NAPLES — No matter the path of a storm, it’s always important to be prepared and have a plan. The Florida Department of Health in Collier County (DOH-Collier) urges residents and visitors to take action now to prepare for severe weather emergencies.
A key way to cope with a disaster is to have a plan. Following an emergency or disaster, you may lose access to basic services, such as power and water, and be subject to limited or no access to essentials like food and water. The Florida Department of Emergency Management provides an interactive tool, Get a Plan!, to help families and businesses stay prepared. This useful tool allows you to answer a series of questions and create a customized plan for you.
As a part of your emergency plan, we highly recommend signing up for Alert Collier, Collier County’s Emergency Notification System. Alert Collier sends emergency alerts via phone (landline and cell), email, text message, and hearing-impaired receiving devices to thousands of contacts in seconds. Once you sign up, you have the ability to control what contact paths you prefer to be notified by and what locations (within Collier County) are important to you (i.e., home, work, school). Emergency alerts may include notifications of severe weather, evacuations, power outages, boil water notices, or other emergency situations. Sign up today at www.alertcollier.com.
The time may arise when you may need to evacuate your home to go to a safer place. In certain situations, it may be safest for you to evacuate to a more secure location like a shelter. A hurricane evacuation shelter is a refuge of last resort; a place to go if you cannot stay at home or with a relative, friend, or co-worker, or nearby hotel. The Florida Division of Emergency Management maintains a list of open shelters on their website.
When the time comes to evacuate from your home it is important to have an emergency supply kit ready to go. An emergency supply kit should include but not limited to water, food, medications, battery-powered or hand crank radio, flashlight, first aid kit, manual can opener, cellphone chargers and a backup battery pack. With COVID-19 still in our community it is important to pack a few extra items. The CDC recommends including masks, soap, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes to clean surfaces. To find a full list of the recommended supplies visi3t, www.ready.gov/kit
If you have a disability or a special need such as a medical condition, it is vital that you register with your local emergency management office. All emergency management offices maintain a list of people within the community who have disabilities or special needs, so they can be assisted quickly during an emergency. If you are eligible for a Special Needs Shelter, your emergency supply kit should include the following: a list of medications and dosage, a 30-day supply of medications, vital medical equipment for those who may be electrically or oxygen dependent, back-up energy sources for essential medical equipment, any dietary needs or food, as well as personal information including photo ID, insurance card, emergency contacts, and your primary care providers contact information.