Lee County Emergency Management Encourages Storm Preparedness

May 10, 2017

Hurricane season starts on June first. Lee County Emergency Management wants residents to be prepared. 

Here's a possible scenario during hurricane season:  there's a hurricane or a tornado approaching. The power's out and you're trying to conserve your phone's battery. How will you know about the impending danger? 

Sandra Tapfumaneyi, Emergency Operations Chief, said if you have a weather radio from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an alarm would go off to indicate you need to get to a safer area. 

"And when you get a NOAA radio, there's all kinds of options," said Tapfumaneyi . "We want to make sure that you set it to the county you live in. That way you're getting alerts for where you live."

A NOAA radio
Credit Quincy J Walters / WGCU News

While hurricanes aren't yet on southwest Florida's horizon, Emergency Management wants people ready before the storm. They say people should have a suitcase (or any kind of easy-to-move baggage) with essentials: canned food, medication, batteries. Hand sanitizer, even, because in an extreme case, you may not know when your next shower will be. 

Abigail Soto, with Animal Services, said don't forget your pets. In an emergency, your pet should have more than just a leash. She demonstrated things to pack. 

Abigail Soto and Brandon Scribner remind people not forget their pets.
Credit Quincy J Walters / WGCU News

"I'm packing litter, cat food, water, a can opener, bowls and poopie bags," said Soto . "Gotta clean up after them." 

Soto said to also make sure they're vaccinated and to bring their medical records if you go to a pet-friendly shelter. Microchips also help in case Fido gets lost during a disaster. 

Emergency Management said there's one thing many people overlook: flood insurance. 

Billie Jacoby, a floodplain manager, said if you're in Lee County or along any coastline, you should get flood insurance. 

"All of Lee County is in a flood zone. Now, it's whether you're in a high risk or a low risk [area]," said Jacoby.