|SARASOTA COUNTY – The start of the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season is quickly approaching and with the impacts of last year’s hurricane season still at the forefront of so many minds, Sarasota County Emergency Management officials strongly encourage residents to prepare and remain vigilant throughout the season. Atlantic hurricane season is June 1 through Nov. 30. The time to prepare is now and it’s important to know the risk, stay informed and be prepared, according to Sarasota County Emergency Services Director Rich Collins. “Do not wait until a storm is approaching. Make decisions and take action to prepare you and your family before hurricane season starts. Have plans for evacuating, a stocked disaster supply kit and a way to stay informed to ensure you’re prepared for an emergency,” Collins added. Emergency Management officials encourage community members to take steps now to prepare for the start of hurricane season on June 1 and assist their neighbors who may be new to the area. Update plans and contact information as well as refreshing items in disaster supply kits as needed throughout the season. For information about how to prepare and available resources, visit the county’s website. Be Prepared: Create an evacuation plan, a communications plan, and a disaster kit that fits the specific needs of a household, including pets.
Residents in low-lying areas, barrier islands and manufactured homes should prepare an evacuation plan and know where they will go in the event they need to leave their home.
Those with homes built to code after 2002, and not in an evacuation level, may be more comfortable sheltering in place, but should still be prepared for power outages or flooding.
A disaster kit should have supplies to last each person and pet up to 10 days. Include important paperwork and medications. Resources and support may not be available within the first week of a storm, depending on its severity, so it’s important to have a well-supplied disaster kit.
Those with qualifying medical needs should complete the Medically Dependent online application. Online applications will stop being accepted at 48 hours prior to expected impact of a storm. Those who need transportation to an evacuation center should fill out the online form. The registration process will close when a storm’s landfall is expected within 60 hours. Keep vehicle’s gas tanks at least half full throughout hurricane season to ensure having enough fuel to evacuate to avoid gas shortages and waiting in long lines before a storm. Know Your Risk and Your Home: Evacuation plans should include knowing when to evacuate. According to Sarasota County Emergency Management officials, there may be risk for storm surge even if water can’t be seen from home. The community is encouraged to check and memorize their hurricane evacuation level, as recent updates to storm surge maps for the area may have changed evacuation levels for some residents. Updated maps are available online at scgov.net/beprepared. Manufactured homes, RVs and homes that are not able to withstand strong winds or heavy rains are not safe during a hurricane. Mobile homes and RVs are always in evacuation level A, regardless of where they are in the county. Having an evacuation plan is crucial in knowing where to go if a home is not safe. Stay Informed: Sign up for Alert Sarasota County or the Sarasota County emergency newsletter to stay informed in the event of an emergency. Sign up for both on scgov.net. In addition, monitor local media and Sarasota County Facebook and Twitter accounts for important preparedness information. Follow directions of local officials and have a flashlight and battery-operated or hand-crank radio available in the event the power goes out. For more information on how to prepare for hurricane season, visit scgov.net/beprepared or call 311 in Sarasota County.
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