Islamorada Fire Rescue Urges Everyone to Be prepared For Hurricane Season
Hurricanes and tropical storms in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, usually form June 1 through November 30 (the official hurricane season). However, hurricanes can develop before and after these dates. A tropical weather system becomes a hurricane when its sustained winds reach 74 mph. As was seen with Hurricane Andrew, gusts can reach 200 mph. Because the Florida Keys consists of a chain of small, low-lying islands, we are very vulnerable to both high winds and storm surge associated with hurricanes. For your personal safety, therefore, it is very important that you read and act on the following information.
Your first step is to ...
DEVELOP A FAMILY PLAN FOR HURRICANE SURVIVAL
PLAN A. Relocate Outside the Keys.
Your safest option is always to leave the Keys whenever a hurricane threatens the area. Leave early to avoid traffic congestion and bad weather. Find a safe destination and get off the road as soon as possible.
PLAN B. Go to a Designated Monroe County Shelter During a Category 1 or 2 Hurricane ONLY.
Do not stay in your home or go to another person's home unless you are certain it will be safe. You may wish to go to a Designated Monroe County Shelter. These shelters will not be opened unless your safety in them is assured. Shelters in Monroe County are safe for Category 1 & 2 hurricanes. If a Category 3, 4, or 5 hurricane threatens Monroe County, no shelters will be open and evacuation to the mainland becomes mandatory.
Please note: Emergency Medical, Fire/Rescue, and Law Enforcement units will not be able to respond once Hurricane conditions arrive. Services will NOT be restored until weather conditions subside, roads are made passable and equipment is operable.
SPECIAL MEDICAL NEEDS
If you are dependent on life support systems, or any medical device, which requires electricity, be aware the power may be off for some time during and after a hurricane. You MUST therefore plan to relocate early to the mainland for any hurricane.
All persons with a potentially severe medical need or dependency should contact their provider or Monroe County Social Services for detailed preparedness information.
SPECIAL NEEDS REGISTRY (IN-HOME SERVICES)
Upper Keys: (305) 852-1469
WHO SHOULD EVACUATE?
CATEGORY 3, 4, AND 5 HURRICANES:
BY STATE STATUTE, ALL PERSONS ARE REQUIRED TO COMPLY WITH AN EVACUATION ORDER. IN THIS CASE, YOU WILL BE DIRECTED TO GO TO THE MAINLAND.
FOR ANY HURRICANE:
1. All persons that live in mobile homes, travel trailers, recreational vehicles (RVs), and boats are required to evacuate.
2. Without regard to structure type, all persons that live in low-lying areas or directly adjacent to the water will receive a recommendation to evacuate.
3. All persons that are sick, elderly, or disabled (including women in the third trimester of pregnancy) will receive a recommendation to evacuate.
BEFORE HURRICANE SEASON
Early in the hurricane season you should:
Develop a family plan for hurricane survival.
Plan what you will do with your pet if a hurricane threatens.
Inventory personal property, and safely secure all records and valuable documents (consider a safety a deposit box).
Obtain the necessary materials to protect your windows and doors - SHUTTERS ARE A MUST!
Trim trees and branches; remove coconuts and other yard debris (beware of power lines).
Check your roof and the structure of your house. Make necessary repairs.
Check your fire extinguishers.
Make arrangements to secure your boat.
Identify a friend or family member that you will keep informed about how you are doing. Instruct other friends and family members to get this information from them. This person must live in an area that will not be threatened by the hurricane.
Put together a personal disaster survival kit. Include, at a minimum:
-Portable radio with extra batteries. -Flashlights with extra batteries. -First Aid kit.
-Portable ice chest.
-Canned and non-perishable food.
-Emergency cooking supplies and utensils.
-Drinking water storage containers.
-Emergency repair supplies.
-Medicines and sanitary supplies, including extra diapers. -Prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses.
-Phone directory of people you may need to contact.
WHEN A HURRICANE THREATENS
Any time a tropical weather system threatens Monroe County:
Monitor local radiobroadcasts for emergency information. Emergency Management recommends that every family also have a NOAA Weather Radio.
Re-check all emergency supplies and equipment to be sure that you have enough supplies, and that everything is in good working order. You should be able to be self-sufficient for a minimum of two weeks.
Fill your car's fuel tank and check the oil, water, and battery.
Secure your storm window shutters; tape windows to minimize flying glass, make any other necessary repairs.
Locate the main cut-off switches for electricity, water and gas. Secure LP gas tanks.
Secure your boat immediately.
If you have not done so already, secure all essential records and documents in a safe, watertight place.
If you do not have a car, make arrangements with a friend, relative or neighbor to go with them to a shelter or evacuate to the mainland.
Be prepared to evacuate upon the recommendation or order of Emergency Management.
IMPORTANT HURRICANE INFORMATION NUMBERS
MONROE COUNTY EMERGENCY INFORMATION LINE:
NOAA Weather Radio (Village of Islands area): 162.45 MHz
Monroe County Emergency Management:
Islamorada Fire Rescue:
Cable T.V., Ch.5 – Ch. 16 – Ch. 52 throughout the Keys