The 2020 Hurricane season started June 1st and ends November 30th. After Hurricane Isaias spared us over the weekend, it is time to look forward as we approach the peak of hurricane season, which is mid-August through late October. Now is a good time for you to review your hurricane plan.
The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasts a 60% chance for an above-normal season, predicting that there is a 70% chance of having 13 to 19 named storms, of which 6 to 10 could develop into hurricanes, including 3 to 6 major hurricanes (Categories 3-5).
The Coastal Breeze News would like to share with you tips from Collier County Emergency Management (CCEM) and The City of Marco Island’s Emergency Management. For more detailed information, we suggest you visit www.colliercountyfl.gov/Home/Components/News/News/42754/1536 for the CCEM. The City of Marco Island’s comprehensive hurricane plan can be found at www.cityofmarcoisland.com/emergency.
The thing to do now is stock up on essential supplies and secure all important documents in an accessible location. Please review this list to see what the Collier County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) says you may need. The City of Marco Island’s list can be accessed at: www.cityofmarcoisland.com/sites/default/files/fileattachments/emergency_management/page/59906/emergency_supply_kit.pdf.
Non-perishable Food: Small, preferably single-serving cans (should not require cooking or refrigeration). Dried fruit, peanut butter and jelly, coffee, tea and pet foods.
Baby Needs: Special foods, diapers, formula, medicines, blankets.
Miscellaneous: Disposable plates, cups utensils, manual can opener, a two-week supply of personal medications, prescriptions, spare eyeglasses, non-electrical clock, batteries, first aid kit, headphones or earphones, flashlight, road maps, wet and cold weather clothing, sanitary supplies, ice chest, portable grill/stove or canned heat.
Drinking Water: One gallon per person/per day in unbreakable containers, water purification tablets (Halazone).
Bedding: Blankets, pillows, sleeping bags or lawn chairs.
Children’s activities: Cards, books, small games, coloring books, crayons.
- Masking and/or duct tape
- Razor knife
- Axe or chainsaw
- Nails and screws
- Portable generator
- Bucket/mop, broom
- Fire extinguisher
- Rope caulk
- All-purpose cleaner
- Shovel, rake
- Plastic sheet/drop cloth
Marco Island’s plan for your boat during a hurricane can be accessed at here
The CCSO also recommends you develop a family disaster plan that meets the specific needs of your family by visiting www.floridadisaster.org. Marco Island’s emergency management plan offers this route for creating an emergency communication plan .
Don’t forget to also develop a pet disaster plan by microchipping your pet, keeping current on vaccinations and determining how to keep your pet safe during the storm. Contact Collier County Domestic Animal Services at 239-252-7387 for more information.
The City of Marco Island offers this link to answer your pet disaster plan needs: www.cityofmarcoisland.com/emergency/page/protect-your-pets.
CCSO and Naples Police Department have implemented the Smart911 database that allows citizens to create a secure safety profile of vital personal and household information, including medications, medical conditions and even photographs of each member of the household. Information about family pets can also be entered. The safety profile will be displayed to 911 call-takers immediately when that citizen places an emergency call. This safety profile provides much richer information than is currently available on incoming calls and can contain the specific details that first responders need in order to save lives.
Smart911 is free and 100% private and secure. Safety profiles can be created by visiting www.smart911.com.
During the storm, keep telephone numbers of local emergency responders readily available. The Collier Information Center phone bank will be opened to answer a wide variety of public concerns including shelter, weather updates and disaster recovery information. The public can call 3-1-1 or 239-252-8444. The Sheriff’s Office non-emergency hotline can also be reached at 239-252-9300. Only call 911 if you are faced with an immediate, life-threatening emergency.
CCSO will also provide updates throughout the storm through its website: www.colliersheriff.org, its Facebook page: www.facebook.com/colliersheriff, and its Twitter account: www.twitter.com/colliersheriff. CCSO will also send out notifications as necessary on its iPhone and Android app, CCSO2go, which is free and available in the iTunes and Google Play app stores.
If you choose to evacuate your home and go to a shelter, it is recommended to bring any prescription medications, drinking water, snacks, bedding (ex: air mattress), entertainment items to help pass the time, and at least one change of clothing. A person with specific medical needs can qualify to go to a special needs shelter to ensure they receive any needed treatment during the storm. Collier County Emergency Management maintains a “Person’s with Special Needs” registry. Persons with special needs must register prior to a storm.
The City of Marco Island offers the following link to shelter information: www.cityofmarcoisland.com/emergency/page/shelter-information.
The City of Marco Island Emergency Management also offers this link to generator safety: www.cityofmarcoisland.com/emergency/page/generator-safety.
Follow local media reports about shelter openings.
Additionally, if you evacuate, make sure to bring along photo identification (ex: driver’s license) and proof of residency (ex: copy of a utility bill) in the event you may need them to re-enter your home.
Before re-entering your home after evacuation, emergency responders will have to ensure it is safe to return. Please be patient as emergency responders must take debris, flooding and other hazards into consideration.
The City of Marco Island offers the following links to information to help you after the storm:
- Electricity: www.cityofmarcoisland.com/emergency/page/electrical-safety.
- Hurricane Debris: www.cityofmarcoisland.com/emergency/page/hurricane-debris.
Additionally, the City of Marco Island offers this link to reference for business re-entry following a hurricane: www.cityofmarcoisland.com/sites/default/files/fileattachments/emergency_management/page/60481/hurricane_re-entry_info_bus.pdf.
If your property has endured significant damage requiring repair, make sure to hire licensed contractors. Unlicensed persons may try to solicit business immediately following a storm and will often ask for payments up-front and perform little to no repair work. The Federal Trade Commission works to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices. To file a complaint or learn more about contractor fraud, visit www.ftc.gov, or call toll free at 1-877-382-4357.