Hurricane Preparedness Guide 2023

Hurricane Preparedness Guide 2023

HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS GUIDE

For our seasonal and year-round residents. Please use this resource to stay ahead of the weather!

 

COMMON SENSE PRECAUTIONS

  • Install hurricane-rated windows, shutters, or other protection for your home. Consider purchasing a gas or propane-powered generator.
  • Back up all computer files to iCloud or to a USB drive/disc/backup drive kept in a waterproof container. Ensure dead tree limbs are pruned.
  • Scan important family documents: wills, deeds, stocks & bonds, insurance policies, passports, S.S. cards, credit card and bank account numbers, family records (birth, marriage, death certificates), doctors' numbers or portal passwords, etc. Store important documents in waterproof containers.
  • Review your insurance policies for adequate coverage.

Collier

Maintain a list of emergency numbers:

    • Fire: 239-597-3222
    • Police: 239-774-4434
    • NCH hospital: 239-624-5000
    • Physicians: 239-354-6000
    • Collier Emergency Operations Ctr: 239-252-3600
    • State of FL Emergency info: 1-800-342-3557
    • American Red Cross Southern Gulf region, Naples office: 239-596-6868
    • Collier County Animal Services: 239-252-7387
    • Your Doctors
    • Your Pharmacy

Keep a list of utility service contact numbers:

    • Dept. of Financial Services storm hotline: 800-227-8676
    • Collier County Security: 239-252-8380
    • Water/sewer: 239-252-2380
    • Water Main Breaks: 239-252-6245
    • Trash Collection: 239-252-2380
    • FPL: 239-4OUTAGE

Lee

  • Members with medical or physical needs should pre-register by calling Lee County Emergency Management (239)533- 0622 and requesting information and a registration packet.
  • Alternatively, information and applications can be found online at http://www.leeeoc.com/
  • You should also make your neighborhood leadership aware of your situation.

Maintain a list of emergency numbers:

    • Fire:
      • (Bonita Springs) 239-949-6200
      • (Estero) 239-390-8000
      • (Ft Myers) 239-821-7311
      • (Ft Myers Beach) 239-590-4200
    • Police: (Lee County Sheriffs Office) 239-477-1000
    • Lee Memorial Hospital: 239-343-2000
    • Lee County Emergency Operations Ctr: 239-533-0622
    • State of FL Emergency Info: 1-800-342-3557
    • American Red Cross Southern Gulf region, Local office: 239-278-3401
    • Lee County Animal Services: 239-533-7387
    • Your doctors
    • Your pharmacy

Keep a list of utility service contact numbers:

    • Dept. of Financial Services storm hotline: 800-227-8676
    • Water/Sewer: 239-533-8845
    • Water Main Breaks: 239-533-8700
    • Trash Collection: 239-533-8000
    • FPL: 239-4OUTAGE

 

WHEN LEAVING FOR THE SUMMER

If you are leaving the Association and could possibly be gone during all or part of hurricane season (generally considered June 1 to November 30), please be sure to secure your property and any potential projectiles in your yard or on your lanai. You should prepare as if a hurricane is due by the end of the week. Irma moved some fairly heavy objects, so this includes yard art, potted plants, lanai furniture, grills, signs of any kind, hanging plants, etc. You should also shut off your water and empty your refrigerator of perishables.

*More comprehensive lists are available on the Internet. Links to recommended examples can be found at the end of this document.

 

STAY OR GO DECISION

The decision to evacuate is a personal one. However, there are some things you should take into account.

  • About five days before a storm is predicted to hit the Naples/Ft. Myers area, plane flights fill up, roads become jammed, gas lines begin to form, and water, batteries, and other important supplies sell. Unfortunately, the best time to leave is before you know whether or not the storm will hit our area. The closer the storm gets, the more difficult the evacuation.
  • You will find that according to news outlets, one of the primary concerns is storm surge. The definition of storm surge is no longer the water depth above sea level. The new definition measures the water depth above the ground level wherever you. We recognize that this is not totally accurate, in that it does not take into account your distance inland or your actual elevation. However, the networks are generally giving you a worst-case scenario, and you should make our decision to stay or evacuate based on that. At a minimum, if our Association is in an evacuation zone, you should evacuate.

 

BEFORE THE STORM

  • Listen to news reports for up-to-date progress of an approaching hurricane. The consensus from those who stayed through Irma was that WINK News gave the best coverage and that the WINK News app was a useful tool.
  • Clear your lanai, porch, and yard of anything that might become a projectile in the storm, including door mats and garden hoses.
  • Consider removing some screening panels from your pool cage or cutting the screens with an X to reduce the pressure on lanai frames and potentially save your cage.
  • Protect your non-hurricane-rated windows and doors with shutters or plywood.
  • Have several flashlights and/or battery-powered lanterns on hand with sufficient batteries and test the flashlights.
  • If any of your devices use D-cell batteries, stock up early. They were among the first things to disappear from hardware store shelves. If buying equipment for use during a storm, consider standardizing on one battery type (double A, as an example) so you can keep an adequate supply on hand.
  • Fill your auto gas tanks and propane tanks for grills and generators□ Consider purchasing a battery-operated fan.
  • Consider purchasing a crank or battery-operated radio. If the power goes out, the radio may be your only way to stay informed.
  • Do accumulated laundry before the storm hits.
  • Purchase bottled water early and fill the bathtub with water for drinking. You should test your tub stopper to ensure it holds water for several days. You can use plastic wrap to seal it if it leaks.
  • Each family member and pet should have a gallon a day set aside.
  • Have on hand enough non-perishable food for at least three days. With Irma, the number was more like five days. Have a manually operated can opener on hand.
  • Make and/or purchase ice. You can keep your frozen perishables for several days if you fill your freezer with ice, frozen water bottles, and freezer packs. Large blocks of ice last longer than cubes.
  • Make a list of all prescriptions and ensure adequate prescription and non-prescription medications are on hand to last at least one week. Store in a water-proof plastic bag/container. During Irma, many pharmacies could not fill prescriptions because local inventories had been exhausted.
  • Fully charge cell phones and computers. Consider leaving them plugged in until the power goes out.
  • Take pictures of every room in your house for use with insurance companies later.
  • Identify a way to get out of your home when the power is out. Make sure that you can raise at least one hurricane shutter without power.
  • If you plan to stay through the storm, ensure there is a white ribbon tied to your light fixture, signifying you are in residence. If none has been placed there by your Neighborhood Leader, please tie something white to the fixture yourself.
  • Turn government alerts on. Remove blades from external fans. Turn off hot water heater, etc.
  • Eat your ice cream.

 

IF YOU CHOOSE OR ARE REQUIRED TO EVACUATE

  • Let someone, preferably your Neighborhood Leader, know you are leaving.
  • Protect your important papers and valuables from flooding. One suggestion in case of evacuation is to place papers in your waterproof dishwasher and close it before leaving. If you do this, we recommend shutting off the breaker for the washer. Consider taking photos of each room in your home for insurance purposes.
  • Back up important computer files and store them in a safe place, or take them with you.
  • Just before you leave, take down the white ribbon on your light fixture. Pack bedding and towels for use at a shelter.

 

DURING THE STORM

  • Stay inside and away from windows, skylights, and glass doors.
  • Identify a safe area in your home, such as an interior room, a closet, or a bathroom, to use at the height of the storm.
  • If the power goes out, turn off electricity to all major appliances, pool equipment, and air conditioning at the electrical panel or by unplugging to protect from surges.
  • If flooding threatens your home, turn off the electricity at the main breaker switch.
  • Do not use electrical appliances, including your computer, to protect against damage from electrical surges.
  • Stay indoors to avoid being hit by flying debris. If the eye of the storm passes over your area, there will be a short period of calm, but on the other side of the eye, the wind speed will rapidly increase from the opposite direction.
  • Beware of lightning.
  • Do not use the house phone or take a bath or shower during the storm.

 

AFTER THE STORM

  • Place relevant colored ribbon on your light fixture
    • RED: IMMEDIATE HELP NEEDED
    • YELLOW: HELP NEEDED, but not life-threatening
    • GREEN: Everyone Okay
  • Dial 911 if assistance is needed.
  • When safe to do so, begin to help clear drains to prevent flooding.
  • Check on neighbors.
  • DO NOT drive through flooded areas.
  • Be VERY aware of downed electrical wires. Assume all power lines to be live!
  • Be alert for displaced critters, such as snakes, alligators, or floating fire ants.
  • Do not drink tap water until it has been declared safe by authorities.
  • Do not connect generators to house power unless the generator has a switch that prevents power from backing into the local power supply.
  • If power remains out, use flashlights and battery-powered lanterns and not candles.
  • Assess the damage, including electrical, leaks, unsafe debris, and flooding, and report to Neighborhood Leader. Take photographs of damage for insurance claims
  • Conserve expendables such as water, gas, and food.
  • Run the ice maker for several cycles after the power comes on.

 

IF YOU HAVE EVACUATED OUT OF SW FLORIDA

After the hurricane has passed, if you have left SW Florida and there is an extended period with no electricity, gas lines, etc., consider staying in your place of refuge until services have been restored.

 

IF YOU HAVE A PET

  • Pre-register your pets with the county at (Collier) http://www.colliergov.net/visitors/forms
  • (Lee) https://www.leeqov.com/animalservices/about
  • Ensure all required vaccinations are up to date.
  • Research evacuation accommodations that accept pets: hotels, local shelters, OR friends. **Only service animals are allowed in ALL shelters.
  • Have all pet papers, vaccinations, photos of your pet, proof of ownership, and microchip information together on a USB or in a waterproof bag/container.
  • Have ID and vaccination tags properly secured on pets' collars.
  • Label crates, carriers, bird cages, etc., with name, address, email, and phone contact information. Collect a few favorite toys together to help calm your pet.
  • Prepare a 3-day minimum emergency water and food supply. Wet food is also important because canned food lasts longer, and moisture extends water rations if needed.
  • Have an extra supply of any pet's medications in advance. Include doggy bags and cat litter.
  • Keep spare leashes, collars, and pet carriers handy.
  • Give your pet a good potty break well before the storm arrives.
  • Cover cages of birds with a blanket. Use a spray bottle to moisten feathers in hot weather. Have plenty of cage liners and a solid perch to grasp. Include bags of favorite seeds etc.

If you evacuate:

  • Take all pets with you. Many shelters now accept pets if you contain them in a crate. Most hotels will accept pets during emergency situations.
  • Take plenty of food & water for your pet as well as your pet's vaccination records. Store dry food in waterproof containers and have a manual can opener attached to wet canned food.
  • Keep your dog on a leash at all times and under close supervision.

If you stay:

  • Secure your pet(s). Have a crate on hand for your cat or dog, and use a waterproof marker to write your name, address, and phone number on the crate.
  • Try to remain calm, as your pets will likely be stressed from the situation as well as the dropping barometric pressure. Move slowly and methodically.

 

RECOMMENDED WEBSITES

All Hazards Guide from Collier County

Florida Emergency Preparedness Guide

Collier County Emergency Management Website

All Hazards Guide from Collier County

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