Hurricane Preparedness for Sarasota and Manatee counties

Thu, Aug 2, 2012

General Legal Issues

 

Hurricane PreparednessAnyone who has lived in Florida long enough has been through some form of severe weather, like a tropical storm or a hurricane. Hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30 because this is the time when weather conditions are best for hurricanes to form in the Atlantic. There is still a lot of time left in Florida’s 2012 hurricane season, so be sure you are prepared.

Everyone can benefit from creating some form of a hurricane preparedness kit. This can range from supplies that get you through a small amount of time all the way to getting you through the worst possible storms. Of course, no one can prepare for storms that create the type of damage that Hurricane Katrina inflicted–but everyone can prepare in some fashion to get through at least a moderate storm.

Some ideas for a good storm kit (or other type of disaster kit) include:

  • Batteries
  • Flashlights
  • Radio
  • Canned food
  • Bottled water
  • Medicines
  • Pet food and supplies
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Matches

Detailed lists of hurricane kits can be found all over the Internet. FEMA has a nice list here. NOAA also has various resources with ideas for those with pets or other special situations.

Those with health problems, the very young, and the very old are at most risk of having trouble during the storm. In addition, those in particular danger are those who live in:

  • areas where the housing is not up to code,
  • areas near the coast,
  • areas prone to flooding, and
  • areas that will sustain large amounts of damage during high winds.

The Florida Division of Emergency Management has developed an extensive guide for Florida citizens to use for storm preparedness, evacuation, and clean up after a storm. (It also includes some great information for other dangerous incidents like riptides or wildfires.) Florida’s 2012 Severe Weather Awareness Guide is available for download here. Also available is a link to maps for all the counties detailing storm surges and evacuation zones.

Every county in Florida has some sort of plan for what their citizens should do during a hurricane. Manatee county’s information is found here. This is where Manatee county residents can find information about shelters, evacuation routes, and suggested storm prep. Manatee county is also offering alerts via email, phone, or text–sign-up is here. (These alerts are for any type of emergency notification affecting the county or surrounding areas.)

Sarasota’s information is found on the Sarasota County government’s website. It offers a great deal of information for different groups (pets, seniors, and businesses) to prepare for storms and it publishes its own All Hazards guide. Here is a link to Sarasota county’s evacuation map and hurricane shelters.

Make sure you plan for how to handle everything from evacuating to cleanup after the storm. Thinking about worse-case scenarios and medical emergencies during storms is also important–as is what you will do if power is out long enough to affect ATMS, gas stations, grocery stores, and other typical conveniences. The CDC has excellent resources for this type of planning. Its Disaster Plan for all types of emergencies is a must-read for everyone.

SmithLaw remembers the panic and mayhem of Florida storms—from Hurricane Andrew through Hurricane Charley. Many people were caught unaware and unprepared. Hurricane Charley taught our local area that the rural east is not immune to hurricane damage and that paths change rapidly. Those devastated by Hurricane Andrew know that modern cities like Miami are not always ready for big storms either. Make sure you and your family thinks about how you will handle unexpected disasters brought by storms and other terrible situations. Call SmithLaw if you have any difficulties with your property insurance claims following a hurricane or other disaster.

Image: Some rights reserved by Chalky Lives

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