­­It’s Hurricane Season – Are You Ready?­­­­­­

aerial shot of a hurricane near florida

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Hurricane season officially began on June 1st and ends November 30th. It’s the same every year. The best time to plan for hurricane season is when the weather and your thoughts are clear. Consider a trusted source to get a comprehensive emergency supply list and make your plans now whether you live near the water or inland.

If you live beachside, when evacuation orders are issued, take them seriously. Once sustained winds reach 40 miles per hour, the Florida bridges close. Will you evacuate in town or out of town? Will you go to a shelter or will you stay in your home? There are shelters which allow pets (in carriers) and there are special needs shelters for the infirmed (these require pre-registration). Now is the time to determine how and where you will take shelter in a hurricane. Remember, if you are evacuating with your pets, make sure you have your veterinarian’s contact information, pet vaccination records, pet food, food dishes, pet license, pet tags, a carrier and any medications. Whether you leave or stay, have personal basic paperwork at hand: home insurance policy and car insurance policy. Make sure you have a battery powered emergency radio. Be prepared. Timing is everything.

Major news channels and NOAA are excellent sources of information which will provide public alerts if a hurricane watch or warning is issued. A hurricane watch means a hurricane may hit your area within 48 hours. When a hurricane watch is issued, get your supplies and start securing your home. A hurricane warning means a hurricane is imminent and expected to hit your area within 36 hours. By this time, your home should be secured or you are finishing up minor details. You have evacuated or are sheltered safely in place. Your food and supplies are ready and your pets are cared for as well. If you have a generator, you’ve tested it, put fuel is in gas cans and you filled your car with gas.

Depending on the severity of the storm, the environment can be dangerous. Listen to emergency service broadcasts for warnings regarding downed power lines and flooding. Do not assume the storm is over just because it has passes. Hurricanes change directions quickly. Stay sheltered in place, contact your loved ones and listen for emergency services to provide instructions. If you evacuated, do not return home. Pay attention to instructions from public officials, media, and emergency broadcasting news

Visit Indian River County Emergency Management at www.ircgov.com to find out about specific county instructions and resources for hurricane preparation. When we’re prepared for hurricane season, it’s a breeze.

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