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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Beginning of Hurricane Season - a copy of email from the City of Fort Lauderdale

 

Today Marks the Beginning of the 2011

Hurricane Season.  Are You Ready?

As residents of South Florida, we are never far from the possible dangers associated with
hurricanes. The most important step everyone can take to survive a hurricane is to prepare. 
If you have not completed your hurricane preparations, the time to do so is now.
  

Prepare a Disaster Supply Kit Now!

Have enough emergency supplies to last for at least 3 days. At a minimum, be sure to include:
_ Water (one gallon per person per day)
_ Non-perishable, ready-to-eat food (manual can opener)
_ Disposable plates and utensils
_ Battery-powered flashlight
_ Battery-powered radio
_ Extra batteries
_ First aid kit
_ Cash
_ Prescription medication (two-week supply)
_ Eye glasses or contact lenses
_ Toilet paper, soap, wipes, personal hygiene items
_ Large plastic garbage bags
_ Change of clothes, gloves, sturdy shoes, rain gear
_ Blankets and pillows
_ Keys (home, vehicle, boat)
_ Tools (including rope, duct tape, tarp)
_ Unscented bleach
_ Supplies for those with special needs (infants, children, seniors and pets)
_ Important documents (driver's license, birth certificate, insurance papers, medical records)
_ Analog Telephone

Before Hurricane Season

. Develop a disaster plan for you and your family.
. Visit www.fortlauderdale.gov/hurricane to determine if your home is in a flood zone or
mandatory evacuation zone.
. Obtain materials to secure your home's doors and windows.
. If you live in an evacuation zone, decide in advance where you will go and plan at least two
evacuation routes.
. If evacuating, make arrangements in advance for pets.
. If you plan to shelter-in-place, locate a safe room - an interior, first floor room with the
fewest windows and doors. Large closets and bathrooms often work best.
. Pick two places to meet if your family cannot return home.
. Select an out-of-state contact for everyone to call if the family is separated.
. Post emergency telephone numbers and teach children how and when to call 911.
. Check your insurance coverage and update if necessary.
. Make plans to secure your boat.
. Trim trees and branches.
. Consider taking disaster preparedness classes.
. Visit www.fortlauderdale.gov or call 954.828.8000 to sign up for the City's CodeRED®
emergency notifications.

During a Hurricane Watch

A Hurricane Watch is issued when there is a threat of hurricane conditions within 36 hours.
. Monitor local media for hurricane progress reports.
. Secure windows and doors with shutters or shielding materials (visit www.flash.org for
more information).
. Review your evacuation plan. Make sure your route is accessible as some roads may be
closed or blocked.
. Fuel and service your vehicle.
. Bring in unsecured items such as outdoor furniture, plants, trash cans, recycling bins,
bicycles and toys.
. Store tap water to use for cleaning and flushing toilets.
. Store important documents in waterproof containers.
. Check emergency supplies and stock up on any necessary items, including prescription
medications and items for those with special needs.
. Turn your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest settings. Open only if absolutely
necessary and close quickly.
. Unplug small appliances.
. Get extra cash.
. Secure boats.
. Do not put bulk trash or yard waste out during a Hurricane Watch or Hurricane Warning.

During a Hurricane Warning

A Hurricane Warning is issued when hurricane conditions - sustained winds of 74 mph or
greater - are expected within 24 hours.
. Continue monitoring local media for storm updates.
. Complete preparation activities.
. Turn off utilities if told to do so by authorities.
. Close all interior doors. Secure and brace external doors.
. If you evacuate, leave early, take your emergency supplies and pets. Avoid roads that
are closed, blocked or flooded.
. Tell someone outside of the storm area where you are going.
. If you are ordered to evacuate and do not, you risk being cut off from police, fire and
emergency medical services for an extended period of time.
. Mobile home residents and those with special needs should always evacuate.
. If you shelter-in-place, take family members, pets and emergency supplies into your safe
room and remain there until local authorities tell you it is safe to come out.
. Use battery-powered flashlights. Do not use candles or other open flames as light sources.
. Do not go outside in the calm of the hurricane "eye." The storm is not over. Intense winds
will return from the opposite direction.

After a Storm

. Call the City's Hurricane Hotline at 954.828.8888 and listen to radio 1610 AM for
important updates.
. Return home only when local officials tell you it is safe to do so.
. Inspect your home. Call your insurance company if you have sustained damage.
. Stay off the streets. Do not drive until local authorities tell you it is safe.
. Report water main breaks, damaged sewer lines or blocked storm drains to 954.828.8000.
. Stay away from all downed power lines and report them to FPL at 1.800.4OUTAGE.
. Stay away from standing water as there may be live power lines below.
. Use telephones only for emergency purposes.
. Never drive through flooded streets.
. Monitor local media for boil water alerts.
. Throw away spoiled food and personal items that have come in contact with floodwaters.
. Never use a generator indoors.
. Use caution when clearing debris. Wear protective clothing and keep children and pets
 inside.

Important Phone Numbers

City of Fort Lauderdale:
Hurricane Emergency Hotline - 954.828.8888
24-Hour Customer Service Center - 954.828.8000
Police Department Non-Emergency - 954.828.5700
Emergency - 911
City Commission Office - 954.828.5003
City Hall - 954.828.5000

Broward County:
Emergency Management Agency - 954.831.3900
Hurricane Hotline - 954.831.4000
TTY Hurricane Hotline - 954.831.3940
Special Needs Registry - 954.537.2888
TTY Special Needs Registry - 954.537.2882
Mass Transit - 954.357.8400

State of Florida:
Division of Emergency Management - 850.413.9900
FEMA - 1.800.621.FEMA (3362)
National Flood Insurance - 1.888.379.9531
Florida Power and Light (FPL) - 1.800.4OUTAGE (1.800.468.8243)
BellSouth (Repair Service) - 1.877.737.2478
TECO/People's Gas Company - 1.877.832.6747
American Red Cross (Broward Chapter) - 954.763.9900

Important Websites

City of Fort Lauderdale - http://www.fortlauderdale.gov/
Broward County Emergency Management Agency - www.broward.org/disaster
State of Florida Division of Emergency Management - http://www.floridadisaster.org/
Florida Power and Light (FPL) - http://www.fpl.com/
American Red Cross (Broward Chapter) - http://www.arcbcc.org/
TECO/People's Gas Company - http://www.peoplesgas.com/
National Flood Insurance - www.fema.gov/business/nfip
National Hurricane Center - http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

Hurricane Evacuation Map:

Generator Safety
Be sure to observe these guidelines when using a gas-powered generator:
  • Always observe the manufacturer's instructions for safe operation.
  • Run your generator outdoors in a well-ventilated area. Never run a generator indoors.
  • Protect your generator from exposure to rain. Operate under a canopy, if possible.
  • Make sure your generator is on a level, stable surface.
  • Keep combustible materials away from generators.
  • Never plug the generator directly into the main circuit for your home.
  • Keep up with your generator engine's maintenance schedule for peak performance
  • and safety.
  • Check the oil daily, or after every eight hours of operation.
  • Before refueling, turn engine off and let cool at least two minutes.
  • Keep gas fresh. Add a gas stabilizer when planning to store your generator unused
  • for 30 days or longer.  
Portable generators can be hazardous if used improperly. The two biggest risks are carbon
monoxide poisoning from the toxic engine exhaust and electrocution from connecting the
generator to the home electrical wiring system.

To avoid carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning:
  • NEVER use a generator indoors or in attached garages.
  • Only operate the generator outdoors in a well-ventilated, dry area, away from air intakes
  • to the home, and protected from direct exposure to rain, preferably under a canopy or
  • carport or in an open shed.
To avoid electrocution:
  • Plug individual appliances into the generator using heavy duty, outdoor-rated cords with
  • a wire gauge adequate for the appliance load.
  • Observe the generator manufacturer's instructions for safe operation.
  • Do not plug the generator into a wall outlet.
  • If connecting the generator into the house wiring is necessary, have a qualified electrician
  •  hook up the standby electrical system, or have the local utility install a linking device
  • if available.
  • If at all possible, avoid connecting the electrical output of the generator into the
  • house wiring. Instead, connect individual appliances that have their own
  • outdoor-rated power cord directly to the receptacle outlet of the generator, or
  • connect these cord-connected appliances to the generator's electrical outlet via a suitable, outdoor-rated extension cord with a sufficient wire gauge to handle the electrical load.
  • Never store gasoline in the home. Gasoline, kerosene and other flammable liquids should
  • be stored outside of living areas in properly labeled, non-glass safety containers.
 

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