2022 Hurricane Preparation Guide

2022-05-18 Hurricane Guide

Hurricane Preparation

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Page 15 of 47

Page 16 By Patrick Fuller CHARLOTTE COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT DIRECTOR We fi nd ourselves approaching our yearly reminder that enjoying our beautiful climate and access to the water means we may experience the impacts of tropical storms and hurricanes. The 2022 Atlantic hurricane season o - cially begins June 1 and early indications appear to point to anoth- er above average season. Whether you are a longtime res- ident of Florida or a newcomer to the state, preparedness is the task at hand. As automatic as renewing your vehicle registration, paying your taxes or spring cleaning, prepared- ness in advance of hurricane season should be a part of your regular routine. The Charlotte County O ce of Emergency Management, along with the other 66 counties in the State of Florida, provide resources to help our residents and visitors prepare for what mother nature may throw our way. Building a disaster kit complete with the supplies you will need to get by on your own for fi ve to seven days is a good fi rst step when tackling the task of preparing for hurricane season. Disaster kits should include non-perishable food, water (one gallon per person per day), medications (two weeks supply), clothes, fl ashlights, batteries, cash, fi rst aid kits, battery or crank operated radios, important documents and don't forget the needs of your pets. A comprehensive listing of disaster supply kit considerations can be found in the Charlotte County Disaster Guide, available at all Charlotte County libraries and online at the Charlotte County Emergency Management website (charlottecountyfl .gov/EM). Disaster kits are there to sustain you and your family in the days after an event. Developing your disaster plan is another important step in preparing for hurricane season. In your plan you should address where you will go if directed to evacuate (shelters should be your last option), how you will communicate with loved ones, what you need to do to prepare your home in advance of a storm and how you will stay informed before, during and after storms. Great sources of information in- clude local television, radio and print media, o cial government websites, social media accounts and emergen- cy notifi cation systems such as Alert Charlotte, a free service available by registering at charlottecountyfl .gov/ alertcharlotte. Understanding your specifi c level of risk helps you to make informed decisions. Knowing your evacua- tion zone ahead of time is critical to understanding evacuation orders from local government. In Charlotte County you can fi nd your evacuation zone by going to charlottecountyfl . gov/knowyourzone. You should also be familiar with your home. Keep in mind that site- built homes fare much better in wind events than do mobile or manufac- tured homes. A sometimes overlooked though vitally important planning factor is the special considerations of the individuals within your household. These considerations can include things such as mobility challenges, young children, medical conditions, and dietary limitations. Thorough planning ahead of a storm helps to reduce stress and allows you and your family the ability to act quickly to ensure your safety. As new residents and visitors fl ock to our region of the state for its beauty and quality of life, it is important that everyone under- stands the potential for tropical storms and hurricanes and takes the steps necessary to be ready for the coming six-month season. Whether this is your fi rst hurricane season, or you are someone who has seen their fair share of storms, please help to spread the word and build our cul- ture of preparedness. Patrick Fuller is the emergency management director at Charlotte County Emergency Management. He can be reached at 941-833-4000 or Patrick.Fuller@charlottecountyfl . gov. Preparation reduces risks caused by tropical weather Follow Charlotte County Emergency Management on Facebook at www. facebook.com/oemcharlottecounty or on Instagram at www.instagram. com/charlotteFLEOC. Sign up for Alert Charlotte at charlottecountyfl. gov/alertcharlotte. Roof damage caused by Hurricane Irma in La Casa Mobile Home Park in North Port in 2017. FILE PHOTOS Gas station lines can be long during storm evacuations as well as after hurricanes, when supplies are low.

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