It’s that time of year again, hurricane season, designated annually as June 1 through November 30th. And the best way to weather the choppy seas and high winds is to be well prepared – and we’re going to help! We cover all the main issues to be aware of and ways to stay safe, with specific advice for those who live in Indian River County: a good place to start is by signing up for text and phone alerts by visiting: ircgov.com/emergencyservices
I. What to Prepare Ahead of Time in Case of A Hurricane.
Make sure you have:
- An emergency food and water supply.
- An emergency medicine supply.
- Emergency power sources such as flashlights (don’t forget extra batteries).
- Safety and personal items that you cannot do without. This includes medications, hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol, and clean masks for yourself and your family.
- Important documents, including medical documents, wills, passports and personal identification.
- A fire extinguisher.
- Vaccines: consider staying up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines, particularly if you are immunocompromised, as this will minimize your chance of contracting (or spreading) the disease.
- A generator: if you use a generator, make sure you take measures to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
In addition to the above, the Red Cross advises that if you’re asked to evacuate by local authorities, you should heed their advice and go to a safe place. To ensure you’ll find safe shelter, it’s important you plan in advance. Know about local shelters and/or other places you could seek refuge, and how you will get there. Please note that mobile/manufactured/trailer homes and recreational vehicles (RVs) cannot provide safe shelter from hurricane winds or tropical storms.
II. Special Needs:
If you have special needs, you should go to a local special-needs shelter. To ensure you get a space, complete the special-needs application ahead of time. You can find the application for Indian River County by visiting the special-needs section of www.Ircgov.com. Please note that the Emergency Management Division of Indian River County has to approve and register all potential people for the shelter and this process takes time, so be sure to fill out the form ASAP.
III. For Pet Owners:
Indian River County has designated Liberty Magnet School at 6850 81st Street in Vero Beach as the county’s pet-friendly evacuation shelter. The Humane Society of Vero Beach and Indian River County will manage the shelter. Please note that you must bring an animal crate sizeable enough to comfortably accommodate a place for your pet to sleep, a litter pan and a place where your pet can eat and drink. In addition, you’ll need to show proof of a current rabies vaccination as well as a county license, if applicable. Be sure to get to the shelter early as space is on a first-come, first-serve basis. To expedite the process, it’s recommended that you complete the registration form (which you can find on the www.Ircgov.com website) before entering the shelter, although it’s not mandatory to prepare it in advance. For additional questions, call the Humane Society at 772-388-3331.