Hurricane Season 2011: Are You Prepared?

August 27, 2011

I found this video on YouTube and thought I’d share it. Hurricane Irene bypassed the Tampa Bay area but we might not be so lucky on the next one. Are you ready?

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Find your evacuation zone before you really need to know

August 24, 2009

hurricaneAs we move deeper into the 2009 hurricane season we all need to be diligent. I’ve posted many articles on about the ways we can be prepared, but this article should prove to be particularly useful. We need to have a plan for evacuation in advance so that when the call comes we’re ready and able to implement the plan safely, quickly and efficiently.

To look up information about your evacuation zone you’ll need to visit the Pinellas County Emergency Management web site. Once there you can plug in your home address and instantly be given vital  information you’re going to need during a required evacuation:

  • Closest Hurricane Shelters
  • Special Needs Shelters
  • Closest Accommodations

The information provided by the Pinellas County Emergency Management site will vary depending on when you run your search.  When we’re not under the threat of a hurricane you’ll see the above three pieces of information, but when a hurricane is coming and Pinellas County has issued an evacuation order, you’ll see some additional information. At that point only the hotels in higher evacuation levels and non-evacuation zones will appear on the web site. So bookmarking the web address is not a bad idea.

I strongly suggest you all find your evacuation zone TODAY or before you really need to know! Hurricane Bill skipped right past us last week, but it is inevitable that we won’t be so lucky one of these times. Be prepared.

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Hurricane Readiness: Disaster Supplies Kit Checklist for Pets

May 14, 2009

dog_and_cat_white_background-1Disaster Supplies Kit Checklist for Pets

  • Food and water for at least three days for each pet, food and water bowls and a manual can opener
  • Depending on the pet, litter and litter box or newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags, grooming items, and household bleach
  • Medications and medical records stored in a waterproof container, a first aid kit and a pet first aid book
  • Sturdy leashes, harnesses and carriers to transport pets safely and to ensure that your pets cannot escape. A carrier should be large enough for the animal to stand comfortably, turn around, and lie down. Your pet may have to stay in the carrier for hours. Be sure to have a secure cage with no loose objects inside it to accommodate smaller pets. These may require blankets or towels for bedding and warmth and other special items
  • Pet toys and the pet’s bed, if you can easily take it, to reduce stress
  • Current photos and descriptions of your pets to help others identify them in case you and your pets become separated, and to prove that they are yours
  • Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems and the name and telephone number of your veterinarian in case you have to board your pets or place them in foster care.

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May 13, 2009

number-3Step 3. Develop Your Family Disaster Plan

By completing a disaster plan in advance, you can ensure that you and your family are more prepared for all types of disasters and other emergencies.

Families can cope with disaster by preparing in advance and working together as a team. Create a family disaster plan including a communication plan, disaster supplies kit, and an evacuation plan. Knowing what to do is your best protection and your responsibility.

  • Find out what could happen to you
  • Make a disaster plan
  • Complete the checklist
  • Practice your plan

Find out what could happen to you

Contact your American Red Cross chapter or local emergency management office — be prepared to take notes:

  • Ask what types of disasters are most likely to happen. Request information on how to prepare for each.
  • Learn about your community’s warning signals: what they sound like and what you should do when you hear them.
  • Ask about animal care after disaster. Animals other than service animals may not be allowed inside emergency shelters.
  • Find out how to help elderly or disabled persons, if needed.
  • Next, find out about the disaster plans at your workplace, your children’s school or daycare center, and other places where your family spends time.

Create a disaster plan

Meet with your family and discuss why you need to prepare for disaster. Read more

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May 13, 2009

number-2Step 2. Prepare to Evacuate

Expect the need to evacuate and prepare for it. The National Weather Service will issue a hurricane watch when there is a threat to coastal areas of hurricane conditions within 24-36 hours.

When a hurricane watch is issued, you should:

  • Fill your automobile’s gas tank.
  • If no vehicle is available, make arrangements with friends or family for transportation.
  • Fill your clean water containers.
  • Review your emergency plans and supplies, checking to see if any items are missing.
  • Tune in the radio or television for weather updates.
  • Listen for disaster sirens and warning signals.
  • Prepare an emergency kit for your car with food, flares, booster cables, maps, tools, a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, sleeping bags, etc.
  • Secure any items outside which may damage property in a storm, such as bicycles, grills, propane tanks, etc.
  • Cover windows and doors with plywood or boards or place large strips of masking tape or adhesive tape on the windows to reduce the risk of breakage and flying glass.
  • Put livestock and family pets in a safe area. Due to food and sanitation requirements, emergency shelters cannot accept animals.
  • Place vehicles under cover, if at all possible.
  • Fill sinks and bathtubs with water as an extra supply for washing.
  • Adjust the thermostat on refrigerators and freezers to the coolest possible temperature.

If You are Ordered to Evacuate

Because of the destructive power of a hurricane, you should never Read more

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May 13, 2009

number-1Step 1. Take the First Steps for a Hurricane Plan

If you are under a hurricane watch or warning, here are some basic steps to take to prepare for the storm:

  • Learn about your community’s emergency plans, warning signals, evacuation routes, and locations of emergency shelters.
  • Identify potential home hazards and know how to secure or protect them before the hurricane strikes. Be prepared to turn off electrical power when there is standing water, fallen power lines, or before you evacuate. Turn off gas and water supplies before you evacuate. Secure structurally unstable building materials.
  • Buy a fire extinguisher and make sure your family knows where to find it and how to use it.
  • Locate and secure your important papers, such as insurance policies, wills, licenses, stocks, etc.
  • Post emergency phone numbers at every phone.
  • Inform local authorities about any special needs, i.e., elderly or bedridden people, or anyone with a disability.
  • Make plans to ensure your pets’ safety.

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Hurricane Readiness: Emergency Supplies You Will Need

May 2, 2009

hurricane_suppliesYou should stock your home with supplies that may be needed during the emergency period. At a minimum, these supplies should include:

  • Several clean containers for water, large enough for a 3-5 day supply of water (about five gallons for each person).
  • A 3-5 day supply of non-perishable food.
  • A first aid kit and manual.
  • A battery-powered radio, flashlights, and extra batteries.
  • Sleeping bags or extra blankets.
  • Water-purifying supplies, such as chlorine or iodine tablets or unscented, ordinary household chlorine bleach.
  • Prescription medicines and special medical needs.
  • Baby food and/or prepared formula, diapers, and other baby supplies.
  • Disposable cleaning cloths, such as “baby wipes” for the whole family to use in case bathing facilities are not available.
  • Personal hygiene supplies, such as soap, toothpaste, sanitary napkins, etc.
  • An emergency kit for your car with food, flares, booster cables, maps, tools, a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, sleeping bags, etc.

You can find more information on emergency plans and supply kits at

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