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The Official American Red Cross

HURRICANE

GUIDE

2011 Featuring everything from:

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SCRIPPS NICHE PUBLICATIONS • tcpalm.com • HURRICANE • Thursday, May 26, 2011

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RESIDENTS OF URBAN UNINCORPORATED ST. LUCIE COUNTY In preparation of the upcoming hurricane season (June 1st - Nov. 30th), please remember that once a storm has been named, do not place vegetative debris at the curb for collection as it may not be collected until after the storm. If the work is completed by the resident, the debris needs to be stacked, at the curb, in neat piles with pieces not exceeding four feet in length and less than fifty pounds each.

DO NOT trim vegetation just prior to a storm as it will not be collected until after the storm has passed. In addition,

DO NOT place garbage curbside just before a storm as it may become flying debris.

AGAIN, DO NOT TRIM TREES & PLANTS OR PUT GARBAGE CURBSIDE JUST BEFORE A STORM ARRIVES.

Vegetative waste (trees, limbs, shrubs but no lumber of any kind) must be placed curbside away from power lines, fire hydrants, mailboxes or anything that may be damaged by automated collection equipment. Vegetative waste must be separated from any other waste. It must not be in trash cans or plastic bags.

For iinformation f i on end of life electronics or for information on Mercury containing devices visit us @ stlucieco.gov/solid_waste/index.htm In an effort to protect our local environment, recycle your end of life electronics and mercury containing devices. Prevent Mercury from entering the landfill by bringing mercury containing devices to the Baling and Recycling Facility ili

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HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS ❱ GET READY

Red Cross wants you to be ready for disaster Many things make living here special, among them extraordinary weather and our beautiful coastline. With our unique location comes responsibility. Hurricane preparedness is part of that responsibility. We are proud to partner with Scripps Treasure Coast newspapers to provide access to the local information you will need to be ready for the upcoming hurricane season. In these pages you will find guidance on the steps to take before, during and after the storm. Whether it is fire, flood or the devastating aftermath of a hurricane, local residents know that their neighbors – well trained Red Cross volunteers – will be there to help them in their hour of greatest need. Red Cross volunteers train year-round, in everything

f r o m client ser vices to mass care, to be prepared on a moment’s notice to meet the needs of the community for disaster relief and support. To learn about how our volunteers S. Eccleston Jane Camman make our communities safer, bet- J. Bronstien ter places to live, please visit our website at www.pbtcredcross.org/ these simple preparedness tips: Get a Kit. volunteer. Make a Plan. Be Informed. We hope you will never be in a situation where you have to call on your local Red Jim Bronstien, Scott Eccleston, Cross. But do take comfort in knowing that Jane Cammann your neighbors will be there for you. Enjoy Volunteer Chairpersons of your local the resources in this guide and remember American Red Cross Chapters

‘Get Informed’ is first Red Cross step to emergency preparedness Contact your local emergency management office or local American Red Cross Chapter to gather the information you will need to create a plan. ●●Community hazards: Ask about specific hazards that threaten your community (e.g. hurricanes, tornados, flooding) and about your risk from those hazards. Information can be also obtained through each county’s

emergency management offices (see Emergency Contact Numbers article in this issue). ●●Community disaster plans: Learn about community response plans, evacuation plans, and designated emergency shelters. Ask about emergency procedures that exist in places you and your family spend time such as places of employment, schools, and child care centers.

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SCRIPPS NICHE PUBLICATIONS • tcpalm.com • HURRICANE • Thursday, May 26, 2011

“People think a Category Four hurricane is four times stronger than a Category One hurricane,” said Jack Southard, emergency operations manager for St. Lucie County in 2010. “It’s actually 100 times more damaging than a Category One storm.”

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HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS ❱ GET READY

SCRIPPS NICHE PUBLICATIONS • tcpalm.com • HURRICANE • Thursday, May 26, 2011

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Plan ahead for storms, floods, disasters, any emergencies When a disaster strikes, there may not be much time to act, according to John Toebe, CFM, associate project manager for the Martin County Engineering Department. Preparing now for an emergency will give you and your family time to react safely and in a well thought-out manner, Toebe said. A plan of action for you and your family can go a long way toward reducing potential suffering from any type of disaster that could strike. He offers a few tips to preparing a family-disaster plan: ▶Plans should be kept simple. The best emergency plans are those that are easy to remember. If you must evacuate your home, it is always best to take your

Red Cross: Make a plan before it is an emergency

pets with you. Be familiar with escape routes in case you need to evacuate your neighborhood. ▶Plan several escape routes for different situations. ▶Find the safe spots in your home for each type of disaster. ▶Instruct household members to turn on the radio or television for emergency information. ▶Select one calling point, possibly a friend or relative, where family members can contact, if they are separated from the rest of the family. ▶Learn and post emergency phone numbers and information. ▶Take a basic first aid and CPR class. ▶Stock a disaster supply kit.

Kids can help plan, too. Visit these sites just for you – FEMA’s www.ready.gov/kids, www. fema.gov/kids; Florida’s www.kidsgetaplan. com.

IF MOTHER NATURE STRIKES YOU...

Meet with family members. Review information you gathered about community hazards and plans. Explain dangers to children and work with them as a team to prepare your family. Include caregivers in your meeting and planning efforts. ▶Choose an out-of-town contact. Ask an out-of-town friend or relative to be your contact. Following a disaster, family members should call this person and tell them where they are. Everyone must know the contact’s phone numbers. After a disaster, it is often easier to make a long-distance call than a local call from a disaster area. ▶Decide where to meet. In an emergency, you may become separated from family members. Choose a place outside your home, in case of damage to your home. Choose a location outside your neighborhood in case you can’t return home. ▶ Complete a family communication plan. Include contact information for family members, work and school. Your plan should also include information for your out-of-town contact, meeting locations, emergency services and the National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222). A sample form for recording this information can be found at www.ready.gov or at www.redcross.org/contactcard.

These websites also provide blank wallet cards on which contact information can be recorded and carried in a wallet, purse, backpack, etc., for quick reference. Teach children to call emergency phone numbers and when it is appropriate to do so. Be sure each family member has a copy of your communication plan and post it near your telephone for use in an emergency. ▶Escape routes and safe places. You may need to evacuate on a moment’s notice. Be ready to get out fast. Be sure everyone in your family knows the best escape routes out of your home as well as where the safe places are (in a hurricane, go to an interior room or closet with no windows). ▶ Draw floor plans of your home. Show doors, windows, stairways, large furniture, disaster supplies kit, fire extinguisher, smoke alarms, collapsible ladders, firstaid kits, and utility shut-off points. Show garages, patios, stairways, elevators, driveways, and porches. Indicate escape routes from each room, and mark a place outside where household members should meet. If someone in your household uses a wheelchair, make all exits from your home wheelchair accessible. Practice emergency evacuation drills twice a year, but as often as you update your escape plan.

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SCRIPPS NICHE PUBLICATIONS • tcpalm.com • HURRICANE • Thursday, May 26, 2011

Don’t Let this Happen To You

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Micco Rd.

People residing in Area 1, from north county line to south Indian River Shores city limits, can use the Wabasso Bridge at County Road 510 to reach the mainland.

95 BREVARD INDIAN RIVER

People residing in Area 2, from south Indian River Shores city limits to Riomar Drive, can use the Merrill Barber Bridge on State Road 60 to reach the mainland.

75 95

2

Fellsmere 3 4

510

13

81st St.

SOUTH COUNTY:

10. Oslo Middle School 480 20th Avenue SW 11. Thompson Lifelong Learning Center 1110 18th Avenue, S.W.

26th St.

PET-FRIENDLY SHELTER

Please note: Do not report to ANY shelter until advised by the local media. Remember: Not all shelters open at the same time and some shelters may not open at all!

Blvd.

41st St.

60

8

8th St.

20th Ave.

4th St. Oslo Rd.

Atlantic Ocean

10

11

INDIAN RIVER ST. LUCIE

Indrio Road

17th St.

9

7

Kings Highway

6. Gifford Middle School 4530 28th Court 7. Glendale Elementary School 4940 8th Street 8. V.B.H.S. Freshman Learning Center 1507 19th Street 9. Vero Beach High School 1707 16th Street

River

6

13. Treasure Coast Elementary School 8955 85th Street Sebastian, Florida 32958

Pre-Registration Required To register or obtain additional information about the Special Needs or Pet-friendly shelter, please contact the Indian River County Emergency Management office at (772) 567-2154.

Indian

49th St.

SPECIAL NEEDS SHELTER:

14. Liberty Magnet School 6850 81st Street

1

27th Ave.

CENTRAL COUNTY:

12. Highlands Elementary School 500 20th Street SW

43rd Ave.

1. Fellsmere Elementary School 50 North Cypress Street 2. Sebastian Elementary School 400 County Road 512 3. Sebastian River Middle School 9400 County Road 512 4. Sebastian River High School 9001 90th Avenue 5. Pelican Island Elementary School 1355 Schumann Drive

66th Ave.

14

NORTH COUNTY:

5

58th Ave.

512

t. rS

1

Evacuation routes

rbe

People residing in Area 3, from Riomar Drive to the south Indian River County line, can use the 17th Street Bridge to reach the mainland.

Indian River County emergency evacuation routes and shelters

A1A

Routes to mainland for barrier island residents

Ba

SCRIPPS NICHE PUBLICATIONS • tcpalm.com • HURRICANE • Thursday, May 26, 2011

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HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS ❱ GET READY

SCRIPPS NICHE PUBLICATIONS • tcpalm.com • HURRICANE • Thursday, May 26, 2011

Use this Red Cross-ready checklist to prepare a kit When a disaster strikes, it may not leave your family much time to prepare. After a disaster, local emergency officials and relief workers will be on the scene, but they will not be able to reach everyone immediately. It could take hours or even days before help can get to your neighborhood. Preparing a disaster kit will help your family better cope with the situation. At minimum, have these basic supplies. Keep supplies in an easy-to-carr y emergency preparedness kit to use at home or take with you in case you must evacuate. Some necessary items in every disaster kit include: ▶Water: one gallon per person, per day (5-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home) ▶Food: nonperishable, easy-to-prepare items (5-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home) ▶A non-electric can opener, cooking tools and fuel, paper plates, and plastic utensils. ▶Toiletries, such as toothpaste and brush; deodorant and soap; shaving equipment; personal hygiene supplies; shampoo; wash cloth and towel; and toilet paper. ▶Garbage bags, resealable plastic bags and tarps. ▶Supplies for infants, including bottles, diapers, formula, bottled or nursery water. ▶Supplies for senior citizens, including special dietary considerations and incontinence pads, hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane. ▶At least a two week supply of prescribed family medicines, as well as a typical first aid kit with bandages, antibiotic ointment, headache medicine and antacids. ▶Blankets, pillows and extra clothing. Battery-powered NOAA weather radio and flashlight, and extra batteries. Hand-crank

radio, if possible. ▶Tool kit, with multi-purpose tool. ▶A waterproof container with extra cash and important documents (insurance, bank account and social security cards, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies). ▶Important phone numbers, including the family’s pharmacy, doctors and designated contacts to call in emergency. ▶ C a m era to record damage. ▶Rain gear and hard sole shoes. ▶First aid kit. ▶Cell phone with chargers. ▶Emergency blanket. ▶Map(s) of the area. Consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit. Suggested items to help meet additional needs are: ▶Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl) ▶Two-way radios ▶Extra set of car keys and house keys ▶ Manual can opener Additional supplies to keep at home or in your kit: ▶Whistle ▶N95 or surgical masks ▶Matches ▶Rain gear ▶Towels ▶Work gloves ▶Tools/supplies for securing your home ▶Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes ▶Plastic sheeting ▶Duct tape ▶Scissors ▶Household liquid bleach ▶Entertainment items ▶ Blankets or sleeping bags For more information, visit www.RedCross.org. © American National Red Cross

Be Red Cross Ready Checklist

▶I know what emergencies or disasters are most likely to occur in my community. ▶I have a family disaster plan and have practiced it. ▶I have an emergency preparedness kit. ▶At least one member of my household is trained in first aid and CPR/AED. ▶I have taken action to help my community prepare.

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SCRIPPS NICHE PUBLICATIONS • tcpalm.com • HURRICANE • Thursday, May 26, 2011

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HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS ❱ GET READY

How to handle your food and water in an emergency If a hurricane, flood, or tornado strikes, you might not have access to food, water, and electricity for days or even weeks. Take time now to store emergency food and water supplies to provide for your family. ▶Emergency food supplies: Though it is unlikely that an emergency would cut off your food supply for two weeks, consider maintaining a supply to last that long. You may not need to buy foods to prepare an emergency food supply. Use canned goods, dry mixes, and staples on cupboard shelves. Check expiration dates. Follow the practice of first-in, first-out. ▶Preparing an emergency supply: Take into account your family’s unique needs and tastes. Familiar foods lift morale and give a feeling of security in times of stress. Include foods they will enjoy and that are also high in calories and nutrition. Foods that require no refrigeration, water, special preparation, or cooking are best. Those with special diets and allergies will need particular attention, as will babies, toddlers, and the elderly. Nursing mothers may need liquid formula, in case they are unable to nurse. Dietetic foods, juices, and soups may help the ill or elderly. Have a manual can opener and disposable

utensils. Don’t forget nonperishable foods for your pets. ▶Storage tips: Keep food in a dry, cool spot. Open food boxes and other re-sealable containers carefully so that you can close them tightly after each use. Wrap perishable foods, such as cookies and crackers, in plastic bags and keep them in sealed containers. Empty open packages of sugar, dried fruits, and nuts into screw-top jars or airtight canisters for protection from pests. Throw out canned goods that become swollen, dented, or corroded. Use foods before they go bad, and replace them with fresh supplies, dated with ink or marker. Place new items at the back of the storage area and older ones in front. ▶Shelf-life of foods for storage: Use within six months: Powdered milk — boxed Dried fruit Dry, crisp crackers Potatoes Use within one year, or before the date indicated on the label: Condensed meat, vegetable soups Canned fruits, juices, and vegetables Ready-to-eat cereals and uncooked

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instant cereals Peanut butter and jelly Hard candy and canned nuts Vitamins May be stored indefinitely: Wheat. dried corn, soybeans Vegetable oils Baking powder, salt Instant coffee, tea, and cocoa Noncarbonated soft drinks White rice and dry pasta Bouillon products Powdered milk in nitrogen-packed cans ▶If the electricity goes off: First, use perishable food from the refrigerator, pantry, garden, etc. Then, use foods from the freezer. To limit the number of times you open the freezer door, post a list of freezer contents on it. In a well-filled, well-insulated freezer, foods will usually still have ice crystals in their centers (meaning foods are safe to eat) for at least two days. Make sure the seal on your freezer door is in good condition. Last, begin to use non-perishable foods and staples. ▶How to cook if the power goes out: A charcoal grill or camp stove can be used outdoors. Keep cooked food hot by using

candle warmers, chafing dishes, and fondue pots. Use only approved devices for warming food. Canned food can be eaten right out of the can. If you heat it in the can, open the can and remove the label before heating. Always make sure to extinguish open flames before leaving the room. ▶Emergency water supplies: A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day. People in hot environments, children, nursing mothers, and ill people will require even more. You will also need water for food preparation and hygiene. Store at least one gallon per person, per day. Consider storing at least a two-week supply of water for each member of your family, or as much as you can. If supplies run low, never ration water. Drink the amount you need today, try to find more for tomorrow. Minimize the amount of water you need by reducing activity. Purchase food-grade water storage containers from surplus or camping supplies stores to use for water storage. ▶Store emergency supply of water: It is recommended that you purchase commercially bottled water. Keep bottled water SEE FOOD & WATER, 17

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After the STORM is when the real trouble begins. When your home suffers damage, then the real anxiety of the hurricane experience begins—after the storm has passed, after the lights are back on, and when the insurance adjuster arrives. His job is to follow the firm’s claims mitigation manifesto, designed to shrink your payout as much as is possible. You, however, can thwart that profit motive and protect yourself and your largest investment by providing aerial photographs that document the condition of your home prior to damage and get every last dime you are entitled to!

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SCRIPPS NICHE PUBLICATIONS • tcpalm.com • HURRICANE • Thursday, May 26, 2011

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SCRIPPS NICHE PUBLICATIONS • tcpalm.com • HURRICANE • Thursday, May 26, 2011

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HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS ❱ GET READY

Prepare your home to minimize losses and protect your family There are several things you can do to minimize losses in your home and ensure your family’s safety. Safeguard your possessions Create a personal disaster file containing information about your possessions. Keep it in a secure place, such as a safe deposit box or waterproof container. Include: ▶A copy of your insurance policies with your agents’ contact information. ▶A household inventory. For insurance purposes, keep a written and visual (i.e., videotaped or photographed) record of all major household items and valuables, even those stored in attics or garages. Include serial numbers and store receipts for major appliances and electronics. Have jewelry and artwork appraised. These documents are important when filing insurance claims. For help, visit www.knowyourstuff.org. ▶Copies of critical documents, such as finance records or receipts of major purchases. Prepare your house Clear debris from gutters and downspouts. ▶Anchor any fuel tanks.

Make Red Cross action checklist before the storm

▶Raise your electrical components (switches, sockets, circuit breakers, and wiring) at least 12 inches above your home’s projected flood elevation. ▶Place the furnace, water heater, washer, and dryer on cement blocks at least 12 inches above the projected flood elevation. ▶Move furniture, valuables, and important documents to a safe place. Develop a family emergency plan ▶Create a safety kit with drinking water, canned food, first aid, blankets, a radio, and a flashlight. ▶Post emergency telephone numbers by the phone and teach your children how to dial 911. ▶Plan and practice an evacuation route with your family. Know safe routes from home, work, and school that are on higher ground. ▶Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to be your emergency family contact. ▶Have a plan to protect your pets. For more information, talk to your insurance agent or visit www.ready.gov or www. floodsmart.gov.

▶Know how and when to turn off water, gas and electricity at the main switches or valves and share this information with your family and caregivers. Keep any tools you will need near gas and water shut-off valves. Turn off the utilities only if you suspect the lines are damaged, you suspect a leak or if local officials instruct you to do so. ▶Be sure everyone knows how to use your fire extinguishers (ABC type) and where they are kept. ▶Install smoke alarms on each level of your home, especially near the bedrooms. Individuals with sensory disabilities should consider installing smoke alarms that have strobe lights and vibrating pads. Follow local codes and manufacturer’s instructions about installation requirements. Also, consider installing a carbon monoxide alarm in your home. ▶Check if you have adequate insurance coverage. Homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage and may not provide full coverage for other hazards. Talk with your insurance agent and

make sure you have adequate coverage to protect your family against financial loss. ▶Take American Red Cross first aid and CPR/AED classes. Red Cross courses can accommodate people with disabilities. Discuss your needs when registering for the classes. In a disaster, ordinary items in the home can cause injury and damage. Take these steps to minimize your risk: ▶Have a professional repair defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections. ▶Place large, heavy objects on lower shelves and hang pictures and mirrors away from beds. ▶Repair cracks in ceilings and foundations. ▶ Store weed killers, pesticides, and flammable products away from heat sources. ▶Place oily rags or waste in covered metal cans and dispose of them according to local regulations.

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HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS ❱ BE READY

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SCRIPPS NICHE PUBLICATIONS • tcpalm.com • HURRICANE • Thursday, May 26, 2011

Don’t wait around if disaster strikes According to the American Red Cross, if instructed to take shelter immediately, do so at once. If instructed to evacuate: ▶Listen to the radio or television for the location of emergency shelters and for instructions from emergency officials. ▶Wear protective clothing and sturdy shoes. Take your disaster supplies kit. ▶Use specified travel routes. Don’t use shortcuts because certain areas may be impassable or dangerous. After a disaster: ▶ Administer first aid and get help for seriously injured people. ▶ Check for damage using a flashlight. Do not light matches or candles or turn on electrical switches. ▶ Check for fires, electrical, and other household hazards. Spilled bleaches, gasoline, and other liquids may produce deadly fumes when chemicals mix, or be a fire

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THE ORIGINAL


SCRIPPS NICHE PUBLICATIONS • tcpalm.com • HURRICANE • Thursday, May 26, 2011

12

HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS ❱ BE READY

Floods cause plenty of storm damage, with or without a hurricane BY SHELLEY OWENS CORRESPONDENT

According to the National Flood Insurance Program, 2004 was the costliest hurricane season on record. Florida, hit by five hurricanes that year including two that hit the Treasure Coast head-on, had the most flood insurance claims in 2004. But land-locked Pennsylvania was No. 2 on the list of states with flood claims in 2004. “And we don’t have to have a hurricane to have flood damage. Tropical Storm Fay in 2008 brought heavy flooding in some areas,” said John Toebe, associate project manager in the Martin County Engineering Department. But homeowner’s policies don’t cover damage by floods. For that, you need flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program, NFIP. FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, evaluates all communities that participate in the NFIP through a process called the Community Rating System (CRS), Toebe said. CRS classes are rated from 10, the lowest rating, to 1, the highest rating. Based

on their CRS rating, each participating community earns a discount on the flood insurance premiums paid by residents. Each class improvement earns a 5 percent greater discount on flood insurance premiums for property owners. “Martin County’s current CRS rating is a Class 7,” Toebe said. This classification gives a discount to all flood insurance policies throughout the county, with a 15 percent discount for homes located in FEMA Special Flood Hazard Areas, the highest-risk flood zones, he added. “This amounts to over $1 million of savings to flood insurance purchasers in Martin County,” said Toebe. Indian River and Palm Beach counties are also rated a Class 7 for a 15 percent discount. St. Lucie County, which has a Class 6 rating, gets a 20 percent discount, said Chris Lestrange with St. Lucie County’s Public Works Department. And Okeechobee County residents get a 10 percent flood insurance premium discount, according to FEMA data. Towns and villages are rated separately and have different discount structures. For example, Juno Beach has earned a 25 percent discount. But some of the ratings go back to the

When a tropical storm or hurricane is projected to hit our state, the Florida Department of Financial Services activates a special consumer helpline for Floridians to seek assistance on insurance matters. Call (800) 22-STORM (800-2278676)/ TDD (800) 640-0886. 1990s, which is why the map modernization program is so important today. The new maps are nearly complete. And individual Public Works Departments expect to have the modernization done over the next year. But that shouldn’t keep people from buying flood insurance today. According to NFIP, 25 to 30 percent of all flood claims are from individuals and businesses that are in areas mapped as low to moderate risk. And there is a 30-day waiting period from the time you purchase your policy until the time it takes effect, said Alissa Collins with Plastridge Insurance Agency in Stuart. Flood coverage for your home or business must be purchased separately from your homeowner’s policy, Collins said.

Some homeowners are required by their mortgage holder to purchase flood insurance from the NFIP. For everyone else in Florida, flood insurance is a responsible choice. Renters can also buy an inexpensive flood policy to cover their belongings and businesses can cover their inventory with flood insurance. To learn if you are in a flood zone and to find out about flood insurance, contact your insurance agent, Toebe said. Or call (888) 379-9531 or visit www.floodsmart. gov. Insurance agents who sell flood insurance can get outreach materials and valuable information at https://agents. floodsmart.gov.

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HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS ❱ BE READY

SCRIPPS NICHE PUBLICATIONS • tcpalm.com • HURRICANE • Thursday, May 26, 2011

Flee the flood, hide from wind Stay safe during a flood. ▶Go to higher ground. Get out of areas subject to flooding, including dips, low spots, etc. ▶Avoid areas already flooded, especially when water flows fast. Do not attempt to cross flowing streams. Just six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet. ▶Never drive through flooded roadways. Roadbeds may be washed out under flood waters and just two feet of moving water can sweep an SUV off the road. ▶If water rises in your home before you evacuate, go to the top floor, attic, or roof. ▶Listen to a battery-operated radio for the latest storm information. ▶Turn off all utilities at the main power switch and close the main gas valve if advised to do so. ▶If you’ve come in contact with floodwaters, wash your hands with soap and disinfected water. For more information, visit www. ready.gov or www.floodsmart.gov.

Hurricanes and tropical storms can

pack a powerful punch, with soaking rain, flying debris, high winds and tidal surge. PLUS causing extensive damage in coastal areas, they bring flooding hundreds of miles inland with torrential rains and high winds, a threat to people who don’t even live on a shoreline. MANY expensive Federally-declared disasters HAVE BEEN CAUSED BY Hurricanes.

Hurricane Tips 1. Assemble a disaster supplies kit (see complete list below) 2. Store supplies in a waterproof, easy-to-carry container 3. Prepare a personal evacuation plan ahead of time and evacuate immediately, if advised

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6. Prepare for high winds by obtaining shutters or plywood to cover windows 7. Remove diseased or damaged tree limbs well before a storm strikes 8. Strengthen garage doors with vertical support beams made from 2x4s and “L” brackets.

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14

HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS ❱ BE READY

Flee from flood, hide from wind — with your pets Pets need disaster BY SHELLEY OWENS CORRESPONDENT

Every hurricane evacuation pet owners put themselves in harm’s way because they won’t leave their pets. Pets can’t plan for a hurricane. So it’s up to you to plan ahead for your safety and for the safety of your pets. ▶Hide from wind: If you are not in an evacuation area, if your home is secured and safe and if the approaching storm is not a major threat, emergency agencies agree that you should shelter at home with your pets. ▶Flee from flood: But if your home is not storm-ready or it is in an evacuation area — coastal areas, flood plains, mobile homes and other areas — plan to evacuate with your pets. Stay within 10 miles at the homes of friends or family or a pet-friendly hotel. Or board your pets with your vet or a kennel. If you don’t have those options and live in Indian River or Martin counties, pre-register at a pet-friendly shelter.

Preparations Whether or not you plan to evacuate, your preparations will be the same. Why? Because if you shelter in place and your home becomes uninhabitable during a storm, you will need to evacuate quickly when the storm has passed. Prepare now and even unexpected problems will be easier for you and your precious pet. ▶Pet crate: If your pet is not crate-trained, put the crate out now so your pet becomes familiar with it. You will need a crate as a safe way to transport and contain your pet if you evacuate. Many animals readily adopt a pet crate as a safe place to sleep. Make sure your cat’s crate is large enough for the cat, a litter pan and food and water. Put your pet’s hurricane kit next to the crate so you are ready to leave on short notice or if your home becomes damaged. ▶Leash-train your pet: Animals that are aggressive or not leash-trained may not be

allowed in public shelters. Get help with your dog at www. treasurecoastkennelclub.org/ conformation.htm. If you have cats, visit http://ticau.com. And see excellent cat training tips in the May/June issue of All Animals Magazine online at www. humanesociety.org. ▶Health: By law, your pet must be current in its vaccinations. This is an especially important preparation to make now if you may need to unexpectedly evacuate or shelter your pet during hurricane season. Your vet will provide a health checkup, vaccinate your pet and provide the mandatory rabies tags. Ask your vet if his or her facility is hurricane-safe. Many vets will board your pets during a storm if your home is not storm-secure and if you make arrangements in advance. This is probably the best option if your pet has special health needs; your vet is already familiar with its medications. If you don’t already have a pet license

from your local government, get it now. ▶Evacuation plans: Don’t wait until the last minute to plan. And make your pets part of your plans. Even if you plan to stay at home, have an evacuation plan in case your home becomes uninhabitable. Now is the time to contact friends or family or to register with your vet, boarding kennel or public animal shelter. Emergency managers agree that if you are in an evacuation zone, your first choice is to evacuate to the home of friends or family within 10 miles of your home. Or take a break and go to a pet-friendly, storm-safe hotel. Search accommodations individually online or go to www. floridapets.net for a countyby-county list of shelters and pet-friendly lodgings or the Sunshine State Horse Council www.sshc.org/evac/dbinfo.htm

prep kits, too Gather your pet’s hurricane supplies when you are making disaster kits: ▶Properly-fitted collar (no choke chains) or harness with license, rabies tag and identification, and leash ▶Portable crate/carrier large enough for your pet with bedding, food/water bowls and litter plan (if applicable) ▶Food/water bowls plus a two-week supply of water and pet food in a watertight container ▶Up-to-date health records including proof of rabies, a county license and vaccinations against contagious disease. ▶A recent photo of you with your pet. Keep a copy and put one with your pet crate to help prove ownership in case you are separated. ▶Month’s supply of pet medications ▶For cats: Cat litter pan with cat litter and/or newspapers, litter scoop, and plastic bags for feces disposal ▶Toys and healthy treats and towels ▶First aid supplies Source: Indian River County Emergency Services

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for a list of horse shelters and evacuation procedures. Florida Horse has hurricane preparation guidelines for horse owners at http://floridahorse.com. Friends and family or a hotel are your first choice because you and your pet remain together. Your second choice is your vet or a boarding kennel, especially if your pet has special health care needs. Your last choice is to take your pet to a public shelter. But if you are an Indian River or Martin County resident living in an evacuation zone and you cannot make other arrangements for your pet, sign it up now for a public pet shelter. Pet shelters ▶Martin County: The Humane Society of the Treasure Coast at 4100 S.W. Leighton Farm Ave. in Palm City has a limited

number of spaces for pets from Martin County evacuation zones. Pre-registration is required. Get the forms at www.hstc1. org/disaster and follow instructions. You must provide veterinary records and proof of vaccinations. Or call (772) 223-8822 to have the forms mailed to you. ▶Indian River County: Liberty Magnet School, 6850 81st St. in Vero Beach, provides shelter for Indian River County evacuees and their pets. The county and the Indian River County Humane Society are pre-registering people may be forced to evacuate by order or house condition. Get the application at www.irces.com or http://hsvb.org/emergency.asp. Or call the Humane Society of Vero Beach & Indian River County at (772) 388-3331, Ext. 10. ▶St. Lucie County is planning a pet shelter.

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take your pets with you in an evacuation. If it is not safe for you to stay, it is not safe for them. Know which Motels along your route will accept pets, oR WAIVE NO-PET POLICIES in an emergency. Call ahead for reservations. Most Red Cross shelters cannot accept pets, unless they are service animals, because of health and safety concerns and other considerations.

15

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HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS ❱ BE READY


17

HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS ❱ GET READY in its original container, and do not open it until you need to use it. Store bottled water in the original sealed container, and observe the expiration or “use by” date. ▶Hidden water sources in your home Safe water sources in your home include the water in your hot-water tank, pipes, and ice cubes. You should not use water from toilet flush tanks or bowls, radiators, waterbeds, or swimming pools/spas. Protect your home’s water sources from contamination if you hear reports of broken water or sewage lines, or if local officials advise you of a problem. To shut off incoming water, turn the main valve to the closed position. Know beforehand how to perform this important procedure. To use water in your pipes, let air into the plumbing by turning on the faucet in your home at the highest level. A small amount of water will trickle out. Then obtain water from the lowest faucet in the home. To use the water in your hot-water tank, be sure the electricity or gas is off. Open the drain at the bottom of the tank. Start water flowing by turning off the water intake valve at the tank and turning on a hot-water faucet. Refill the tank before turning the gas or electricity back on. If the gas is turned off, a professional will be

needed to turn it back on. ▶Boiling is the safest method of treating water. In a large pot or kettle, bring water to a rolling boil for 1 full minute, keeping in mind that some water will evaporate. Let the water cool before drinking. Boiled water will taste better if you put oxygen back into it. Pour water back and forth between two clean containers. This will also improve the taste of stored water. Household liquid bleach will kill microorganisms. Use regular household bleach that contains 5.25 to 6.0 percent sodium hypochlorite. Do not use scented bleaches, colorsafe bleaches, or bleaches with added cleaners. Because potency of bleach diminishes with time, use bleach from a newly opened or unopened bottle. ▶To chlorinate, add 16 drops (1/8 teaspoon) of bleach per gallon of water, stir and let stand for 30 minutes. The water should have a slight bleach odor. If it doesn’t, then repeat the dosage and let stand another 15 minutes. If it still does not smell of bleach, discard it and find another source of water. Other chemicals, such as iodine or water treatment products (sold in camping or surplus stores) that do not contain 5.25 to 6.0 percent sodium hypochlorite as the only active ingredient, are not recommended and should not be used.

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HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS ❱ BE READY

By Stephen Bischoff

For the hurricane preparedness guide

As many along the Treasure Coast know from experience, your roof can be the first line of defense during a hurricane. Make plans to secure and protect the roof on your property before hurricane season starts. That way, when a storm does threaten, you can concentrate on the safety of your family or business and know that you have done your best to protect your property. Hurricane winds come from different directions while circling the eye of the storm. Wind can affect your property in very different ways, depending on the design, location and neighboring structures. Hurricane winds can collapse windows, doors, rip off roof sheathing or decking and destroy gable end walls. Additionally overhanging eaves and rakes, extended awnings, open porches and other features that tend to trap air beneath them are particularly susceptible to damage. A roof with an existing leak is weak. This can set up a domino effect resulting in greater damage. The best defense is to have a roofing professional inspect your roof to determine any weak points. Depending on the type of roof system, part of the action

plan could include: ▶Repairing loose shingles or tiles and fixing any leaks. ▶Making sure roof sheathing is properly attached ▶Bracing and securing gabled roofs ▶Checking and sealing flashings and fasteners ▶Insuring gutters are properly attached ▶Complete replacement of the roof to meet new code requirements Many types of shingles are not designed to resist high hurricane force winds. They come with integral locking tabs or factoryapplied adhesives that on occasion do not adhere properly to the underlying shingle because of cold weather installation, uneven surfaces or any number of other reasons. For increased wind resistance, have a qualified person inspect several shingle tabs to see if the adhesive has engaged and check for possible penetration at these weak sections. Damaged shingles need to be replaced immediately. When installed correctly in adherence to building codes, tile roofs can provide excellent protection during a hurricane. It is important to secure any loose tile and check for underlayment issues prior to

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collapse, causing significant damage. However, gable end walls are easy to strengthen and deserve to be a high-priority item. Typically, gable end trusses are directly attached to the top of gable end walls. The bottom of the truss must be securely nailed to the top of the wall and braced to adjacent trusses. This prevents wind from pushing or pulling the gable end at its critical point, where the gable truss is connected along the gable wall. Check loose gutters and downspouts. Backed-up gutters can send water flowing into your property in the event of heavy rains. Also flashings, chimneys or vent pipes should be checked and sealed. If a certified contractor recommends you replace the existing roof, understand that sooner or later, all roofing needs to be replaced. Even the best roofing materials will eventually succumb to weathering, especially in an extreme wind and heat state like Florida, where roofs have a shorter life span than in other parts of the country. If a roof covering is old and worn, patching or limited repairs won’t help. Stephen D. Bischoff is president of Vero Beach Roofing. For more information, call (772) 770-3783 or visit www.verobeachroofing.com.

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storm season. Additionally, loose tile tends to become projectiles during a hurricane, causing untold damage to surrounding buildings. If your property has a metal roof, flashing details need to be checked. If your metal roof has exposed fasteners, they need to be checked to see if they have been installed properly or need to be tightened. On commercial property with roofing systems such as built-up, single-ply and modified, flashings need to sealed and field laps need to be checked for splits in membrane as well as in areas where other mechanics, such as air conditioning workers, could have caused damage to the roof. The connection between roof and walls must be strong enough to resist the “uplift” effect of strong winds. Roof trusses or rafters should be tied properly to exterior walls with metal hurricane connectors or straps. If this is a concern, have a building professional check the connections and use specially designed metal connectors to attach the roof trusses to the wall studs as necessary. If your property has a gable roof, the end wall takes a tremendous beating during a hurricane. If not properly braced, it can

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SCRIPPS NICHE PUBLICATIONS • tcpalm.com • HURRICANE • Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hurricane protection begins with roof above your head


SCRIPPS NICHE PUBLICATIONS • tcpalm.com • HURRICANE • Thursday, May 26, 2011

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25

HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS ❱ STAY INFORMED

Thunderstorms, tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, chemical spills, wildfires, and the St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant are a few of the potential hazards local residents face. Having a battery-operated, tone-alert NOAA Weather Radio is like having your own personal tornado siren — and it will alert you of all impending dangers. The radio should be as common in every Treasure Coast home as a smoke detector. A weather radio provides National Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts and other non-weather related hazard information specific for our region 24 hours a day. During an emergency, forecasters interrupt routine broadcasts and send a special tone activating local weather radios. Weather radios are equipped with a special alarm tone feature to sound an alert to give you immediate information. Visit www.srh.noaa.gov/mlb/?n=nwr for weather radio programming instructions. Find Fort Pierce on Channel 2, 162.425 and West Palm Beach at 162.475. With digital technologies now available on weather radios, the National Weather Service’s SAME code at the beginning of weather broadcasts allows your SAME receiver-type weather radio to filter out

alerts for a geographic area in a nearby state, for example, only broadcasting weather threats that could hit your location. The Martin County Engineering Department offers local SAME codes to program receivers to manufacturer instructions. Martin 012085 Brevard 012009 Palm Beach 012099 Volusia 012127 St. Lucie 012111 Broward 012011 Indian River 012061 Okeechobee 012093 County emergency managers broadcast updates three times a day live on WQCS 88.9 FM and re-broadcast on other local radio and television stations. Monitor broadcasts: times may change. ▶Okeechobee County updates are at 7 a.m., 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. ▶St. Lucie County updates are at 8 a.m., noon and 5 p.m. immediately followed by ▶Port St. Lucie updates are at 8:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. ▶Martin County updates are at 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. ▶ Indian River County updates are at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

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SCRIPPS NICHE PUBLICATIONS • tcpalm.com • HURRICANE • Thursday, May 26, 2011

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SCRIPPS NICHE PUBLICATIONS • tcpalm.com • HURRICANE • Thursday, May 26, 2011

26

HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS ❱ are you READY?

If you qualify, pre-register for special needs shelter now BY SHELLEY OWENS CORRESPONDENT

If you live in an evacuation area and need transportation to a shelter or if you have special medical needs, register with your county emergency management office so you have a safe place to ride out a storm. Health departments and emergency managers require pre-registration so people who need daily medical assistance and monitoring can get shelter without waiting in long lines in deteriorating weather conditions. Individuals in assisted living facilities and skilled nursing facilities will be cared for by their facility, not shelters. People who do not live in a facility and who cannot shelter with caregivers, friends or relatives in an emergency should pre-register to go to a special needs shelter staffed by the local county Department of Health office. You must pre-register Do not show up at a medical needs shelter if you have not registered. You must preregister to reserve a spot. You must also pre-register to arrange transportation to a Red Cross shelter even if you don’t have special medical needs. Refer to Red Cross shelter lists in this issue.

How to register: ▶Indian River County Form: www.irces.com. Return completed form to IRC Dept. of Emergency Services (ATTN: SNS), 4225 43rd Ave., Vero Beach, FL 32967, or call the Department of Emergency Services at (772) 567-2154 to have a form mailed to you. Location: Treasure Coast Elementary School, 8955 85th Street, Sebastian. Do not contact the school for information. The shelter is managed by the County. ▶Martin County Form: Go to the Martin County government home page at www.martin.fl.us. Click on Emergency Information from the list at right. Click on Special Needs under the Fire Rescue Menu list on the right. Home health agencies and the Council On Aging must register their clients for the program. Individuals may get the form online, fill it out and return it to Martin County Emergency Management Voluntary Special Needs Program, 800 SE Monterey Road, Stuart, FL 34994. Or call (772) 2871652 to have a form mailed to you. Location: Dr. David L Anderson Middle School, 7000 SE Atlantic Ridge Drive, Stuart. Do not contact the school for information.

The shelter is managed by the County. ▶St. Lucie County Form: www.stlucieco.gov/eoc/. Return completed form to St. Lucie County Public Safety, 15305 Midway Rd., Fort Pierce, FL 34945. Or call (772) 462-8100 to have a form mailed to you. Location: The Havert L. Fenn Center, 2000 Virginia Ave. Fort Pierce Shelters are no fun No one is required to go to a shelter if their neighborhood is evacuated. Shelters are a last-resort in an emergency and conditions are unpleasant. When the storm has passed and the shelter is closed, you must make arrangements to find a long-term place to shelter, even if your home is unlivable or if you have no electricity. Register for a special needs shelter now as a back-up. But try to make arrangements to shelter with friends or relatives in a safe location with the resources to meet your needs. You may also choose to shelter at home if you do not live in a flood-prone area or evacuation zone and don’t require electricity. People will be admitted to a shelter only after it opens and when their neighborhoods are evacuated. Those who pre-register for

special needs as well as residents who live in areas being evacuated will be notified by phone by a public safety recording or by personnel in their neighborhood. If you drive yourself to a shelter, go to the shelter after it is opened. If you are awaiting transportation, have supplies packed and ready when the driver gets to your home. You may be asked for ID to enter a shelter. This helps public safety officials with your paperwork,and is also a record of where you are in case family from out of town call to learn your whereabouts. What to Bring If you plan to use a shelter, be sure to have supplies ready to evacuate with you. Keep non-perishable items ready throughout hurricane season. Add perishable items and medications before you evacuate. Check the Special Needs registration form for a complete list of supplies. You will likely need: ▶Bedding/pillow for each person and cushion or air mattress. See if you will need to supply a folding cot and cot cushion. ▶Clothing, including warm clothing because of the air conditioning. See SPECIAL NEEDS, 27

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While last year’s storms were mild, another hurricane season is here. Before, during and after a hurricane, 211 Palm Beach/Treasure Coast connects individuals of all ages to community resources. And as preparations are made this hurricane season, 211 Palm Beach/Treasure Coast wants the community to know that: Before a storm, 211: ▶Provides information on emergency shelters. ▶Answers questions about hurricane preparedness. Durning a storm, 211: ▶Offers reassurance for individuals who are isolated and alone. ▶Provides crisis telephone counseling for

people experiencing emotional distress. After a storm, 211: ▶Helps direct qualified resources that are most appropriate to meet their unique needs. ▶Provides referrals to emergency assistance programs, including local distribution centers and meal site locations. ▶Gathers and disseminates other relevant human service information both over the telephone and and via the Internet. ▶Maintains a designated hurricane website, http://hurricane211pbtc.org, containing up-to-date information. For more inforamtion, dial 2-1-1 or visit www.211palmbeach.org or www.21treasurecoast.org.

FROM SPECIAL NEEDS, 26

doctor’s number and family members. ▶Medical equipment including adequate oxygen supplies and equipment. ▶A caregiver if you require assistance with daily living needs. ▶Toiletries and personal hygiene products, eyeglasses and other needs. ▶Papers you need including insurance policies in a watertight container such as a “zipper”-type plastic food storage bag. ▶Cash secured on your person and other evacuation necessities.

▶A bag for dirty laundry. ▶Food that meets your special dietary requirements for up to a week. You may need a one-to-three day supply of food and water (one gallon per person per day) plus disposable cups and utensils. ▶Your medications. Pre-purchase at least a one-month supply of medications in advance in case you cannot contact your doctor or pharmacy after the storm. ▶Emergency contacts including your

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What to do before the storm • Gather important documents including insurance papers, list of agent and carrier phone numbers. • Walk through your home with a video recorder to record images of your belongings and household. • Clear your yard of potential flying debris including lawn ornaments, yard furniture and trash cans. • Install shutters on windows or doors. In the event you have no shutters or other wind mitigation devices, board windows and other openings with plywood that is at least 5/8” thick. • Fill your car’s tank with gas and check fluids and tires. • Take out extra cash in the event ATMs and banks lose power. • Anchor boats or move them to a safe place. • Turn your refrigerator to the coldest setting. Fill jugs and bottles of water to put in your fridge and freezer to help food temperature cold. • Make a list of necessary supplies and stock up before the storm. • Make a list of what to pack if you must evacuate and assemble your evacuation kit. • If you evacuate, notify friends and family of your plans. • Turn off water in the house.

What to do after the storm • Stay where you are until authorities say it is safe to move around or return home. Listen to the radio for information and avoid driving whenever possible. • Flooding is often a problem after a hurricane. Do not drive through flooded areas and keep children away from standing or moving water. • The wind force of hurricanes can result in trees down and other debris scattered. Drive slowly in these areas to avoid damage to your car and tires. • Have a professional check gas, water and electrical lines for damage before use. • Contact your insurance agent. An adjuster will be assigned to visit your home. • Prepare for the agent’s arrival by taking photos or videotaping damaged property. Separate damaged from undamaged belongings.

With seven locations around the state of Florida and a fleet of delivery vehicles, we are able to fulfill your needs in a timely and professional manner. The staff at Decks & Docks represent years of experience to answer any questions you may have. We are dedicated to provide quality materials at the best price in the industry.

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SCRIPPS NICHE PUBLICATIONS • tcpalm.com • HURRICANE • Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hurricane or not, 211 services help


HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS ❱ BE SAFE

SCRIPPS NICHE PUBLICATIONS • tcpalm.com • HURRICANE • Thursday, May 26, 2011

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Practice portable electric generator safety According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the misuse of the portable power sources killed at least five people and sickened dozens more after Hurricane Katrina. The Associated Press reported that many people relied on portable generators after the hurricane knocked out most power in the Gulf Region. That was deadly for those who did not use their generator properly. AP said, “The five deaths were among 51 cases of carbon monoxide poisoning in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama after the hurricane, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These cases involved the misuse of portable generators, except for one that involved a gasoline-powered pressure washer. Four deaths occurred in one Louisiana house where a generator was used. The fifth death occurred in a Louisiana house where a generator was used in an attached garage.” All of these portable generator-related deaths could have been prevented. ▶Read the instruction booklet or manual that came with the generator. If the manual is lost or missing, contact the

generator’s manufacturer. ▶Never use a generator indoors or in an attached garage. A portable generator is an internal combustion engine that exhausts a deadly gas called carbon monoxide or CO. CO is odorless and colorless, and you can be overcome if the generator is indoors. Be sure to place the generator outside where exhaust fumes will not enter into enclosed spaces. Only operate a generator outdoors in a well-ventilated, dry area, away from air intakes to the home. The generator should be protected from direct exposure to rain and snow. ▶Don’t connect your generator directly to your home’s wiring. Connecting a portable electric generator directly to your household wiring can be deadly. A generator that is directly connected to your home’s wiring can ‘backfeed’ into the power lines connected to your home. Utility transformers can then increase this lower electrical voltage to thousands of volts. That’s more than enough to kill a utility lineman making outage repairs many miles away. You could also cause expensive damage to utility equipment and your

generator. If you wish to hard-wire a generator to your home, it should be installed by a licensed electrician with an approved cutoff switch that will automatically disconnect the home from the power grid when the generator is being used. Please check with your local utility company before installing a hard-wired generator. ▶Don’t plug a portable generator into an electrical outlet in your home or garage. If a generator is plugged into your home’s electrical circuits, it can still ‘backfeed’ power into the utility company lines, which can injure or kill utility workers fixing on the downed power lines. Connect a heavy-duty, outdoor-rated power cord to the generator. Appliances can then be connected to the power cord. Make sure that the outdoor-rated power cord has a sufficient wire gauge to handle the electrical load. ▶Don’t overload the generator. All generators have a power rating. They should be used only when necessary and only to power a limited number of appliances or equipment. Total wattage used by appliances

should be less than the generator’s output rating. If you put too many appliances on the generator, it could seriously damage the appliances and electronics. Overloading the generator could also cause fires in the power cord. ▶Make sure your generator is properly grounded to avoid electrical shocks. Check the generator owner’s manual for correct grounding information. ▶Do not store gasoline for the generator indoors. Store gas in approved, non-glass safety containers. Don’t store gas in a garage with a water heater or fuel-burning appliance. Vapor from gasoline is heavier than air and can travel invisibly along a floor to be ignited by a pilot light or an electric spark. Extinguish all flames or cigarettes when handling gasoline or the generator. ▶Shut off the generator before refueling. Turn off equipment powered by generator before shutting it down. Have a fully charged, approved fire extinguisher near the generator. Stay away from the muffler and other hot areas. ▶Keep children away from portable electric generators at all times.

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As soon as floodwaters have dropped, it’s time to start the recovery process. ▶Check for structural damage before reentering your home to avoid being trapped in a building collapse. For damage to water, gas, electric or sewer lines, contact authorities. If your home has damage, call your insurance agent to file a claim. ▶Take photos of any floodwater in your home and save any damaged personal property. Adjusters need evidence of the damage to prepare your repair estimate. ▶Make a list of damaged or lost items and include their purchase date and value with receipts, and place with the inventory you took prior to the flood. Some damaged items may require disposal, so keep photographs of these items. ▶Keep power off until an electrician has inspected your system for safety. ▶Boil water for drinking and food preparation until authorities tell you that your water supply is safe. ▶Prevent mold by removing wet contents immediately. ▶Wear gloves and boots to clean and disinfect. Wet items should be cleaned with a pine-oil cleanser and bleach, completely dried, and monitored for several days for any fungal growth and odors.

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SCRIPPS NICHE PUBLICATIONS • tcpalm.com • HURRICANE • Thursday, May 26, 2011

After a storm: the road to recovery

29


SCRIPPS NICHE PUBLICATIONS • tcpalm.com • HURRICANE • Thursday, May 26, 2011

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HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS ❱ AT THE READY

EOC update 2011: All is good BY SHELLEY OWENS

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The storm-tested Treasure Coast has been undergoing a massive effort to update the maps planners, emergency managers and citizens use for everything from building a home to evacuating ahead of a hurricane. Evacuation maps, storm surge maps and flood zone maps have all gotten a closer look since hurricanes pummeled the state in 2004. Flood maps As part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) map modernization project begun in 2004, Treasure Coast engineers have been working with FEMA consultants to update flood maps used in real estate transactions; planning and zoning; and flood insurance risk assessments. “It’s a national modernization,” said John Toebe, associate project manager in the Martin County Engineering Department. Once complete, in under a year, the maps will not only be more current, they will also

Items that the Red Cross suggests you have on hand PRIOR to a Hurricane: � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � �

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be digital and web-based. That means no more trekking to the county offices to view flood maps. Evacuation maps Evacuation maps have also been updated thanks to the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council and its counterparts statewide. “All of the Regional Planning Councils got together and advocated that we coordinate the effort statewide,” said Michael Busha, executive director of the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council. “Florida is . . . the first in the country to create a unified, all-hazards evacuation plan.” “Evacuations don’t stop at the county line,” Busha said. Floridians can feel safer knowing their evacuation routes don’t stop at county or regional boundaries, either. The Statewide Regional Evacuation Study and plan, started in 2006, will help residents evacuate from any area of the state more quickly whether three days ahead of a hurricane or on a moment’s notice in the SEE EOC, 31

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HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS ❱ GET READY event of floods, fires or man-made disasters. Storm surge map updates In 2006, the state also started updating its SLOSH — Sea, Lake, Overland Surge from Hurricanes — models. New hurricane surge zone maps were published in March at www.floridadisaster.org/ publicmapping. In the face of a Category 1 storm, residents of a barrier islands in Martin County who are no longer in a storm surge area will not be required to evacuate, said Keith Holman, director of emergency management. “When people are ordered to evacuate, that carries the force of law,” Holman explained. “If evacuation is recommended but not ordered, people may choose to stay in their homes.” All residents of the barrier islands will still be required to evacuate ahead of storms Category 2 and above. Barrier island residents in storm surge areas will also be ordered to evacuate, even if the impending storm is a category 1. Other counties will evacuate barrier island residents ahead of any hurricane. If you are wondering how these maps affect you, St. Lucie County has created a portal on its website with which residents

will be able look up their surge zone and evacuation zone by address down to the rooftop, said Tom Daly, emergency management coordinator. The new system should be ready to roll out in June. Okeechobee EOC Okeechobee County is constructing a new emergency operations center and plans to move emergency operations staff and dispatchers into the facility this year. Okeechobee has a new Emergency Manager this year. Mitch Smeykal replaced Michael Faulkner who took a job with FEMA’s Southeast regional office in Atlanta. Now it’s your turn Emergency personnel have been hard at work preparing for a safer hurricane season. Now it’s time for residents to make their preparations. “Don’t be complacent,” said Daly. It’s been a while since we had a major hurricane to remind us of the threat. Follow the preparations in the hurricane guide and use the online planning tools at Floridadisaster.org. Planning ahead gives you a sense of ownership and, instead of panicking before a storm you can execute your plan with much less stress, Daly said. “Preparations aren’t just for hurricanes,” Daly said. “You are preparing for all hazards.”

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SCRIPPS NICHE PUBLICATIONS • tcpalm.com • HURRICANE • Thursday, May 26, 2011

FROM EOC, 30


HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS ❱ BASIC INFORMATION

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Every year, there is a pre-approved list of tropical storm and hurricane names. These lists have been generated by the National Hurricane Center since 1953. At first, the lists consisted of only female names; however, since 1979, lists alternate between male and female. Hurricanes are named alphabetically in chronological order. The first tropical storm or hurricane of the year has a name that begins with “A” and the second is given the name that begins with “B.” The lists contain hurricane names that begin from A to W, but exclude names that begin with a “Q” or “U.” Six lists continue to rotate. The lists only change when there is a hurricane that is so devastating, the name is retired and another hurricane name replaces it. The 2011 hurricane name list is the same as the 2005 hurricane name list although four hurricane names were retired after the devastating 2005 hurricane season so on the 2011 list Dennis was replaced by Don, Katrina was replaced by Katia, Rita was replaced by Rina, Stan was replaced Sean, and Wilma was replaced by Whitney.

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SCRIPPS NICHE PUBLICATIONS • tcpalm.com • HURRICANE • Thursday, May 26, 2011

32

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HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS ❱ AT THE READY

Curfews imposed for safety Curfews will be imposed as conditions deteriorate before a storm. As rain bands and increasing winds make driving hazardous, the curfew will become a 24-hour ban on road travel. Even emergency personnel will be off the roads and hunkered down in the face of the approaching storm. The curfew, which covers the entire Treasure Coast, will continue after the storm. “We (law enforcement and emergency managers) work together to coordinate the curfew times,” said Major Mike Monahan, director of law enforcement with the St. Lucie County Sheriff ’s Office. “We enforce curfews for safety and to control access to homes and businesses when the owners may not be there,” he said. As soon as winds start to let up, emergency crews go out and begin to clear downed power lines and roads. Their first

priority is search and rescue of people who are injured or in danger. At the same time, public safety officials are out assessing damage, looking for washed out roads and bridges and barricading hazards to prevent further disaster. As roads become driveable and conditions improve, emergency planners will allow the public on the roads again. Curfew hours will begin to decrease, limiting travel to daylight hours. Eventually, the curfew will be lifted. After past storms, sightseers and untrained, would-be rescue workers got in the way and had accidents themselves. They ended up being the people who needed rescuing. Be safe this time. Observe the curfews. Don’t go out until the curfew is lifted. Go out only if necessary. Let emergency responders handle real emergencies.

After a major storm, trash pick-up may be limited as trash haulers and their employees attempt to recover from the mess. They will usually stop picking up recyclables for a while until the facilities that process the recyclables can be staffed and fully functioning.

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SCRIPPS NICHE PUBLICATIONS • tcpalm.com • HURRICANE • Thursday, May 26, 2011

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SCRIPPS NICHE PUBLICATIONS • tcpalm.com • HURRICANE • Thursday, May 26, 2011

34

HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS ❱ AT the READY

Keep this emergency contact information handy BY SHELLEY OWENS CORRESPONDENT

One of the biggest problems after a disaster is the number of people outside the storm area trying to contact family members. The volume of calls can overload circuits, making emergency and urgent communications inside the area more difficult. ▶Designated communicator: Before the storm hits, make sure your out-of-area family and friends know you may not be able to call them for several days after the storm. Choose one family member or friend outside this area to coordinate communications between you and other out-of-area family and friends. Give your designated communicator your cell and landline numbers, work number, and email addresses. Tell them where you will be staying if you evacuate and the phone number for an emergency registry (below). ▶Emergency locator registries: Whether you stay at home or evacuate, as soon as possible after the storm, list your contact information with disaster registries so family and friends will know your condition and whereabouts.

▶People who evacuate to shelters can register with shelter staff. ▶Those who have become separated from children 21 years of age and under should contact local law enforcement and call the Emergency Child Locator Center at (866) 908-9570. The center is activated by FEMA only in a disaster and staffed 24 hours a day by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. ▶The National Emergency Family Registry and Locator System (NEFRLS) is activated only in a disaster. Individuals can register and their family members can search by phone at (800) 588-9822. Or go online at www.fema.gov and search for NEFRLS. ▶The Red Cross Safe & Well program is operated by your county Red Cross chapter. In Indian River and St. Lucie counties, contact the North Treasure Coast Chapter at 2506 17th Ave. in Vero Beach, (772) 562-2549, or (772) 878-7077 in St. Lucie. In Martin County, contact the Martin County Chapter at 2750 S. Kanner Highway in Stuart, (772) 287-2002. Family and friends outside the disaster area should contact their local Red Cross chapter, not a chapter in

the disaster area. ▶Contact Loved Ones, www.contactlovedones.org, allows you to leave a voice mail message for family members at (443) 992-4890. Emergency contacts ▶9-1-1 Emergency: all communities; ▶9-1-1: Hazardous spills; ▶5-1-1 and www.fl511.com: road closures; ▶7-1-1 Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) for persons with a text telephone (TTY). Dial 9-1-1 in an emergency. Those with hearing loss or speech disabilities may be eligible for a free text telephone or amplified telephone through Florida telephone Relay, Inc. Visit www.ftri.org or call (800) 955-8770 voice. Other numbers including Spanish and Creole are listed on the website. ▶2-1-1: Hotline, social helpline and social referral service; ▶8-1-1: Call before you dig to locate underground utilities; ▶Poison control hotline: (800) 2221222. Emergency management agencies

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Before and After the Storm

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▶Indian River County Emergency Services Public Information Line: (772) 567-2129 activated in a disaster; www.irces. com; ▶State of Florida Emergency Information Line: (800) 342-3557 TTY: (800) 226 4329 www.FloridaDisaster.org; ▶Martin County Emergency Operations Center: (772) 287-1652; www.martin.fl.us select Fire Rescue Dept.; ▶Okeechobee County Emergency Management: (863) 763-3212; ▶Palm Beach County Division of Emergency Management: (561) 712-6400; ▶St. Lucie County Emergency Operations Center: (772) 462-8100 www.stlucieco.gov/eoc/. Hospitals ▶Indian River Medical Center 1000 36th St. Vero Beach (772) 567-4311 ▶Sebastian River Medical Center 13695 U.S. 1 Sebastian (772) 589-3186

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HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS ❱ GET READY

SCRIPPS NICHE PUBLICATIONS • tcpalm.com • HURRICANE • Thursday, May 26, 2011

FROM EMERGENCY, 34

▶ Lawnwood Regional Medical Center ▶Raulerson Hospital & Heart Institute 1796 U.S. 441 N, Trauma Center Okeechobee, FL 34972-1918 1700 S. 23rd St. (863) 763-2151 Fort Pierce, FL 34950-4899 www.raulersonhospital.com (772) 461-4000 www.lawnwoodmed.com/ Pets and animals Animal control ▶St. Lucie Medical Center ▶Indian River County Animal Con1800 SE Tiffany Ave. trol: (772) 226-3485; Port St. Lucie, FL 34952-7521 ▶Martin County Sheriff’s Office: (772) (772) 335-4000 287-1656; www.stluciemed.com ▶County of Palm Beach Animal Care & Control Division: (561) 233-1200; ▶Martin Memorial Medical Center ▶County of Okeechobee: Animal Con200 S.E. Hospital Ave. trol: (863) 357-3225, or www.petfinder. Stuart, FL 34994 com/shelters/FL732.html; (772) 287-5200 ▶St. Lucie County Animal Control Division: (772) 462-8120; ▶Martin Memorial Hospital South ▶Port St. Lucie Animal Control: (772) 2100 S.E. Salerno Road 871-5042. Stuart, FL 34997 If you are separated from pets, check (772) 223-2300 the newspaper classifieds or look online at www.mmhs.com www.tcpalm.com/classifieds. Check with your local Animal Control division or ▶Jupiter Medical Center Humane Society chapter to see if your lost 1210 S Old Dixie Highway pet has been recovered. The Humane SociJupiter, FL 33458 ety of the U.S. deploys animal rescue teams (561) 747-2234 to disaster areas. Not a complete list. Look www.jupitermed.com online for additional pet rescue agencies.

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Hurricane warning

Winds at least 74 mph

How thunderstorm can evolve into hurricane

Cold air

Cold air

Cold air

Storm warning

Cold air

Winds from 55 to 73 mph

Small craft warning

Warm air

Winds up to 38 mph

The thunderstorm cluster forms one center of low pressure and is reclassified as a tropical depression. Surface winds reach 20 to 38 mph as the storm drifts and begins to rotate.

As evaporation and condensation intensify, rising warm air is trapped and spreads out in all directions, forming rainbands. Spinning, due to the Earth's rotation, increases and winds reach 39 mph.

Savannah

Pensacola

Tallahassee

Jacksonville

200

Galvenston

TX

70 0m

100

FL Tampa

Corpus Christi

40 0

30 0

50 0

60 0m

0

500 mi 500 km

35°

BERMUDA

30°

Nassau

Category 2

25° Category 3

111-130 mph

Havana

MEXICO

Eye

Minor damage to buildings. Roof damage. Trees blown down. Possible structural damage to buildings.

CUBA

Tampico Merida

Camaguey

Campeche

Rainbands

Guantanamo

Veracruz

CAYMAN IS. JAMAICA

20°

HAITI DOMINICAN REPUBLIC Port-au-Prince

San Juan

Santo Domingo

PUERTO RICO (U.S.)

Kingston

Belize City

Vertical flow

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS

Inflow Hurricane winds

GUATEMALA

Hurricane cross-section

EL SALVADOR

Hurricane

BRITISH VIRGIN IS. ANGUILLA ST. MARTIN ST. BARTHELEMY ANTIGUA GUADELOUPE

Category 4

131-155 mph Almost total destruction of doors and windows. Greater structural and roof damage.

DOMINICA

Puerto Cortes

15°

MARTINIQUE

HONDOURAS NICARAGUA

Billions of gallons of water evaporate and condense, fueling the storm. Warm air in the center loses its moisture, forming the eye.Winds reach 74 mph and the storm is reclassified as a hurricane. Average diameter is 300 miles. Sources: National Hurricane Center, Knight-Ridder Global Weather, National Geographic

74-95 mph

BAHAMAS

Miami

Descending air

Inflow

Category 1

96-110 mph

Key West

Rainbands

The National Hurricane Center classifies hurricanes according to wind speed and destructive potential.

Larger signs and tree branches blown down. Mobile homes at greater risk.

Vero Beach Ft. Pierce Port St. Lucie Stuart

Brownsville

The strength of a storm

Signs and tree branches blown down. Mobile homes at risk. No structural damage to buildings. Power lines down.

mi.

Individual thunderstorms form as warm, moist air rises and hits cold air. They begin to merge into a cluster, often reaching 100 to 300 miles in diameter.

Wilmington

0

mi.

Tropical storm

80 0m

Charleston

GA AL

Mobile

90 0m

NC

SC

The scale is accurate along the equator. Elsewhere on the map, scale increases toward the poles.

10 00 m

Norfolk

TN

MS

MERCATOR PROJECTION

mi.

Tropical depression

VA

A warning is issued when a hurricane is expected to hit an area within 24 hours. Be prepared to leave if an evacuation order is issued even though the weather does not seem threatening at the time.

Baton Rouge Gulf Port Lake Charles New Orleans

Thunderstorm cluster

KY

Hurricane warning

LA

Ocean City

i.

Warm air

WV

mi.

Ocean surface

Hurricane coordinates are listed by latitude (horizontal lines) and longitude (vertical lines). The red lines on the chart give an approximate distance from the Treasure Coast.

i.

Warm air

A watch is issued when hurricane conditions are a real possibility and may threaten coastal or inland areas within 36 hours.

i.

Warm air

Atlantic City

DE

i.

Winds from 39 to 54 mph

MD

Washington D.C.

40°

Atlantic hurricane tracking chart

i.

Gale warning

Hurricane watch

NJ

ROBERT LANE staff graphic

The anatomy of a hurricane

OH

ARUBA

SAN ANDRES

ST. LUCIA ST. VINCENT & THE GRENADINES GRENADA

CURACAO

BARBADOS

Category 5

155+ mph

TOBAGO COSTA RICA

100°

95°

90°

85°

TRINIDAD

COLOMBIA

PANAMA

80°

Balboa

75°

70°

VENEZUELA

65°

60°

10° 55°

50°

45°

Catastrophic damage: Buildings, roofs, structures destroyed. Sources: KRT, National Hurricane Center, Knight-Ridder Global Weather, National Geographic

SCRIPPS NICHE PUBLICATIONS • tcpalm.com • HURRICANE • Thursday, May 26, 2011

PA

mi.

SCRIPPS NICHE PUBLICATIONS • tcpalm.com • HURRICANE • Thursday, May 26, 2011

20

Profile for American Red Cross

Official American Red Cross Hurricane Guide 2011  

Produced by Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers with the American Red Cross Palm Beaches - Treasure Coast Region

Official American Red Cross Hurricane Guide 2011  

Produced by Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers with the American Red Cross Palm Beaches - Treasure Coast Region

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