911 !!! It's an emergency!
Just to let you foreign travelers from abroad
the number to dial in an emergency is 911.
The call is free and
you can call from
just about any telephone.
This is just for emergencies.
or want to make a report?
Call the Miami Beach Police Department.
To Contact Individual Employees:
Hate Crime Hotline:
305-604-2110Add to your Trip Planner
I’ve lived off the Atlantic Ocean for 20 years now and during that time have lived through quite a few hurricanes. Unfortunately Miami is a prime location for hurricanes.
Miami is put on alert and we all do our hurricane checklist several times a year. Hurricanes are also not something to play around with. Be aware and be safe. In the case of a bad hurricane you need to have everything you need to survive without any assistance, water or electricity for a MINIMUM of 72 hours! It is up to you to be self sufficient.
Officially the Atlantic Hurricane season is June 1 to November 30th. However, the most probable time for hurricanes is from mid September to mid October (think September 11 to October 11).
My Advice if there is a storm in the Gulf
+ Be aware of the storm and the “cone of uncertainty”. When there is a storm in the Gulf check in at least every 12 hours. In 12 hours the category (how dangerous the storm is) and the hit zone can change dramatically
+ Get supplies on the hurricane checklist early. Stores will run out of supplies! See the checklist below…the most important things are lots of water, gas in your car, food that does not need to be heated or refrigerated (remember the can opener) for you/your pets and children, gas in the car, cash (ATMs don’t work when there is no electricity) and medications
+ Know the hurricane evacuation zone you are in, the storm category rating, and the cone of uncertainty. Use this information to decide on your action plan. Do it early and follow it.
+ If you need to evacuate LEAVE EARLY – I cannot stress this enough. You do NOT want to be on the road when everyone else is evacuating since a 60 mile drive can take you 3 to 6 hours at this time. (be sure to bring your hurricane supplies and a full tank of gas)
My Plan (as a Floridian - I thought this may be helpful to tourists)
Category 1 storm – Have supplies for a week, remove everything from patios and yard (it can fly around and do damage to myself and others).
Category 2 storm – Follow #1 plus board up the house. Since I am in the first evacuation zone (A) I consider staying with a friend in a more secure location (within the local area)
Category 3 storm – Follow #1 and #2 and go to an alternate location. Consider flying out of Tampa or staying with friends out of town. At the very least move to evacuation zone C
Category 4 or 5 – Leave town…most likely via plane. At this point the roads throughout Florida are probably grid locked. Call the airport; find a flight up north or west (Vegas, Philly, Toronto etc) and go
Most news agencies get their information from here and I’ve found that this is the best resource for information
Florida is divided into various evacuation zones. This is mainly based on the risk of flooding which is a main concern during hurricanes. The state orders mandatory evacuations based on these flood zones. Zone A is evacuated first, then B, then Z.
See the local news media for evacuation zones
The Red Cross will open shelters for those who have no place to go. My recommendation is to plan early, find a friend or a hotel before using shelters. If you go bring everything on your list plus, pillows, eye masks, ear plugs and games to pass the time.
see the local news for shelter openingsAdd to your Trip Planner
Hip Hop this, Hip Hop that!
The last 2 times I've been to South Beach, there have been hip hop shin digs going on. 5 years ago was the awards, this time it was a huge festival. My friend and I did not fit in with the crowd and the music style, therefore were forced to forfeit our club night and stick to a smaller area of SoBe where we looked a little more in our element. Check out the weekend happenings before planning a trip here. I wonder what's in store for my next Miami trip...maybe the Hip Hop Olympics???Add to your Trip Planner
TIPPING IN SOBE..A CONTACT SPORT!!!
It has been said before and must be said again...service in Sobe SUCKS. Restaurant staff generally is sullen, rude, full of attitude and when you do not tip at least 15% aggressive.
Only in Miami have I had a non attentive rude waiter have the balls to chase me down the street when I did not leave the "included" gratuity.
I only leave 15% if the service warrants it and in most cases the staff do not deserve it. The tips are expected in Sobe not earned apparently.
The restaurants play this game that they include the gratuity and hoping that the parton will pay without question. I oppose this and suggest that all visitors to Miami watch their bills.
Speak out against rude service!!!Add to your Trip Planner
Be careful with the Manatees when boating
West Indian manatees,
Trichechus manatus are large,
grayish-brown, aquatic mammals.
They range in size from 10 to 12 feet
in length and weigh between
800 and 3,500 pounds.
Their closest living relative is the elephant. They are also known as sea cows.
Manatees are found primarily
in Florida waters,
although in the summer,
manatees can be found in Louisiana
and as far north as the Carolinas
They live in shallow, warm coastal waters, as well as rivers, springs, bays, canals,
and warm water outfalls.
Manatees are gentle and slow moving.
They may rest submerged at the bottom
or just below the surface,
coming up to breathe on the average
of every three to five minutes.
Female manatees have a gestation period of 12 to 14 months and produce one calf every two to five years.
Manatee calves are 3 to 4 feet long
and 60 to 70 pounds at birth.
Females are not sexually mature
until five to nine years old. Calves
may stay with their mothers
for several years after weaning.
These gentle creatures are endangered.
Manatee season here is
November 15-April 30.
The speed restrictions are up in certain areas to protect our beloved manatee during mating season.
Often if you are lucky enough to see
these reclusive creatures you
would be shocked and appalled to see
the number of scars from the
propellers of passing boats.
There are about 2,400 West Indian left
in the United States.
They are protected under two federal laws, the Marine Mammal Protection Act and
the Endangered Species Act.
In Florida, the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act also protects manatees.
Violation of state law is
punishable by a maximum fine of $1,000 and/or imprisonment up to 60 days.
Conviction on the federal level is punishable by a maximum fine of $50,000 and/or
one year in prison.Related to:
- Sailing and Boating
- Water Sports
Visit Ocean Drive during Memorial Day weekend
Memorial Day weekend 2005
If you don't like the crowds, than I advise you to stay away during the weekend of Memorial Day. It was also the beginning of the summer vacation. Miami broke the attendance record when nearly 350,000 people came to South Beach and took over the town.
Lots and lots of (drunken) people, to many cars, long waiting lines for lunch or diner. The whole police department is also on Ocean Drive. About 600 undercover and officers in uniform were on patrol.
"It's a challenging weekend," said a Miami Beach police spokesman. "No other weekend compares to Memorial Day." 324 Arrests were made since Thursday night, mostly for disorderly conduct, disorderly intoxication and misdemeanor drug arrests.
I like Ocean Drive a lot, but not with this crowd. We were staying in Key Biscayne and normally we always go to Ocean Drive, but not this time!
For those who like to party, I guess it's the place to be. You better book your hotel a few months before and make sure that you are staying at the South Beach area so you don't need your car. Be patient, because the roads and beaches are going to be crowded throughout the weekend.Related to:
- Family Travel
Hip Hopping Memorial Weekend in May
During Memorial Wekkend,
you can forget the House Music.
It's that time of the year when the locals leave.
So unless you are into Hip Hop,
it may not be the best time of year to come.
As quoted from NBC6:
'Urban Weekend' Event A Growing Commercial Enterprise
Hundreds of people are already gathering in Miami Beach for Urban Memorial Weekend, an event that brings out the best in hip-hop and gives a boost to the local economy.
An event born with problems in 2001, Urban Weekend has become a cultural and commercial must for members of the hip-hop community.
Organizers predict at least 250,000 visitors to the event this weekend.
"I am about to go to Afghanistan and want to have one last blast before I go," one event attendee said.
Hundreds of parties are being promoted as the city gets ready for the annual blowout.
"Back in 2001, as everyone knows, we were caught unexpected with these crowds, and since then we've implemented a major events plan, which we've implemented over several long weekends, not just Memorial day, and become very successful at doing it," one event organizer said.
Not only is there going to be $2 parking at the convention center parking lot, city officials are also halting all construction on the roadways.
The event is another building block in the South Florida tourism economy, with serious money flowing into the city. It is a ready-made market for hip-hop entrepreneurs.
With the commercial side of the event becoming ever more important, promoters are already working the crowds, pushing CDs by hip-hop artists.
Not only is the event a big party, but it is a big commercial enterprise.
Promoters said that event attendees spend a lot of money on good times and on music and cars, and a lot of major companies will be passing out their message this weekend. The party begins Friday night.Related to:
- School Holidays
- Study Abroad
If you ARE NOT the type of girl
who is looking for that extra attention....
wear the under wear!
Way too many times it has been heard of the sick boys out there
with small infra-red, hidden cameras on their shoes.
Believe it or not.
But then again,
if dancing with no under wear,
you're probably looking for trouble anyway.
on a lesser key,
Miami Beach is known for going topless while sunbathing.
Way too many times,
I've seen those unfamiliar with
seeing a pair of ***,
walking around with their
hand held cameras on,
walking on the beach.
Hmmm...I wonder what they do back home with the footage they collect.
Actually, I once did encounter a web-site of which I forgot the name,
and guess what I saw?
Pictures of girls lying topless on the beach in Miami, South of France, etc.
and even girls with no panties in clubs.
So unless you are an exhibitionist,
put the panties on
or watch out.Related to:
- Women's Travel
Animal Tranquilizer in Drinks
So many times,
I have scolded my female friends
for leaving their drinks
unattended while in clubs.
Or even accepting a drink from a guy
that they did not see the bartender pour.
This includes VIP sections too!
It is common for males
to put animal tranquilizer in drinks
and offer them to girls.
Within minutes you will become droozy
and loose consciousness.
Way too many times,
the girls will wake up in
the morning with no cloths on,
in an unfamiliar place,
and no recollection of what took place.
If you know the person or
remember his face,
PLEASE report this to the police.
Even if you are ashamed to press charges.
It is usually the same guys
who do this over and over again.
And by being reported
there will be a record of it,
incase in the future
someone does decide
to press charges.
This should be stopped!!!!!
I've seen this happen more than once!
NOT COOL!!!!Related to:
- Women's Travel
If you don't like walking
If you don't like to walk, you more than likely will not like Miami Beach. Traffic and Parking are a nightmare. I drove down, and stayed with a friend (he didn't have available parking, so I parked in the parking garage. My car didn't move all weekend. It is so much easier to just walk everywhere. Probably one of the reasons everyone there is so fit!!!Add to your Trip Planner
Warning - expanding ego at large
Ok, so while in South Beach my wife and I had a competition going after a few days - who got more looks from men. I won. Hands down.
Now I have a beautiful wife and she did get a lot of looks, many unwanted and frankly rude; but nothing in comparison to me.
South Beach is very gay friendly, so don't surprised if you get checked out.
Not really a danger, but a warning for guys to be prepared and don't show your ignorance if you get hit on.
Kind of funny actually, especially for a newlywed. No harm no foul.Add to your Trip Planner
All the restaurants add tax...
All the restaurants add tax and service charge (15/20%) onto your final bill. You don’t have a choice about this. Sometimes its annoying because you don’t think the service was good enough to receive such a tip, but you have to pay it anyway.Add to your Trip Planner
As a Miamian its annoying...
As a Miamian its annoying when people from some other city or country come up to me and ask me if I know where they can get some cocaine and other narcs. For some reason they think that Miami is the drug capital of the World. Well guess what the narcatics division of Miami Dade county are up to date with this matter and they are known for being under cover at bars and clubs and are ready to bust any outsiders looking for anything such as Ecstasy,Coke,etc, so my advise is 'dont even go there or just bring your own'!!!Add to your Trip Planner
Just when you though you were going to see a totally cool sand castle at the heart of the park on Ocean Blvd - yup somebody was selling something...
Ok, so it is pretty cool.Add to your Trip Planner
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