Hillsborough County – Don’t be fooled by the slow start to storm season: now is the time to prepare

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Florida Preparedness Month is a reminder to take advantage of the extra time to come up with a game plan this hurricane season, which lasts until Nov. 30.

September marks the middle of hurricane season. September is also recognized as Florida Preparedness Month, which is observed annually by the State of Florida and the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

Although no storms have threatened Hillsborough County this year, now is not the time to let our guard down.

If you are already prepared for a hurricane, continue to stay informed and stay alert. If you’re unprepared, it’s never too late to prepare for hurricane season, which continues until November 30.

A great way to stay alert is to sign up for Hillsborough County’s HCFL Alert System, which provides emergency alerts for severe weather, hurricane evacuation, flood warnings, and more.

Preparing for a hurricane doesn’t have to happen overnight. The Florida Division of Emergency Management recommends residents use the month of September to create a plan and use each week to achieve a goal that helps them prepare for hurricanes.

It’s never too late to prepare for hurricane season.

Here are the steps to take throughout September to prepare for hurricanes:

Start the first week by making a plan. Having a plan for every scenario is the best way to reduce your risk in the event of a disaster. Where do you go if you have to evacuate? What if you are sheltering in place? What about your business? What should you have packed and ready? What’s in your disaster kit? Plans should be specific to each household or business. Check out the Hillsborough County Disaster Guide and learn more tools that can be used to help you develop a plan.

During the week of September 5, fill your disaster supply kit with non-perishable food, pet supplies, batteries, flashlights and water. Supply kits should contain enough supplies to last at least seven days for each individual and pet in your party. The supply kit may also include important documents, such as banking information, medical records, and copies of birth and marriage certificates.

For the week of September 12, learn and understand the difference between evacuation zones and flood zones. Evacuation zones are areas that may be ordered to evacuate during a hurricane and indicate areas that could be affected by a storm surge. Flood zones indicate a property’s risk of flooding throughout the year. Find your evacuation zone and flood zone in Hillsborough County.

Also, take the time this week to prepare your property by cleaning gutters and drain pipes. Cut branches and shrubs and remove trees with rotten trunks near the house.

During the week of September 19, make sure the plan and checklist includes the needs of your children and elderly parents, including specialized foods, clothing, medications, and other specific items. And don’t forget the pets. They are part of the family and will need food, medicine and other essentials to weather the uncertainty of a hurricane, just like all other family members.

And for the week of September 26, review your game plan and all the preparations you have made. By developing a plan that includes your children, elderly family members, and pets, creating a kit of disaster supplies, and reviewing your evacuation area and routes, you’ll feel prepared for the rest. of this hurricane season.

Photo Info: Take the necessary steps to prepare. Hurricane season ends on November 30.

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