The 2007 Atlantic Hurricane Season starts June 1, and while we’re all hoping for a repeat of the very mild 2006 season, it could just easily be as bad or worse than what we experienced in ‘04 and ’05, when hurricanes Frances, Jeanne and Wilma hammered us. These storms certainly drove home how important it is to plan properly for ourselves and our family.
There are many things we should all do now that the season is at hand. Take a few minutes to see if you live in an evacuation zone by checking the Surge Area Mapping System (SAMS) on pbcgov.com, and determine if you are better off staying put or leaving the area when a storm threatens. Familiarize yourself with evacuation routes, go over your insurance policies, and start gathering your nonperishable emergency supplies.
Now is the time to write up an emergency plan for you and your family, get important papers together, inspect and repair your shutters, windows and doors, check the roof for cracks and leaks, trim trees, and remove excess landscape vegetation.
If you plan to leave town and stay with a friend or at a hotel, firm up those arrangements now. And don’t forget about your pet(s). You must preregister to bring your dog or cat to the County’s pet-friendly shelter in West Boynton (233-1200). If you or a family member are disabled or have other medical needs, the Special Needs Shelter at the fairgrounds (712-6400) also requires advance registration.
Getting safely through hurricane season is everybody’s responsibility. All residents should be prepared to spend five to seven days without electricity. This means having enough food, water, fuel, clothing and medicine on hand. To help you prepare, Palm Beach County Public Affairs is once again issuing our Official Hurricane Survival Guide with important information, updated phone numbers, checklists and tips to keep your family safe before, during and after the storm. The new guide will soon be available at all County buildings and branch libraries.
One more thing. Our emergency management people do a fantastic job, but they can always use a hand. If you can help out, your time and effort will be appreciated.
|ASSIST WITH ANIMALS
Main shelter at 7100 Belvedere Road, WPB
Pet-friendly shelter at West Boynton Recreation Center
2100 Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard
West Palm Beach, FL 33409
|WORK AT A SHELTER
American Red Cross
|PROVIDE EMOTIONAL SUPPORT
United Way of Palm Beach County