By Steve “Stef” Stefanides
At 9:45 AM on Friday a Mandatory Evacuation Order was issued for residents of Marco Island in advance of the impending arrival of Hurricane Irma.
Residents were advised to begin evacuating as early as Tuesday of this week, but shifts in some of the tracking information has caused emergency personnel to upgrade the order this morning. Hurricane force winds are anticipated throughout Southwest Florida.
Fire Chief Mike Murphy warned residents on Tuesday evening that Hurricane Irma is “Hurricane Andrew on steroids,” when he updated city staff.
Shelters are open now in Collier County and information concerning them can be found by accessing the Collier County Emergency Management by coping and pasting this website in your browser:
You should immediately begin your plans to evacuate now.
Activate your plan to evacuate the area and advise your family as to your intentions immediately.
- You’ll also be updated as to when it is safe to return to the city.
- You might be smart to video or photograph the inside and outside of your home prior to any storm and after an event for insurance purposes.
- Please stay well informed of any announcements regarding the storm situation and heed those requests from Emergency Management Personnel.
- If you do evacuate the island, plan on taking any valuables and important papers with you in waterproof containers as well as your medications.
- Secure all storm shutters and other protection.
- Secure all your patio furniture and loose items such as potted plants and other decorative items to eliminate the potential from those becoming flying objects.
- Should you stay in place, make sure you have water for at least a 3-5 day span, as well as food for that period.
- Do not run generators which are “back-fed” into household electrical outlets such as dryer plugs. This is a dangerous and possibly fatal mistake.
- If you do have an auxiliary generator, make sure it is properly fueled and secured.
- DO NOT RUN PORTABLE GENERATORS INSIDE A GARAGE OR YOUR HOME…..Carbon Monoxide may leak into your home and that can be fatal. Always run generators outside of any enclosed areas and insure the exhaust is aimed away from your living areas. Place generators at least 10 feet from any residence, yours or your neighbors.
- DO NOT FUEL a running generator. That too can be a dangerous situation and result in a fire and serious burns.
- Turn off all power in your home with the exception of the necessary appliances such air conditioning and refrigerators.
- Make sure if you stay in place during a storm that you have a portable radio and extra batteries to stay informed of the progress of the storm and any other relevant information.
- Stay off of all roadways after the passing of the storm to insure emergency crews can immediately engage in cleaning up debris and restoring power.
- Remain “sheltered in place” until told otherwise.
- Do not attempt to return to your homes until advised it is safe to do so.
- If you do venture outside after a storm please be aware of downed power lines. Your curiosity can be fatal in this case.
- Emergency personnel will not be able to reach you once the storm begins to lash the island due to concerns for their safety. PLEASE heed the request for evacuation, it can be a matter of life and death for both yourselves and emergency responders.
- Access to the island and your homes will be granted as soon as it is safe for you to return.
- If you haven’t already, go onto the city’s website and sign up for the CODE RED ALERTS. You may do so by simply logging onto the site from your computer at www.cityofmarcoisland.com and click on the CODE RED menu and fill out the form. You’ll be advised of any late breaking information regarding the storm or any other emergencies. You’ll also be updated as to when it is safe to return to the city.
Check back to the Coastal Breeze News for late breaking news regarding the storm and other news regarding the island at www.coastalbreezenews.com.