June 1, 2015
Hurricane Season Begins!
It’s that time of year again, Hurricane Season! Hurricane Season begins June 1st and officially ends November 30th. We ask that you take time over the coming weeks to prepare yourself, your family, and home for the long season. The last couple of years have been mostly quiet for us in southwest Florida; however, Florida remains incredibly susceptible to tropical storms and hurricanes. Although last year was tied for the fewest hurricane since 1944, the previous years’ were extremely active. 2010, 2011, and 2012 were all tied for the third most active hurricane seasons on record. Also, those years were unique and saw the formation of tropical storms during the month of May as well as a record number of hurricane formations during the months of August and September. It just goes to show that the hurricane season can be very unpredictable.
Even though Hurricane Season begins June 1st, Emergency Management officials are busy year-round working to prepare the community for emergencies. This is done by developing emergency preparedness and response plans; conducting trainings and exercises; implementing public safety technology; as well as conducting community presentations and workshops. But Emergency Management officials can only do so much. It also takes a commitment from YOU! As a resident of Cape Coral, you have to prepare yourself, your family, and your property. In order to do so, it is recommended that you follow these three easy steps:
1. Have a Plan
2. Make a Kit
3. Be Informed
Have a Plan
Take the time to develop a plan that you can use when you are faced with emergency situations. Consider what you would do if you had to leave your home. How will you leave? What do you bring? Where will you go? These are basic question that you should consider when developing a plan. In order to help you answer these questions you can start by visiting Lee County Emergency Management’s website: www.leeeoc.com. There you will find valuable information including the All-Hazards Guide and Family Emergency Plan. These documents will help you to build a plan that you can use all year!
Make a Kit
Making an emergency kit should be a top priority for you and your family. An emergency kit is designed to have some of the most essential items that you will need in an emergency. It should include non-perishable food such as canned foods, energy bars, dried fruit, and other specialty foods or snacks that don’t require refrigeration or cooking. You should also stock-up on plenty of water – at least 1 gallon, per person, per day. Additionally, your kit could include a NOAA Emergency Weather Radio, AM/FM radio, batteries, games, eating utensils, plastic waste bags, as well as clean cloths and towels. Also, if you have children, pets, or require medication, don’t forget to consider those supplies as well. For more information on building the perfect emergency kit, please visit the following websites for great recommendations: The American Red Cross - www.redcross.org, FEMA - www.fema.gov, and the State of Florida - www.floridadisaster.org.
Knowing where to turn to for reliable, up-to-day emergency information is key to making it through a disaster. AM/FM radio, local Television news channels, the Weather Channel, NOAA Emergency Weather Radios, as well as newspapers are excellent sources to stay informed before, during, and after an event. Also, online media sources such as local government websites such as www.capecoral.net, local media websites, as well as social media sources like Twitter and Facebook have become increasingly more important in delivering emergency information. Plan ahead of time how you are going to get your emergency information be sure to follow multiple sources in order to get the most accurate and up-to-date emergency information possible.
The City of Cape Coral is committed to working with our residents, Lee County, the State of Florida, and the Federal Government in order to prepare for and respond to all emergencies including tropical storms and hurricanes. We hope that the following steps can help you to be better prepared for this hurricane season. If you would like a copy of the Lee County All-Hazards Guide or other Hurricane related information, or to learn more about how to be better prepared, please stop by the Fire Department/EOC administrative offices at 1115 SE 9th Avenue. Have a fun and safe hurricane season!