The 2014 Hurricane Season has officially begun! The city of St. Pete Beach wants you to take some time now to prepare yourself and your family for the possibility of a storm here in Pinellas County. Is your disaster supply kit ready? Do you know where your local shelter facilities are?
What to do before a storm approaches:
Plan an evacuation route. Stop by any city of St. Pete Beach Fire Rescue Station or city hall to pick up the Pinellas County Hurricane Guide, or you may access this information on the web at pinellascounty.org/resident/disasters.htm
Have disaster supplies on hand. Including:
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries
- First aid kit and manual
- Emergency food and water (three to five day supply)
- Non-electric can opener
- Essential medicines
- Cash and credit cards
- Sturdy shoes
It’s also important to also make arrangements for pets.
What to do during a hurricane watch:
A hurricane watch is issued when there is a threat of hurricane conditions within 48 hours. Pay close attention to evacuation requirements. This is the time to decide whether to evacuate or stay! Remember shelters should be considered a last resort. Make arrangements to stay with friends or family further inland, or travel to a hotel inland until the storm passes.
- Listen to weather updates and stay informed
- Check emergency supplies
- Fuel car
- Bring in outdoor objects such as lawn furniture, toys, and garden tools and anchor objects that cannot be brought inside
- Secure buildings by closing and boarding up windows
- Remove outside antennas
- Store drinking water in clean containers and bathtub
- Check Disaster Supply Kit
- Review evacuation plan
- Moor boat securely or move it to a designated safe place
What to do during a hurricane warning:
- A hurricane warning is issued when hurricane conditions (winds of 74 miles per hour or greater or dangerously high water and rough seas) are expected in 36 hours or less.
- Listen constantly to a battery-operated radio or television for official instructions
- Store valuables and personal papers in a waterproof container on the highest level of your home
- Stay inside, away from windows, skylights, and glass doors
- Keep a supply of flashlights and extra batteries handy; avoid open flames, such as candles and kerosene lamps, as a source of light.
- If power is lost, turn off major appliances to reduce power “surge” when electricity is restored.
If you go to an evacuation shelter, you should plan to take pillows, blankets, personal hygiene items, books, toys for the kids, and important papers such as insurance policies, driver’s license, and medical information. Please keep in mind that shelters should be considered a last resort. Animals are not permitted at most shelters. Make arrangements through your veterinarian on where you can place your pet if you choose to go to a shelter.
If you have special needs that require assistance and you do not have a friend or relative that can help you, please call the city of St. Pete Beach Fire Rescue Department at 363-9206 to register for the Special Needs Evacuation list.