July is Loose-Ends Month
You have been busy the past few months finding your home's evacuation level, stocking your survival kit, and preparing your important papers. But, have you taken the time to look at some of the finer points of your personal hurricane preparedness plan? July is the month to tie up the loose ends in your hurricane plans. Some of the items frequently overlooked include:
Preparing your pets. Pets are part of the family, but people end up in dangerous situations time and time again. Should an evacuation be ordered, many pet owners will risk everything because they haven't made arrangements for their pets. With a plan, pet owners can leave their pets safely at a boarding facility or stay with friends or at a pet-friendly hotel.
Your car kit. Your home may be ready, but do you have the essential items in your car? Jumper cables, a flashlight, a first aid kit, a small tool kit and some extra nonperishable food and water may mean the difference between getting to your destination safely and being stuck on the road.
Need a lift? Do you rely on public transportation? If so, the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) has the answer for you. During evacuation orders, PSTA buses run regular rush-hour routes - stopping at the regular bus stops - until wind speeds reach 40 miles per hour. People can board the bus for free and take it to a shelter or to a friend's home to ride out the storm.
Do you have your medicines? Since pharmacies may be closed after a storm affects an area, it's critical that residents get enough prescription medication to last a minimum of two weeks. Florida Statute 252.358 and 462.0275 require all insurers and managed-care organizations to suspend refill-too-soon restrictions when a patient seeks a refill in a county under a hurricane warning or in a state of emergency. Remember to also include over-the-counter medications you may take!
Do you rent? Your apartment may be in a non-evacuation zone, but what will your landlord or property manager do should a storm threaten? Now is the time to check out the plans to ensure you will be safe should we face a storm's impact.
For more tips on how you can tie up loose ends in your hurricane plan, visit Pinellas County's Emergency Management home page or call (727) 464-3800. Surviving the Storm: It's Everyone's Responsibility.
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