A team is only as strong as its playbook. The more thorough the playbook, the more successful the team will be. It’s no different for you and your family this hurricane season, as you put together a hurricane preparedness playbook of your own.

In order to keep you and your family safe, your hurricane preparedness playbook should focus on how to prepare before, during, and after the storm.

Before the storm is your time to sign up for local alerts, prepare evacuation plans and emergency kits, protect your property, and safeguard all important documents and records.

  • Local alerts: Sign up to receive emergency notifications to your phone through Alert Pinellas (http://www.pinellascounty.org/alertpinellas/), download Ready Pinellas, and follow the Pinellas County Government and Sheriff’s Office on major social media platforms for real time updates.
  • Know your zone: If you’re unsure if your home is in an evacuation zone visit http://kyz.pinellascounty.org/ to locate shelters near you. For those residents who live on barrier islands, the quickest way to reenter is by having an emergency access permit. To register for a permit visit: https://pcsoweb.com/barrierislandpassapplication.
  • Emergency Kits: Having enough supplies to make it through the hurricane isn’t enough. Your supplies should be able to sustain you and your family during the recovery period as well. Your kits should have enough food and water for each person for at least three days, batteries, radios, phone chargers, and cash. To see additional must-have supplies for your kit, visit page 10 of the 2021-2022 Pinellas County All- Hazard Guide (http://www.pinellascounty.org/emergency/pdf/all_hazard_guide.pdf).
  • Protect your property and important documents: Whether you are evacuating or sheltering in your home, one of the most important steps is to make sure your windows, roofs, and garage doors are protected and secured. Other precautions that should be taken are clear your yard of debris and check the seals around your doors and windows.

The time you spent preparing pays off during the storm. If you are evacuating, take your necessities and follow posted evacuation routes to get to your destination safely. If you are sheltering in your home, remember to stay indoors, stay away from windows and glass doors, and keep generators or other gasoline-powered equipment at least 20 feet away from doors, windows, or vents. Lastly, whether you decide to evacuate or shelter at home, be sure to keep your emergency kits and equipment in an accessible area for use during and after the storm.

After the storm, damage is inevitable and the dangers don’t go away. Keep these tips in mind after the storm:

  • Clean out and clean up: Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces will help keep your family safe and healthy since floodwater can contain sewage, bacteria, and chemicals. Also, be sure to throw away any food items that weren’t maintained at the proper temperature and avoid drinking tap water until it’s safe to do so.
  • Avoid floodwater and electrical equipment: When cleaning up or commuting back to your home, be sure to avoid floodwaters since they can contain underground or downed electrical lines. Any wet electrical equipment should be avoided, and if it is safe to do so, turn off electricity at the main breaker or fuse box of your home to prevent electrocution.
  • Document any property damage: If you notice significant damage, be sure to properly document it with photos and a list of all damaged or lost items for your insurance company.

This hurricane season make sure your hurricane preparedness playbook is setting up your team for success as you keep your eyes on the eye of the storm.

Posted by Verliz Williams Thursday, July 1, 2021 10:04:00 AM

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