SOUTHWEST FL — The Atlantic Hurricane Season is approaching, and the experiences of last year’s Hurricanes Ian and Nicole are still fresh in the minds of Floridians. The Florida Department of Health in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hendry, Lee, Monroe, and Okeechobee Counties encourage residents to prepare now to protect their health heading into the hurricane season.
Here are key steps you can take:
• Florida Special Needs Registry: If you know or care for an individual with a disability or special need, such as a medical condition that requires assistance but not hospitalization, you should pre-register with the Special Needs Shelter Registry. Your local emergency management office notifies registered residents when there is an evacuation. Again, you must register in advance so emergency planners can contact you during an emergency. For more information, call your county’s emergency management office, or visit the Florida Special Needs Registry at https://snr.flhealthresponse.com/ .
• Keep track of your medications: After a storm, you may have limited supplies of prescription medications, and your local pharmacy might be closed. You need a list of each prescription medication you take, its dosing instructions, and the name and contact information of the prescribing doctor. Keep this information updated and with you when a storm threatens, and bring your medications with you for an evacuation.
• Update your contact list: Ensure you bring an updated list of all important contacts, including doctors, friends, relatives, out-of-state friends, or relatives. Designate one person who can relay to others about your evacuation and health status and serve as a point of contact for others trying to reach you.
• Know your equipment: After a storm, many people are hurt or killed by carbon monoxide poisoning from unsafe generators and the use of potentially dangerous equipment, like chainsaws or other unfamiliar equipment. Learning to use tools before a storm is safer than in a chaotic aftermath. Now is the time to read your owner’s manuals and learn how to use each tool safely.
To learn more about preparing yourself and your family,
visit www.floridadisaster.org/planprepare/preparing-for-hurricane-season or call your county’s emergency management office.