Preparing for Hurricanes and the Zombie Apocalypse

What do hurricanes and zombie apocalypses in Florida have in common? A preparedness checklist from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“What first began as a tongue-in-cheek campaign to engage new audiences with preparedness messages has proven to be a very effective platform,” says the CDC website.

For any natural disaster, including an invasion by zombies, the CDC suggests several items including one gallon of water per person per day, food, medications, sanitation and hygiene items, important documents like a driver’s license or passport and first-aid supplies to treat basic cuts or lacerations that might occur during a tornado or hurricane.

The agency also suggests creating an emergency plan that involves a meeting place for family and friends along with an evacuation location or route.

New for this season is the relocation of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) hurricane hunter aircraft operation from MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa to the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport. In 2016, the Tampa facility announced it no longer had room for the operation.

According to a recent report from WUSF News, the airport’s new 58,000 square foot hangar is slightly larger than what the Air Force base offered.

“We prepare every year to be ready for the entire season,” said Capt. Michael Silah, NOAA’s commanding officer of aircraft operations, during the WUSF interview. Hurricane season for the sunshine state officially runs from June 1 through November 30 each year.

The hurricane hunter’s three missions are: research to improve forecasts for future storms, surveillance to get a feel for where a storm may be heading and reconnaissance when air crews and scientists fly “right into the eye of a hurricane to collect weather data,” said the WUSF news report.

What’s the biggest myth regarding hurricane preparedness according to the Great Hurricane Blowout organization’s website?

Tape.

The website says, “Taping your windows in preparation for a hurricane does nothing to keep your windows intact. In fact, the tape may create larger, potentially deadly shards of broken glass.”

Who created the website? The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) based in Tallahassee, Florida. According to the site, FLASH is the “country’s leading non-profit, consumer advocate for strengthening homes and safeguarding families from natural and manmade disasters.”

This includes a zombie apocalypse.

See the CDC’s Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse complete checklist at
blogs.cdc.gov/publichealthmatters/2011/05/preparedness-101-zombie-apocalypse.

Find Pinellas County’s current All-Hazard guide here.

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