The storm’s arrived, you’ve heard the warning…are you prepared? Hurricane season is June 1st through November 30th. To reduce stress and anxiety that a storm may bring, be proactive and plan ahead. Preparation is key to protecting your home, your family and pets.
Watch vs. Warning
If a storm has the ability to occur within 48 hours, it’s considered a Hurricane Watch. If it’s expected to hit within 36 hours, it’s a Hurricane Warning. If a warning is issued, follow weather updates and emergency instructions.
If a warning is issued, evacuate when told to go. Do not linger. It puts your life in danger as well as first responders should you need to be rescued.
Preparation is the Key
When a storm makes landfall, power may be lost. And this means no television to keep you posted on the storm. Make sure you have a battery-powered radio and a smart phone charger. Remember that text or social media may be the only way to communicate during and after a storm. This also may be the only way to contact family that is not with you.
Additionally, do you have the proper supplies to ride out the storm at your home? Before a storm hits, create a disaster kit:
· Water (1 gallon per person, per day for three days)
· Non-perishable food, pet food
· Flash lights
· First aid kit
· Wrench to cut off utilities
· Local maps
· Can opener
· Cell phone charger (battery powered)
· Gas in your car
· Generator (if possible)
Other Items to Prepare
Other important preparations include:
· Get flood insurance
· Board up your home
· Take pictures of your home before the storm
· Trim or remove damaged trees
· Buy a portable generator
· Keep your car in good working condition, gas tank full
· Determine if you live in an evacuation area; you need to know your home’s exposure to storm surges, flooding and wind.
After the Storm
When the storm clears, return home when given the green light by emergency services. Check with family, watch out for debris, never touch a downed power line and do not walk through flood waters. Safety is most important.
Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT)
To get prepared, consider joining a CERT class. It is a free, 8-week class, 3 hours per meeting and one night a week. The North Collier Fire CERT team instructs you how to care for yourself, your family and your community in times of emergency. The next class will begin August 12, 2017. For more information check out our website www.northcollierfire.com, click on the “community” tab and click on CERT. You can download the application on this page and check out information about upcoming classes.
Collier County Emergency Services
If you need access to emergency services following a disaster, the Collier County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) can assist, including contact information for police, hospitals, utilities, fire and other governmental agencies. Collier County Emergency Operations Center Hotline is (239) 252-8444 and their website is http://bit.ly/collieremergency
North Collier Fire Facebook Page
Also, follow North Collier Fire on Facebook. Our District will provide real time information and updates during a disaster to help keep you safe.
Remember, preparation is the key to staying safe this hurricane season.
The Board of Fire Commissioners
North Collier Fire Control and Rescue District