A program has been set up by
Sarasota County for people who
require assistance to evacuate
in the event of a severe storm.
is necessary to register in advance
by calling the County's People with Special Needs Department, 861-5000, for an
Hurricane Tracking Map:
National Hurricane Center:
Hurricane Survival Tips
More and more people are using cordless phones in their
home. Remember that these require electrical power to function. If
the power is out they won't work. Keep an old phone around for backup that does
not need to be plugged into an electrical outlet. Also if you have a cell
phone get a cord for it that plugs into the automobile cigarette lighter so that
you can recharge the battery in the event electrical power is out for a long
Review your insurance and remember that you need flood and windstorm insurance
in addition to the regular fire insurance. These have to be in place well
before a storm because it cannot be purchased when a storm is approaching.
Create a family disaster plan that makes sense to you.
This will greatly ease the stress of decision-making and will save you time
during final preparations.
Get cash, including a roll of quarters. After a storm, ATMs may not
function and businesses may not be able to process credit cards.
Have sandbags, plastic sheeting, etc. to create a flood barrier around the
entries to your home.
Keep emergency food and water on hand
during the hurricane season.
Fill your gas tank when a hurricane threatens.
Fill prescriptions before a hurricane.
Put important documents in a secure, waterproof container.
Purchase or build hurricane shutters for windows and sliding doors. Tape
does not prevent windows from breaking.
Pick up items in your yard before a hurricane which may become dangerous in high
winds. Patio furniture can be stored in the swimming pool. Remember,
even small items such as potted plants, bird feeders, and lawn decorations can
become deadly projectiles in hurricane force winds.
Remove the propane tank from your gas grill if the grill is not being moved
indoors or if it is stored in the garage.
If you have a pool, protect the filter with a cover and hyper treat the water
with chlorination or bromides.
Stay or Go?
Leave your home if you are in a mandatory evacuation area. If
you stay emergency help will not be available.
The biggest danger is flooding, not winds. Water is the big killer in
hurricanes. The exception to this rule is manufactured homes.
Residents of manufactured housing should evacuate no matter how close they are
to flood zones.
Consider alternatives to official shelters, which quickly become crowded and
uncomfortable. Do you have friends with a secure house? Can you find
a hotel in a safe area?
Stay home if you are not in a mandatory evacuation area or an area that is prone
to flooding and your home is secure.
Place your pet in a crate or carrier during the worst part of the storm.
You don't want them to get out if the house is damaged.
If you leave, turn off gas, water, & electricity. Lock doors and windows.
Let someone know where you are going.
Important Terms to
Tropical Disturbance: An area of
thunderstorms that maintains its indentity for more than 24 hours.
Tropical Depression: A
disturbance with a clearly defined low pressure circulation. Wind can be as
high as 18 mph.
Tropical Storm: A distinct low
pressure area defined by it counterclockwise circulation in the northern
hemisphere and constant winds from 39-73 mph.
Hurricane: A tropical storm that
has reached a constant wind speed of 74 mph or more.
Tropical Storm Watch: An alert
that a tropical storm may pose a threat within 36 hours.
Tropical Storm Warning: An alert
that winds of 39-73 mph may pose a threat within 24 hours.
Hurricane Watch: There is a
threat of a hurricane within 24-36 hours.
Hurricane Warning: Hurricane
conditions are expected in less than 24 hours. This includes 74 mph
winds and/or dangerous high tide and surf. Actions for protection of life
and property should begin immediately.
Advisory: Weather advisories are
issued for tropical storms and hurricanes. It will state the location,
intensity, direction of travel, and speed of the storm.
Bulletin: A public release made
during periods between advisories, announcing the latest details of the
Small Craft Advisory: Alerts
mariners to sustained (more than two hours) weather or sea conditions,
either present or forecast, that might be hazardous to small boats.
The threshold conditions is 18 knots of wind (less than that in some
dangerous waters or hazardous wave conditions.
Gale Warning: Warning of winds
within the range of 39-54 mph. Gale warnings may precede or accompany a
Storm Warning: A warning of
winds within the range of 55-73 mph.
Hurricane Watch: An advance statement,
not a warning, indicating that a hurricane is approaching. It implies the
possibility of dangerous conditions within 24-48 hours.
Hurricane Warning: This
indicates that winds of 74 mph and higher, or a combination of dangerously
high water and rough seas, are expected. When this is given hurricane
conditions are considered imminent and may begin immediately, or at least
within 12-24 hours.