focus on responses to a hurricane. While hurricanes are particularly dangerous and likely the most common threat that the community will face, the information included herein, including guidance on evacuations, may be useful in other, non-hurricane events. Planning ahead and understanding the terminology associated with emergency management may reduce the chances of personal injury or major property damages. Familiarity with the WaterColor Community Emergency Management Plan will help in this process.

Emergency Management is the practice of planning for disasters and implementing processes to address disaster-specific needs. Emergency management has four phases; Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery. Mitigation includes steps taken to reduce the risk of life or property, such as installing hurricane shutters. Preparedness includes public outreach, like the WaterColor CEMP and this website, as well as developing family preparedness plans. Response, also known as Operations, is the phase that will be managed by the Community Emergency Manager (CEM), and involved all of the actions that need to be taken immediately before, during and just after a natural hazard event. Recovery is the phase associated with restoring normalcy after a disaster and includes returning to the community, insurance coordination and repairs. A separate recovery section is not included in this plan.

  1. Mitigation
  2. Preparedness
  3. Response
  4. Documents
  5. Resources


Any action that you can take to reduce or eliminate the risk of injury or property damage is mitigation. Residents and guests at WaterColor have the benefit of a well designed community built to the stringent Florida Building Code. Opportunities exist, however, for residents and guests to reduce their potential for loss.


One of the most direct forms of mitigation is insurance. Residents need to maintain adequate homeowner's insurance. In addition, residents will need to ensure that they have coverage for the peril of wind. Wind coverage, also known as hurricane insurance, is often separate from the basic homeowners insurance. A listing of toll free claims contact numbers and information on how to file a claim with an insurance company is included in Appendix C (linked on the Documents tab).

Flood insurance is underwritten by the federal government's National Flood Insurance program, which is coordinated through FEMA. Flood insurance can be purchased by any homeowner, regardless of whether your home is in a floodplain or not, either through an independent agent, or directly from FEMA. Anyone told that they cannot purchase flood insurance or that there is no need to purchase flood insurance should consider contacting FEMA directly. Flood losses will not be covered under homeowners or special wind coverage policies.

Structural Mitigation

The most important precaution you can take to reduce damage to your home and property is to protect the areas where wind can enter. According to recent wind technology research, it's important to strengthen the exterior of your house so wind and debris do not tear large openings in it. You can do this by protecting and reinforcing these five critical areas:

  • Doors
  • Garage doors
  • Roof
  • Straps
  • Windows

A great time to start securing or retrofitting your house is when you are making other improvements or adding an addition.

Physical mitigation, through structural retrofits may make sense in some cases. Approved hurricane shutters or other window, door and garage door protection may be purchased and installed, based on the rules governing such activities, as approved by the Community Association. The installation of impact resistant glass is a good way to enhance mitigation that does not require the installation of shutters prior to a storm event.

Other mitigation options include clearing pine needles from gutters of a home to reduce ignition from firebrands produced by a wildfire and constructing a "safe room" in a structure to provide a safe haven from tornadoes.