provided to The Santiva Chronicle
As we inch closer to summer and rainy season, Floridians should focus on preparing for hurricane season. Hurricanes are dangerous and can cause major damage from storm surge, wind damage, rip currents and flooding. Sanibel Island is at heightened risk for these damaging effects.
Hurricane Preparedness Week is May 1-7, and the Sanibel Fire & Rescue District encourages residents to identify their personal hurricane risk and take this time to prepare their homes and families for the upcoming hurricane season.
Here are a few steps residents can do to prepare:
1. Develop an Evacuation Plan: take this time to find the closest evacuation zone and ensure you have made all arrangements at your local shelters for you, your family, and pets.
2. Disaster Supplies: create a hurricane kit with enough food, water, batteries, candles, a radio, and all medicine or prescriptions, to last you at least one week.
3. Strengthen Your Home: Ensure you have covers for your windows, trim trees located around your home, secure outside items so they don’t blow away, and move your vehicle to a safe location.
“Taking these steps will ensure the safety of our island residents,” said Tim Barrett, Division Chief of Training at Sanibel Fire and Rescue District. “But we also want to strongly advice that if there is a call to evacuate the island, please heed those warnings. Once winds hit a sustained 40 mph all emergency personnel are required to cease emergency assistance and wait until it is safe to start assisting again.”
For more information on the hurricane preparation, we encourage everyone to visit the NOAA website.