Making sure your family is ready during National Hurricane Preparedness Week

This week is National Hurricane Preparedness Week and it’s the time to make sure you and your family are ready before storms hit.

Whether it’s your first hurricane season or you’ve lived in Southwest Florida for decades, the most important part of planning ahead is knowing how to evacuate.

From the roads to shelters, Hurricane Irma in 2017 provided many lessons on where SWFL can improve.

“Hurricane Irma was [a] rare storm where we evacuated [a] larger area than anything we’ve done in lee county’s history,” said Sandra Tapfumaneyi, public safety director of emergency management in Lee County.

“Always your family action plan should be where are you going to evacuate, when are you going to evacuate, and public sheltering is really your shelter of last resort,” said Dan Summers, director of emergency management in Collier County.

No matter where it is you escape to, have your emergency supply kit. Make sure it includes water, medications, batteries, flashlights, chargers, and maps.

“We do have some friends that are close by in Georgia but I don’t know if I want to drive that far, but I guess that would be my option just to go there,” said Fort Myers resident Jasmine Fedoriv.

“I guess I would just follow the signs in public service warning announcements and do what they tell me,” said Punta Gorda resident Dan Gillen. “For some of the smaller ones I feel comfortable with what we have done with our preparedness. If it was a major hurricane, I think we’re probably not as prepared as we need to be.”

Knowing your evacuation and route out is one of the most important steps.

“Take it seriously, work on your individual and family action plan you know in May and June don’t wait until September to do that,” Summers said.

To find your evacuation zone, click here.

Reporter:Taylor Wirtz
Writer:Drew Hill
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