(Editor’s note: The Matlacha/Pine Island Fire Control District Community Emergency Response Team is providing a series on disaster preparedness for islanders.)
Welcome to your CERT team’s series of disaster preparedness articles.
Sheltering in Place!
• The time to develop and practice your family emergency plan is prior to hurricane season.
• Prepare several evacuation or sheltering options for your family.
• Deciding whether to evacuate or shelter in place depends upon the incident or event; each event requires its own decision.
• If you do NOT live in an area that is required to evacuate, sheltering at home with precautions is a safe choice.
• Preparing properly, and offering to shelter friends or family who are required to leave a more dangerous area, will help the entire community get through the storm together.
• Shelter at home if it is safe from winds and storm surge waters, and you are not under an evacuation order.
• Expect the power to be out, and the likelihood that you may be under a boil water notice, if not without water entirely.
• Fill bathtubs/sinks/other containers (even large pots) with water.
• Secure items in and around your home before tropical storm force winds arrive.
• If you have a generator, remember to use it OUTSIDE only, in an area with plenty of ventilation! Remem-ber, generators produce odorless, deadly carbon monoxide gas.
• Perform annual maintenance on your generator before the start of hurricane season.
• Prepare your emergency supply kit before the start of hurricane season.
• Your home emergency supply kit should include the following items:
• Bottled water – one gallon per person and pet per day
• Non-perishable food, enough for 3-7 days
• Manual can opener
• Disposable plates and utensils
• Cooler and ice for food and medications
• Infant and/or senior supplies
• Pet food if you have pets
• Hand sanitizer
• First aid kit
• Two-week supply of prescribed medications
• Batteries for radio, flashlight, hearing aids and other devices
• Books, cards, games
• Battery-operated lamp(s)
• A full list can be found on the Lee County Emergency Management website here, by clicking on the “Emergency Supply List” button: https://www.leegov.com/publicsafety/emergencymanagement/plan
• Add a few pieces to your supply kit each week so that it doesn’t break your budget.
• Remember to check your kit often and rotate the non-perishable food in your kit.
• Consider changing the voicemail message on your phone to say you are safe and at (home or wherever else you are); if your service is sporadic, a caller will still get your recorded message.
• You can help your neighborhood! If you are able, now is a good time to check with neighbors, senior adults or those who may need additional help securing hurricane plans to see how you can be of assistance to them.
REMINDER: Have you organized your insurance policies and personal documents, and stored them where you can easily access them? Have you tested your weather radio?
Below is the summary list of actions you can take now, ahead of a storm, to be prepared. Use this list as a reminder each week of actions you can take now to be better prepared.
Prepare Now actions:
Make an Emergency Plan (article #1)
Know your warnings and alerts (article #2)
Register now, ahead of time, with Lee County if you have Special Needs – online at www.leeEOC.com or by calling Lee County Emergency Management at 239-533-0622; pre-registered registration is required!
Review important documents (article #4)
Strengthen your home (article #3)
Get tech ready (article #4)
Help your neighborhood
Gather supplies (article #2)
Have questions about this article? You can contact the M/PIFCD, Station #1, at 239-283-0030, Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.