Hurricane season less than two weeks away
That was timing, alright.
With a tropical system threatening much-needed rain to the area, Gulf County Emergency Management Director Marshall Nelson and staff are urging residents to prepare.
The beginning of Atlantic hurricane season is June 1.
There are several ways to begin preparation, said Rachel Jackson, the public information officer for the EOC.
Start with signing up online for AlertGulf, with links on the Gulf County Emergency Management website and Facebook page.
AlertGulf is a system which allows users to personalize the type of alerts they want to receive and how they want to receive them.
The system is free to access and provides a host of valuable resources.
In addition, Jackson indicated residents should have a disaster supply kit, a place to go in the event of a natural disaster and a plan for pets and anybody with special needs or a disability.
Disaster supply kit
Gulf County EOC recommends a disaster supply kit include:
Most importantly, the kit should include water (at least one gallon daily per person for 3 to 7 days); and food (at least enough for three to seven days, including food for infants, non-perishable packaged or canned food/juices, snacks, a non-electric can opener, cooking tools, fuel and paper plates/plastic utensils):
In addition, the kit should include blankets/pillows, clothing (seasonal, rain gear, sturdy shoes), a first aid kit (include medicines and prescription drugs); special Items for babies or elderly; hygiene items; moisture wipes, flashlightt/batteries; radio (battery operated and NOAA weather radio); cash; keys; toys, books and games; important documents in waterproof container; and tools.
Vehicles should be filled with fuel and pet care items (from carrier to food to ID to muzzle and leash) should also be part of the supply kit.
Have a place to go
Develop a family plan before an actual storm threatens.
If your family plan includes evacuation to a safer location, then it is important to consider the following points, Jackson said:
• If ordered to evacuate, do not wait or delay your departure.
• Select an evacuation destination that is nearest to your home, preferably in the same county, or at least minimize the distance over which you must travel in order to reach your intended shelter location.
• If you decide to evacuate to another county or region, be prepared to wait in traffic.
• If possible, make arrangements to stay with the friend or relative who resides closest to your home and who will not have to evacuate.
• If a hotel or motel is your final intended destination during an evacuation, make reservations before you leave.
• If you are unable to stay with friends or family and no hotels/motels rooms are available, then as a last resort go to a shelter. Remember, shelters are not designed for comfort and do not usually accept pets. Bring your disaster supply kit with you to the shelter.
• Make sure that you fill up your car with gas, before you leave.
Have a pet plan
If you are a pet owner, that plan must include your pets, Jackson added.
If you evacuate, do not leave pets behind. Pets most likely cannot survive on their own; and if by some remote chance they do, you may not be able to find them when you return.
Have a plan for citizens with Special Needs or Disabilities
A disaster can strike at any time - sometimes without warning. It is especially important for citizens with disabilities and other special needs, to plan ahead for an emergency situation and know what to do in the event of an emergency.
• Know where Special Needs Shelters are located
• Register for the Florida Special Needs Registry a link can be found online @
http://www.gulfcounty-fl.gov/ or by calling 229-9110.