June is a significant month for Floridians since it marks the beginning of hurricane season. There are a number of things you can do now to prepare, so you aren’t scrambling when the threat of a hurricane is just miles away. Here are a few tips to get your emergency planning started.
First and foremost, it’s important to know your evacuation zone in the case of a mandatory evacuation order. This is different than your flood zone. Visit http://kyz.pinellascounty.org/, or download the free Ready Pinellas app on your mobile device to find out which zone you are in.
Mandatory evacuations are issued when the probability of storm surge is high, and loss of life could occur if residents don’t leave. These evacuations will be ordered up to a certain letter zone and will always include mobile homes. If your evacuation level is ordered to go, it is imperative that you move quickly but safely outside of the evacuation area. The Pinellas County Interactive Hurricane Evacuation Level Inquiry resource is also available to answer any emergency-related questions: 727-453-3150.
Make a plan in case you must evacuate. Stay with trusted family members or friends, if possible. As a last resort, you can go to an emergency shelter. A few of them are specifically designated for citizens with special needs and some are pet friendly. If you need transportation assistance to any Pinellas County shelter, register in advance online at www.pinellascounty.org/specialneeds.
If you live in a barrier island community, make sure you are registered for an emergency access permit. When a mandatory evacuation order is lifted, law enforcement officials will scan emergency access permits at designated re-entry points. Barrier island residents may register directly with their city government during its general office hours year round, so don’t wait until an evacuation order has been issued to secure yours. If you registered for and still possess your emergency access permit from a prior year, you DO NOT need to register again. To determine if your city is included in the barrier islands, visit www.pcsoweb.com/emergency-access-permit, or call the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office non-emergency line at 727-582-6200.
Lastly, create a shelter-in-place hurricane survival kit by purchasing essential items now. The list below can serve as a guide as you prepare. Follow the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office on Facebook @PinellasSheriff and Twitter @SheriffPinellas for timely information regarding preparedness tips and important safety alerts. You can also follow the #getreadypinellas hashtag to instantly view posts related to emergency preparedness. We are all in this together.
Hurricane Survival Kit Items:
Non Emergency Line: (727) 582-6200 | In an Emergency call 911ADA info