LEE COUNTY, Fla. - Emergency crews and law enforcement work around the clock before and after a disaster. They're always prepared for the worst when it comes to hurricanes. We give you a glimpse at just some of their duties during a storm.
"Before a storm, naturally we're actually gearing up in house." said Lt. Larry King with the Lee County Sheriff's Office. "Whether that means moving some of our assets, like helicopters and boats and things like that, out to our gun range area where we can actually store them during a hurricane situation."
Lt. King told us that no time is wasted when danger threatens.
"There are certain parts of the county that need to be evacuated, then naturally, we'll be out on the road, going door-to-door," he explained.
Once the storm strikes, anyone in harm's way needs to take cover even law enforcement.
"During the storm, we'll stay out on the road as long as we possibly can... but at different points, we'll begin to pull personnel into their district offices," Lt. King explained.
Then, once it's safe to go outside, crews are back out on the street performing their normal duties on top of disaster-related tasks. That includes everything from directing traffic to monitoring barrier island re-entry.
"In Hurricane Charley, there were-- Fort Myers Beach is a perfect example, where we couldn't allow re-entry out onto the island until it was deemed safe... we did have to set up access to the island and people were frustrated because it took so long," Lt. King recalled.
But no matter what law enforcement is doing before, during or after the storm, their main goal is to keep you safe.
"Understand that we're human beings too. We're going through the same frustrations, the same delays... we try to be as understanding as possible but also understand from us, we're just trying to do the job and keep people safe and keep property safe as well," Lt. King said.
Depending on where the storm hits, not all law enforcement will need to take shelter at once or even at all. So if you need help, call. If conditions are too dangerous to be out on the road, as soon as things clear up, help will be on the way.
Also, Ambulances are pulled from the road when conditions start to get hazardous. High winds can blow over high-profile vehicles, so they will be parked during the storm. That means if you choose to stay in your home, you should know first aid in case your family needs medical attention. Once the storm passes, emergency crews will first respond to those in the most critical condition.
No matter what, though, if you need help, call 911. Not all parts of the county will be experiencing high winds during a storm so help may be able to reach you!