The Villages Voice - August 2010

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Ask The Chief

by Chief Ed Nathanson

Hurricane/Storm Preparedness 2010

Are you prepared?  Rest assured that whenever severe weather is expected for Lake County and the Town of Lady Lake, that the Lady Lake Police Department and the Town of Lady Lake Public Works Department are ready to go if needed to deal with hurricane / storm related issues.  Emergency management is a continuous endeavor that is regulated by the federal government, the state government and by local governments. The concept of emergency management planning includes government agencies, non-governmental agencies, volunteers and the community.

Planning for emergencies and disasters starts at home. Your family needs to take some time to prepare for emergencies and disasters of all types. When planning for emergencies, don’t just plan for hurricanes. Hurricanes are the “primary incident”. However, the “primary incidents” cause many secondary incidents which can include power outages, tornadoes, flying debris, structural damage, downed trees, blocked road ways, flooding, etc.. Therefore, we need to plan for all of these types of incidents.

You are part of the emergency response team. Therefore, it is your mission to protect yourself, your family and your property by being prepared for all types of emergencies and disasters.

The following safety tips are hurricane warning related.

1. Listen for weather updates and stay informed.

2. Keep a portable weather radio and flashlights on hand with extra batteries.

3. Clear your yard of all loose objects.

4. Store drinking water in clean containers.

5. Plan your evacuation route, know where to go and fill your gas tank.

6. Stay inside and keep away from windows, skylights and glass doors.

7. If you lose power, turn off major appliances to prevent a power surge when electricity is restored.

8. Keep a supply of food and water to last you at least ten (10) days.

9. Pet owners, remember if it is not safe for you, it is not safe for your pet, so plan for them as well.

Also, we encourage you to assemble a hurricane evacuation kit. This kit should be kept ready to go within hours and should include the following.

1. Battery operated radio and flashlight.

2. First aid kit.

3. Two week supply of medicine

4. Blankets or sleeping bags.

5. Extra clothing.

6. Light weight folding chairs /cots.

7. Personal items including books toys and snacks.

8. Important papers to include valid ID and cash money.

Additionally the following link is provided to help you keep current with weather conditions.  http://www.srh.noaa.gov/data/forecasts/FLZ044.php?warncounty=FLC069&city=Tavares

Note: Although shelters are available, they are limited and not designed for comfort as they must be practical. If a hurricane is on the horizon and you have the ability, I would encourage you to take an impromptu vacation out of the path of the storm or even out of state, because there is nothing that you can do to stop it.  Instead, focus on dealing with what we can control such as preventive measures, preparedness kits and safe aftermath clean up. Plan to leave and don’t wait till the last minute as you might find yourself stuck in a parking lot that used to be an interstate or a main road.

Remember it is better to prepare for the worst and have it, then to hope for the best and need it.  Should you have any questions or for additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me.  Stay safe, plan ahead and remember, together we can make a positive difference!  Until next time – let’s be safe out there!