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Longboat Fire Department: How to prepare for storm season

The following was provided by the Town of Longboat Key Fire Department’s Tina Adams

Are you prepared?  Do you have a Plan?  Living on an island brings additional challenges and reasons more so on why you need to be prepared and have a plan before a storm arrives.  The Town of Longboat Key ask that you prepare and have a plan for you and your family now.

Know the risks and danger signs by staying informed by the Town and paying attention to the information provided by our Emergency Operation Centers.  You can easily stay informed with the Town of Longboat Key, by registering with CodeRED at www.longboatkey.org, or calling 941-316-1999 for assistance.  Join the Town’s social media Twitter account @TownofLBK.

When a voluntary evacuation is recommended, do not wait; go then, as it will be easier, quicker, and safer for you to get to your safe place destination.  When a mandatory evacuation is issued, please leave.  When Town official’s, police, and fire/ems leave the island due to their safety, help will not be able to respond to assist you if needed.  Water and electric more than likely will not be available to you.

Develop a plan for where to go.  May it be staying with friends, family, hotel, or shelter, remember to make sure wherever you go, you are out of the affected zone.  When choosing a hotel, reserve a room sooner than later as they tend to fill up quickly.  Verify with the hotel if they are equipped with generators.  If a family member is unable to use stairs, request a 1st floor unit, just in case they lose power, as the generator in use may not supply elevators. If choosing to go to a shelter, it’s important to know that cots and food are not provided.  Shelters get very cramped, loud, and are not comfortable.  All of our shelters are now pet friendly; however, they do need to be in a carrier and you will be responsible for looking after them.  Bring your emergency supply kit with you wherever your plan takes you.   

• Provide by FEMA www.ready.gov, the following should be in your assembled emergency supplies kit:

• Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation

• Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food

• Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both

• Flashlight and extra batteries

• First aid kit

• Whistle to signal for help

• Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation

• Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

• Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)

• Prescription medications and glasses

• Pet food and extra water for your pet

• Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container

• Sleeping bag / blanket for each person

• Cash or traveler’s checks and change

• Matches in a waterproof container

ª Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items

If you have family, friends, and or neighbors, that have special/medical needs, it is important to have that person registered in the Medical Needs Program.  This program will assist those who qualify with transportation and sheltering during a disaster.  For those that are not already registered, contact the Town of Longboat Key Fire Rescue at 941-316-1944 to be properly registered for this program.

By making sure you have all of the above in order, you will find yourself to be less stressed, and not left wondering with all of the unknowns.  The Town of Longboat Key simply wishes to remind all of our residents and businesses of how important it is to prepare now and have a plan for, not if, but when we are in danger of another hurricane.  We invite you to visit the Town of Longboat Key’s website, click on Hurricane Information, or contact, Tina Adams, Fire/EMS Liaison, PIO, 941-316-1944 for additional assistance or resources that may assist you with your planning.

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