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FARRELL WINK NEWS 2824 Palm Beach Blvd Fort Myers, FL 33916 239.334.1111 EDITORS

Jim Farrell Tom Doerr


Scott Zedeker Janine Albert Matt Devitt Zach Maloch Brooke Silverang Congressman Francis Rooney Sheriff Kevin Rambosk Allen Weiss Bob Byrne

Photography WINK News FEMA

DESIGN & Layout Nicole Stewart Scott Thomas Laura Noriega


here were you when Hurricane Irma hit SW Florida? Easy question, right? I’m sure that you know the answer. For many of us that remained in SW Florida on September 10, 2017 it is a day that we will never forget. We remember where we were when Irma roared through our county, city and neighborhood. Lets face it, it’s an unlikely event when a major hurricane moves through every county in our corner of paradise, but Irma proved that it can happen. Were you ready for Irma? Even though you should have had the water, batteries, shutters, etc. It’s almost impossible to be completely ready for an Irma. Mental and emotional preparation and toughness is required during the days leading up to and through the entire event. I knew Irma would rearrange our landscape and impact our way of life so we tried to guide you through the “what to expects” of Irma. Communicating the before, during and after effects of an Irma is our calling and we hope that you found the information and tone of our coverage useful and appropriate. Now that Irma is a part of SW Florida history it is time to prepare for a new hurricane season. We should be better prepared this year because we have the experience one can only get from living through an Irma like event. So prepare again, this time for the new 2018 hurricane season. I don’t know if a hurricane will affect us this year but I know that we need to be ready, again. Do your homework. Look through this guide and make your plan and trust WINK News to do our part. We will be with you every step of the way. Together we can have a safe 2018!

Jim Farrell

WINK News - Chief Meteorologist


Additional Copies

Alex Gordon Phone: 239.479.5574 for pdf version


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This publication contains general information only. The information has been gathered from various sources believed to be reliable, but not intended to be a substitute for advice from a safety expert. Fort Myers Broadcasting Company shall not be held liable for any errors or omissions © 2018 by: Fort Myers Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved.

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2018 storm season Storm names and facts about Hurricane Irma


Hurricane 101 Terms, facts and charts about hurricanes


County maps Maps of evacuation and storm surge zones by county


Preparing for the Storm


Important things to know when planning and preparing


After the Storm Safety tips for storm cleanup


Shelter locations and information


Important Phone Numbers & Resources Important phone numbers and website information

What you need to know about Hurricane Irma

PLAN YOUR EVACUATION Collier County Sheriff Kevin


Evacuation & Shelters

Facts about irma

Heed warnings


Congressman Francis Rooney urges SWFL to take warnings seriously

Hurricane Irma


WINK Weather Authority explains how they predicted Irma coming hours ahead

Rambosk explains the importance

of evacuating

Healthy hurricane preparation Know the four major areas of hurricane stress


take wink with you in a hurricane Get your severe weather information when you can’t get to a TV




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2018 STORM NAMES Alberto Beryl Chris Debby Ernesto Florence Gordon Helene Isaac Joyce Kirk Leslie Michael Nadine Oscar Patty Rafael Sara Tony Valerie William


2018 WINK News

Hurricane Guide


outhwest Florida is well known for the white sandy beaches, abundant sunshine and warm tropical breezes that beckon thousands of visitors from frozen northern climates every winter. However, as warm winter breezes give way to frighteningly powerful summer storms, full-time residents are

quickly reminded that life in paradise does not come without its draw-backs. Hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30 each year, is never to be taken lightly. Hurricane seasons have borne such horrific storms as Irma, Matthew, Katrina, Rita, Charley and Wilma – whose images of disaster, destruction and death will not easily be forgotten. A single hurricane has enough overwhelming power to reduce concrete walls to rubble and to tear 30-foot trees right out of the earth. DO NOT WAIT until a hurricane is gathering strength out at sea before you start making preparations. The time to act is now! Gather your supplies, make a plan for evacuation, and take steps to secure your property. This publication was assembled by WINK News and Weather teams to help you protect your family and your property. Take time now to assess the risks you face and take steps to limit those risks. Preventative measures are the best investments you can make! Keep your copy of the WINK Hurricane Guide convenient throughout the hurricane season.


Facts about


Hurricane irma

urricane Irma was an extremely powerful and catastrophic Cape Verde-type hurricane, the strongest observed in the Atlantic in terms of maximum sustained winds since Wilma, and the strongest storm on record to exist in the open Atlantic region. • Irma was the first Category 5 hurricane to strike the Leeward Islands on record. The ninth named storm, fourth hurricane, second major hurricane and first Category 5 hurricane of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season. • It was also the most intense hurricane to strike the continental United States since Katrina in 2005, the first major hurricane to make landfall in Florida since Wilma in the same year, and the first Category 4 hurricane to strike the state since Charley in 2004.

It was a Category 5 storm when it made landfall on Barbuda on September 6, 2017. Its winds were 185 miles per hour for 37 hours. That’s longer than any storm ever recorded. It beat Super Typhoon Haiyan, which maintained winds at that level for 24 hours in 2013. Its coastal storm surges were 20 feet above normal tide levels. Hot ocean temperatures of 86 degrees sustained the storm. Irma released 7 trillion watts of energy. That’s twice as much as all bombs used in World War II. Its force was so powerful that earthquake seismometers recorded it. It generated the most accumulated cyclone energy in a 24-hour period. Irma’s attack was the first time in 100 years that two storms Category 4 or larger hit the U.S. mainland in the same year. Hurricane Harvey hit Houston on August 25, 2017.

• •

The death toll was 102 people, including 75 in Florida . Of those, 11 seniors perished in a nursing home that lost its air conditioning. Fourteen people died in the Florida Keys. Irma damaged 90 percent of the buildings on Barbuda. It destroyed almost all communication, and left 60 percent of the population homeless. Florida officials ordered 6.5 million people to evacuate. There were 77,000 people in 450 shelters. The most rain in the state fell on Fort Pierce. It received 15.9 inches. The strongest winds (142 mph) hit Naples.



How bad

could it be?


ime and again, hurricanes have proven themselves to be potentially deadly storms. Yet, some still refuse to take the threat of a hurricane seriously -- instead stocking up on beer and snacks to munch on while they watch the “show”. After every recent hurricane, these are also the people who are waiting in long lines in the blazing sun for ice, food and water – or who are relying on the kindness of neighbors and friends who had the good sense to properly prepare for a hurricane’s aftermath. A hurricane is an awesome, powerful weather event that has the potential to destroy property and take lives. How bad could a landfalling hurricane be? A Category 3 storm can propel trees and tree limbs through windows and roofs while taking down power lines and destroying smaller homes. A Category 5 monster packs enough wallop to cause complete building failure. A storm of any size has the potential to cause flooding just about anywhere. Last year, Hurricane Irma made landfall September 10 on Marco Island. Property losses occurred during and after the Category 3 hurricane. Know the

risks and potential for damage and do what you can to get out of harm’s way, if you’re told to do so. Remember, the better party would be the one you have AFTER the storm to celebrate your family and friends’ survival!

IRMA FACT: Hurricane Irma is the fifth costliest storm on record in the US.

Terms to know CENTER: The vertical axis of a tropical cyclone, usually defined by the location of minimum wind or minimum pressure. EYE: The relatively calm area in the center of a hurricane. It can range from 5 to more than 50 miles wide. EYE WALL: A doughnut-shaped zone of the highest winds and heavy rain surrounding the eye. FEEDER BANDS: Thunderstorms that spiral into and around the center of a tropical system. A typical storm may have three or more bands, usually 40 to 80 miles apart. HURRICANE WARNING: Issued when hurricane conditions — winds of 74 mph or greater — are expected within 36 hours. 8

HURRICANE WATCH: Issued when conditions are possible within 48 hours.


LANDFALL: When the surface center of a tropical cyclone intersects with the coastline. MAJOR HURRICANE: A storm with highest winds of 111 mph or higher. TROPICAL DISTURBANCE: An area of thunderstorms that keeps its intensity for at least 24 hours. TROPICAL STORM: A warm-centered, low-pressure circulation with highest sustained winds between 39 and 73 mph.

WIND SHEAR: Upper level winds that can blow the tops off hurricanes, weakening or destroying them.


The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale is a 1-5 rating based on a hurricane’s present intensity.












less than 920


74-95 96-110 111-129 130-156 157+ Very dangerous winds will produce some damage

Devastating Extremely damage will occur dangerous winds will cause extensive damage

Possibility of getting struck by flying/ falling debris could injure or kill

Substantial risk of injury or death to people, livestock and pets due to flying/falling debris

Older mobiles (pre-1994) could be destroyed, especially if they are not anchored properly

Catastrophic damage will occur

Catastrophic damage will occur

High risk of injury or death to people, livestock & pets due to flying/falling debris

Very high risk of injury or death to people, livestock & pets due to flying/ falling debris

Very high risk of injury/death due to flying/falling debris even if indoors

Older mobiles (pre-1994) have a very high chance of being destroyed. Newer are at risk

Nearly all older mobiles (pre-1994) will be destroyed. Most newer mobiles will sustain damage

Nearly all older and Almost complete newer mobiles will destruction of be destroyed mobile homes

Some poorly constructed homes can experience damage

Some poorly constructed homes have a high chance of damage

Poorly constructed homes can be destroyed by the removal of roof and exterior walls

Poorly constructed homes’ walls can collapse as well as loss of roof structure

High percentage of homes will be destroyed

Some building’s roof and siding coverings could be removed

Unreinforced masonry walls can collapse

High percentage of roof and siding damage

High percentage of damage to top floors. Steel frames can collapse

High percentage of buildings will destroyed

Large branches of trees will snap and shallow rooted trees can be toppled

Many shallowly rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted

Many shallowly rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted

Most trees will snap or uproot and power poles downed

Nearly all trees will snap or uproot and power poles downed


Extensive damage to powerlines and poles. Power outages for a few days

Near-total power loss is expected with outages that could last for days to weeks

Electricity and water will be unavailable for days to weeks after the storm

Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks

Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks to months


Hurricane Dolly (2008)

Hurricane Frances (2004)

Hurricane Ivan (2004)

Hurricane Irma (2017)

Hurricane Andrew (1992)









torm surge is water that is pushed toward the shore by the force of the winds swirling around the storm. This advancing surge combines with the normal tides to create the hurricane storm surge, which can increase water levels by 15 feet or more. Wind-driven waves also can raise water levels to devastating heights – causing severe flooding in coastal areas. Because much of the densely populated U.S. Atlantic and Gulf Coast coastlines lie less than 10 feet above sea level, the danger from storm surge is tremendous. In general, the more intense the storm, and the closer a community is to the right-front quadrant of the storm, the larger the area that must be evacuated. The problem is always the uncertainty about how intense the storm will be when it finally makes landfall. Tornadoes A damaging by-product of hurricanes can be tornadoes. Tornadoes are most likely to occur in

the right front quadrant of a hurricane, but they are not limited to that area. They often spring out of feeder bands that come ashore well ahead of a hurricane. Meteorologists have no definite way to predict whether one hurricane will produce more tornadoes than the next. Just because a hurricane has moved out of the area, it doesn’t mean you are safe from tornadoes. They can develop for several days because of the remnants of the low pressure system associated with it. If a tornado warning is issued, move to a small, interior room away from windows, or to an interior hallway on a lower floor. If that’s not possible, you can protect yourself by getting under heavy furniture or use a mattress to shield your body. Stay away from windows. Hazards Tropical storm-force winds are strong enough to be dangerous to those caught outside in them. Powerful, hurricane-force winds can

easily destroy poorly constructed buildings and mobile homes. Debris such as signs, roofing material, and small items left outside become flying missiles in hurricanes. Extensive damage to trees, towers, water and underground utility lines (from uprooted trees), and fallen utility poles cause considerable disruption. High-rise buildings are also vulnerable to hurricane-force winds, particularly at the higher levels since wind speed tends to increase with height. Research suggests you should stay below the tenth floor, but still above any floors at risk for flooding. It is not uncommon for high-rise buildings to suffer a great deal of damage due to windows being blown out. Consequently, the areas around these buildings can be very dangerous. The strongest winds usually occur in the right side of the eye wall of the hurricane. Wind speed usually decreases significantly within 12 hours after landfall. Nonetheless, winds can stay above hurricane strength well inland.

IRMA FACT: Irma’s surge swept across the islands and inundating Miami Beach and downtown Miami. It dumped mud across Everglades City and other parts of Southwest Florida. The St. Johns River, far to the north, rose to record-breaking heights and flooded parts of Jacksonville. Where winds blew offshore from the counterclockwise spinning storm, bays were sucked dry, Buttonwood Bay in Key Largo and Tampa Bay briefly became beaches. 10


When Irma came, we had your back.

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Plan ahead and heed


By Congressman Francis Rooney


aking the warnings about a category four or five hurricane seriously means the difference between life and death. As Irma moved towards Southwest Florida our office focused on providing the most up-to-date information on evacuating, emergency preparedness, shelter locations, and storm trajectory. We shared information from federal, state, county, and local agencies and coordinated with the White House administration and Governor Scott to ensure that disaster declarations were made quickly to expedite the prepositioning of supplies. At all levels, the flow of information, efficiency of evacuations, and overall storm preparation went well. Emergency response began immediately after the winds and rains subsided, as volunteers joined first responders to begin the cleanup. Our area law enforcement personnel,


first responders, EOC staff, and volunteers performed outstanding work under these very trying circumstances. Their tireless efforts in the immediate aftermath of Irma no doubt saved many lives. Additionally, neighbors assisted friends and strangers alike with, food, water, shelter, fuel for generators, and assistance with moving heavy debris. This spirit of giving, which makes Southwest Florida such a great place to call home, was on full display. As with most aspects of our lives, preparedness makes all the difference. This hurricane season, I urge all my friends and neighbors in Southwest Florida to “be prepared�. We are fortunate to have a great resource in the WINK News hurricane guide. While this publication provides critical information, such as; shelter locations, hurricane checklist items, evacuation routes, and all the pertinent information necessary to keep us as safe as possible in the event of a storm, this information is only helpful if you use it. Do not wait until a storm is approaching to; stock up on bottled water and non-perishable food

items, know the location of your nearest shelter (and whether it is pet friendly), purchase fresh batteries for flashlights and electronics, know how to properly operate a generator, make a first aid kit, and write a list of emergency numbers that might be needed. If a storm does affect our community, there are several state hotlines that should be a part of your emergency numbers list. These hotlines include; the Department of Financial Services storm hotline (800-227-8676), State of Florida emergency information (800-342-3557), the American Red Cross (866-438-4636), and FEMA (800-621-FEMA) for federal disaster assistance. While we hope for a mild hurricane season that leaves our piece of paradise here in Southwest Florida untouched, it is incumbent on each of us to prepare for all possibilities. Have a plan, stock up on hurricane supplies, and stay tuned to your local news networks if a storm approaches to get all the latest updates.

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Hours Ahead on Irma

When Every Minute Counts


hen Hurricane Irma slammed into Southwest Florida last September it was the first hurricane to make landfall in Florida since Wilma back in 2005. Much has changed since then but one thing remains critical. Experience. When Irma arrived, the WINK Weather Authority Team was ready, and ahead of the storm. WINK’s meteorologists were hours ahead of any other TV station at a time when every minute counts. The WINK Weather Authority Team gives you vital, accurate information first. Chief Meteorologist Jim Farrell, Southwest Florida’s most experienced meteorologist, told viewers Irma was turning toward them at 9:27 p.m. the night before landfall. Eight hours later, at 5:05 a.m. on the day the storm hit, WINK Meteorologist Matt Devitt warned Marco Island residents they were in the storm’s sights. Devitt’s warning came tenand-a-half hours before landfall and six hours before any other station. Devitt also predicted wind gusts around 140 mph nearby — hours before a 142 mph wind gust was recorded at Naples Municipal Airport. These accurate predictions don’t just happen by chance or luck. Decades of experience and advanced technology are behind the WINK Weather Authority Team and a clear advantage over other Southwest Florida broadcasters. Jim Farrell has forecast Southwest Florida for over 30 years. “At WINK we have access to the best forecast models. We also have live Doppler radar to pinpoint the hurricane’s location and track once the hurricane is within 300 miles of Florida.” WINK Meteorologist Scott Zedeker notes “at WINK we use LIVE Doppler radar to track the current location and motion. We looped it to see the exact forward speed and we were able to see the turn in real time. All the forecast modeling that our WSI weather system ingests allowed us to compare the forecast models to each other and watch the progression of them as they came into our computers.” 16


WINK Morning Meteorologist Matt Devitt has been studying storms since he was a kid and as a meteorologist for more than a dozen years. “Most of my life has been spent along coastal Florida and Texas. I’ve been studying and analyzing hurricanes for a long time, trends, what they’re more likely to do, or not do. Irma’s behavior in the finals days and hours, along with computer model data, made me pinpoint SW Florida for landfall.” Devitt credits making that accurate call hours ahead of everyone else to “a combination of both technology and experience. Timing is Everything WINK Chief Meteorologist Jim Farrell agrees that technology is great but experience makes the critical difference. “While state of the art forecast models and predictions from the National Hurricane Center are critical, years of experience forecasting tropical storms and hurricanes adds important insight that you can’t get from a textbook or model.” Even with all the technological advances in weather forecasting, the WINK meteorologists agree that knowing what to do with the data only comes from experience. Matt Devitt says that was especially true during Hurricane Irma coverage. “There was disagreement between computer models,” Devitt explains. “Although the European model did the best overall with Irma, you still had to factor in other models too. Often times the spread between models where Irma could go was hundreds of miles. Based on my experience with the European model and past hurricanes the majority of my forecasts for Irma were generated from that model. But you always have to keep in mind that every hurricane is different and the European model is not perfect. Another challenge with Irma was where the center of circulation was going to ultimately make landfall. It was key for strongest wind and, more importantly, storm surge. If Irma had ended up 30 miles west of where it actually made landfall the storm surge would have been much worse and more devastating along the Soutwest Florida coast.”



WINK has invested heavily in new forecasting tools. Devitt says that paid off during Irma. “In Irma’s final days the WINK Weather team’s RPM model was able to accurately display where the storm could potentially make landfall. Future radar, strongest wind speed and direction, and where the eye would go were graphically shown for all to see at home.” The WINK Weather Authority Team is not just a name, it’s how they operate. Scott Zedeker says “we have a great group of meteorologists who understand the weather and know the tropics. Jim’s experience of over 30 years, combined with my 15 years of knowledge and Matt’s years of Gulf weather experience creates a way to reassure viewers to the point that they really do trust our information and forecasts. In a storm like Irma, WINK viewers rely on our information, minute-by-minute. WINK Meteorologists Zach Maloch, Brooke Silverang and Janine Albert also bring a wealth knowledge to the newest trends that have developed through the years. While no one wants to see a damaging storm again, the WINK Weather Authority Team is who to count on when severe weather strikes. Chief Meteorologist Jim Farrell summed it up when asked what it’s like to stay ahead of a storm like Irma as it twisted and turned and finally made landfall. “We worked 12 hour shifts and boy did the time fly by! I never got tired because I was engaged from start to finish. I suppose adrenaline kicks in, but mostly since I was living through a big part of SW Florida history I never got tired.”

IRMA FACT: Hurricane Irma began Aug. 30 near the Cape Verde Islands. It was the ninth named storm and fourth hurricane of the 2017 storm season. 18





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Preparing Your HOME


urricane protection can involve a variety of changes to your

Do-It-Yourself Home Preparations

house and property – changes that can vary in cost and complexity. A professional contractor licensed to work in Florida should carry out complicated or large-scale changes that affect the structure of your house or its electrical wiring or plumbing. However, there are several projects and tasks homeowners can do on their own to protect their home against a hurricane.

Windows, windows,

Electricity – Unplug appliances – especially television sets – and turn off electricity (except refrigerator) as well as the main water valve. Turn the refrigerator and freezer to the coldest settings.

Outdoors – Store outdoor objects such as lawn furniture, toys, garden tools, grills, and tractors inside; anchor objects that cannot be brought inside but that could be wind-tossed. Remove outdoor antennas.

Sheds – Securely anchor all storage sheds and other outbuildings to a permanent foundation, or to the ground.

Know Your Home’s Vulnerabilities WINDOWS

Installing storm shutters over all exposed windows and other glass surfaces is one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect your home. Cover all windows, french doors, glass doors and skylights. There are many types of manufactured storm shutters available. Plywood shutters that you make yourself, if installed properly, can offer much protection from flying debris during a hurricane. ROOF

The roof of your house is most vulnerable to damage from high winds. Proper roof construction is essential. A small investment made before a storm hits can save thousands in future damage. Have your roof inspected today by a qualified building professional to determine if reinforcement is necessary. DOORS

Homes with double-entry doors usually have one door that is active and one that is inactive. The bolts or pins that secure most doors are not strong enough to withstand hurricane force winds. Check with your local building supplies retailer to determine the type of bolt system that will work best for your door.

– Protect all door and roof.


Double-wide (two-car) garage doors can present a particular problem during hurricanes. Some garage doors can be strengthened with retrofit kits. Check with your local building supplies dealer. Mobile Homes Require Special Precautions Mobile Homes are particularly vulnerable to hurricane-force winds. Anchor the mobile home with over-the-top, or frame ties. When a storm threatens, do what you can to secure your home, and then take refuge with friends or relatives or at a public shelter. DO NOT ride out a hurricane in a mobile home. Follow mandatory evacuation orders!

• • • • • • •


Doors, Roof doors, garage

Before you leave your mobile home take the following precautions: Pack breakables in boxes Remove mirrors Wrap mirrors and lamps in blankets and place them in the bathtub or shower Install hurricane shutters or precut plywood on all windows Shut off utilities and disconnect electricity, sewer and water lines Shut off propane tanks and leave them outside after anchoring them securely Store awnings, folding furniture, trash cans and other loose outdoor objects



Preparing Your family •

• •


ome disasters strike without any warning, and family members may not all be in the same place. How will you get in touch with each other? Where will you meet? What if your neighborhood is being evacuated? It’s important to make a plan now so that you will know what to do, how to find each other, and how to communicate in an emergency. • Pick the same person for each family member to call or email. It might be easier to reach someone who’s out of town. • Text, don’t talk, unless it’s an emergency. It may be easier to send a text. You don’t want to tie up phone lines for emergency workers. • Keep your family’s contact info and meeting spot location in your backpack, wallet, or taped inside your school notebook. Put it in your cell phone if you have one.

Family Communication Tips Identify a contact such as a friend or relative who lives out-of-state for household members to notify they are safe. It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call 22

• across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members. Be sure every member of your family knows the phone number and has a cell phone or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact. If you have a cell phone, program that person(s) as “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) in your phone. If you are in an accident, emergency personnel will often check your ICE listings in order to get hold of someone you know. Make sure to tell your family and friends that you’ve listed them as emergency contacts. Teach family members how to use text messaging. Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not be able to get through. Remember, the first and most important thing to do when facing hazardous weather conditions is to use common sense. Please get together with your family today so that you can prepare a plan for disaster. Here’s how to prepare:

Discuss the type of hazards that could affect your family. Know your home’s vulnerability to storm dangers. Decide your evacuation route and destination. Plan to go to family or friends who live in safer areas. Use county evacuation shelters only as a last resort. Outline an alternate plan in case your friends are out of town, your evacuation route is flooded or other unforeseen circumstances arise. Select an out-of-state relative as a family contact, so all your family members have a single point of contact. Plan what you will do with your pets if you need to evacuate. Review your homeowners and flood insurance policies and keep them with you in a secure, waterproof place. Register individuals with special needs with your county’s Emergency Management Office (page 45). Make a list of prescription medicines that you will need to refill and take with you. Stock non-perishable emergency supplies and food. Also prepare a disaster supply kit (page 34).

PREPARE YOUR PETS There needs to be a plan for your pets too. Consider two different pet kits: 1. In one, put everything your pets will need to stay where you are and be on your own. 2. The other should be a lightweight smaller version you can take with you if your pets have to get away. For more information and a detailed list of disaster preparedness go to Having a plan in place and executing that plan, will only make a very unstable situation go more smoothly. Your family and pets will be the better for it. For a list of Potential Pet-Friendly Shelters see page 45.





By Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk


urricane I r m a provided us with some valuable lessons. Here’s one of the main take-aways of the storm: If you are planning to evacuate, you need to do it early. Waiting too long can leave you stuck in bumperto-bumper traffic along evacuation routes flanked with gas stations that have dwindling supplies of fuel. I advised our residents a full five days ahead of the Sept. 10 landfall of Hurricane Irma that if they were planning to evacuate they should do so immediately. Those who left the area early were able to avoid the storm and its short-term aftermath safely. Who should evacuate? That is a personal choice. However, here are some general guidelines you can use to help make that important decision. You should consider evacuating if: • You live in a low-lying or flood-prone area • You live in a manufactured home • Your home is not rated to withstand at least Category 3-force winds • You are concerned about the structural integrity of your home • You are elderly or have special needs or health concerns • You don’t want to shelter in a limitedspace public shelter • You have no urgent reason to stay If you opt to evacuate you should: • Gas up your vehicle • Pack important medications and papers • Make arrangements for your pets • Know where you’ll go • Be sure to take snacks, cash and enough clothing to get you through several days The time to decide whether to evacuate is not in the emotional and tension-filled days as a major hurricane is approaching. Make your plan now. It will be one less thing to think about the next time a hurricane heads our way. 26

Hurricane Irma caused a lot of damage in Collier County and across Southwest Florida. Some homes were lost, others saw significant damage. Streets and many homes were flooded. In the immediate aftermath debris, including downed trees and branches, downed power lines and utility poles littered our roads. Electricity was out for days in most locations. Many traffic signals and signs were down, making driving a challenge. But as bad as it was, it could have been worse. The surge that we were predicted to experience on the back side of the storm thankfully never materialized. If it had, we would have seen several more feet of standing water across large swaths of Southwest Florida. Regardless of whether you evacuate, shelter in place or go to a public hurricane center, you can take comfort in the knowledge that our Collier County Sheriff ’s Office deputies train regularly and are prepared to respond when a hurricane hits. We train in many aspects of disaster response, including evacuations, search and rescue and welfare checks, as well as maintaining public safety in our community. We also work closely and train with our fellow first responders and public safety entities throughout the year. And please remember that when a storm approaches we will communicate critical news and information to you around the clock on our social media platforms to help you get through it safely. Finally, here’s another lesson we learned from Hurricane Irma: We live in a great community. In the days following the storm I was out in the community speaking with residents, business owners as well as our agency members and other first responders. Everywhere I went I saw people helping each other. Generous and caring people were befriending strangers and giving them food and supplies and pitching in with clean-up efforts. I saw residents and business owners showing immense appreciation for the first responders and utility workers who were working so hard to help our community recover. Disasters are challenging for any community. But we experienced the best of what can be done by working in partnership with one another.

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his past year Southwest F l o r i d a experienced Hurricane Irma on September 10, 2017. Most times and for many people, natural disasters bring out the best of human nature. Constructive responses and positive attitudes can overcome hurricane forces and destructive currents. Preparing for the storm, getting through the hurricane, and recovering after the event are all different but have the commonality that staying informed, remaining alert, communicating effectively, and being optimistic contribute to better outcomes. Pre Hurricane: Understand that these situations can be difficult and create anxiety as we balance caring for our families concurrently with preparing for the unknown. Uncertainty abounds regarding the storm’s course and intensity, both of which unfortunately and unintentionally are sensationalized by repetitive media exposure. My advice: get one good, credible forecast from a governmental agency periodically starting daily when the storm is far away, increasing the frequency of reports as the threat nears. Don’t stay glued to the TV or web—you will only make yourself more anxious and less effective. We need to pace ourselves because the timing of the storm, from inception to finality, can take weeks to months when you include full recovery. Caring for yourself during and after the storm is critical for all. You can be assured that Southwest Florida’s emergency response teams, including shelters and healthcare systems, will be fully mobilized by taking the necessary steps to secure our region. All 28

responsible organizations and institutions will be arranging for additional supplies. On a personal and family basis, please prepare with generous amounts of prescription and over-the-counter medications, personal hygiene articles including contact lens supplies, and other potentially unique provisions for you or your family. Obviously, having food, water, batteries, and other equipment needed for power outages on-hand is an early essential prep activity. Do charge your spare cell phone batteries in advance. Don’t forget some recreational activities such as card games, as plenty of boring time awaits. Starting Hurricane: Our County activates its Incident Command Center at the beginning of the storm. The NCH Healthcare System also initiates a severe weather policy and opens our command center. At this point, everyone should have diligently prepared and feel confident that plans are in place as we face a very significant challenge and have a few difficult days ahead. Please stay safe and continue to follow all communications. Feeling anxious is normal for this situation. However, you should stay positive because you have already prepared as have all other responsible citizens. Public shelters have already been open for some time and buildings have been hardened as much as possible. Southwest Florida has been through many storms, and old-timers can reminisce about their experiences. The important point is everyone is still here to remember previous hurricanes. These next few days will again test our abilities, perseverance, and endurance. Post Hurricane: Hurricane Irma tested our community’s resolve as the eye of the storm passed over most of our region. Our folks came through yet again, caring for each other and themselves.

Healthcare systems were prepared, if needed, to perform major surgery, treat heart attacks, manage strokes, deliver babies, and do all our other care-giving functions. Within a few days pharmacies reopen, dialysis centers became functional, and shelters slowly emptied. Returning to normal, namely getting back to work and school, is an important part of the healing process. Certainly a disruption occurred, but focusing on being productive is good for all concerned by simultaneously lessening the demand for help and contributing to the recovery. Florida was viewed by the rest of our nation as being hardy and robust in our preparation, response, and recovery. Individually and institutionally, we all should share examples of what went well. Long-term, our recovery will give us confidence as we plan and respond to future stresses. We witnessed countless acts of kindness, compassion, and concern showing that Southwest Florida has not only a healing culture but also a humanitarian one. As we faced Hurricane Irma, the important observation is that stresses like Irma bring out the best and the worst in people. To a great extent, we bring our own weather to life including stressful events like hurricanes. Hurricane Irma showed our region at its best.

IRMA FACT: The storm and its aftermath has killed at least 38 in the Caribbean, 34 in Florida, three in Georgia, four in South Carolina, and one in North Carolina.

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Prepare Your boat

Make a List:


outhwest Florida, with its inland waterways and profusion of land slightly above sea-level, presents a particular vulnerability for boats during tropical storms and hurricanes. The geography here simply offers little protection. The keys to protecting your boat from hurricanes or any severe weather are planning, preparation and timely action. The following precautions and checklists are meant as guidelines only. Each boat owner needs a plan unique to their type of boat, the local boating environment and the characteristics of safe havens and/or plans for protections.

Make up an inventory list of all boat equipment. Note items to be removed from vessel. Keep a copy of equipment inventory both on board and ashore. Take a recent photo of your boat to keep with all records.

General Precautions and Damage Prevention •

• •


Make sure your boat is in sound condition. This includes the hull, deck hardware, rigging, ground tackle, machinery and electronics. Make sure that the batteries are charged, bilge pumps are operable, fuel tanks are full, fuel filters are clean, cockpit drains are free and clear, fire-fighting equipment is in good order and lifesaving equipment is accessible and in good condition. Enhance the watertight integrity of your boat, both above and below the water line. Seal windows, doors and hatches with duct tape. Secure all items on your boat. Remove and/or secure all deck gear, portable gear, radio antennas, outriggers, chairs, deck boxes, cushions, bimini tops and side canvas/curtains, sails, boom, canister rafts and dinghies. Know your hurricane action plan for your vessel. If you plan to move your vessel, and you have sufficient notice, do it at least 48 to 72 hours before the hurricane is estimated to strike the area. Rehearse your planned boat movement, including an actual visit to the alternate dock or hurricane mooring/anchoring location. Inspect the boat’s deck hardware in light of planned mooring arrangements. Assess the size and structural attachment of the primary chocks, cleats, bitts, bollards and winches. These high-load/ high-stress points should have substantial backing plates and be secured with bolts of adequate size. Provide special attention to avoid chafing of mooring lines. Chafing gear that has been proven successful is a double neoprene hose arrangement. Storm moorings, whether at dockside or otherwise, should have doubled lines. The second set of lines should be a size larger than the normal lines including spring lines at a dock. Make a list of important phone numbers. These numbers include your insurance agent, harbour master, marina facility, Coast Guard and National Weather Service. Purchase necessary materials ahead of time such as additional lengths of mooring lines, screw anchors, fenders, fender boards, chafing gear and anchors. Make sure your insurance policy is current. Read the policy thoroughly. There is quite a bit of helpful and advisory information in the policy relative to what the boat owner should do and should not do if there is a storm or hurricane-related loss or damage to the vessel.



Review your



nsurance policy details are critical. As hurricane season approaches, it is important to review your policy. Remember: If Florida is under a hurricane watch or warning, it is likely too late to purchase insurance. Here are some details to review about your insurance: •

• •

• •

• •


Windstorm insurance typically carries a much higher deductible than other coverage. Take your insurance documents with you if you leave the area because of the storm. Scan your insurance documents into your computer and then mail those files to an email account. New or increased coverage cannot be issued when a tropical storm or hurricane watch or warning is in place for any part of Florida. Consider purchasing flood insurance, which is usually written separately from homeowners insurance. Make certain the amount of your coverage matches the value of your home. List any steps you have taken to protect your home, such as installing storm shutters. Understand in the event of a loss, you would receive the cash value of your belongings or whether your policy specifies replacement. Understand what is covered ... or not. When hurricane warnings are issued, the Florida Department of Financial Services is mobilized to assist with insurance and banking questions. The toll-free hot line is 800-22- STORM. Everyone lives in a flood zone in Southwest Florida. You don’t simply need to live near the water to be flooded. Many flooded areas are caused by overloaded drainage systems. Flood damage is not covered by your home owners policy. You can purchase flood insurance no matter what your flood risk is, as long as your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program. A maximum of $250,000 of building coverage is available for single-family

residential buildings and per unit in a condominium. Commercial structures can be insured to a limit of $500,000. • •

• •

Call your insurance agent for details about how to get flood insurance. Plan ahead because there is usually at least a 30-day waiting period before any flood insurance goes into effect. Content coverage is separate. Up to $100,000 contents coverage is available. Federal disaster assistance is only available if the President declares a disaster. A rule of thumb: About 90 percent of all disasters in the United States are not declared disasters by the President.

IRMA FACT: Irma caused an estimated $50 billion in damage, Researchers estimates that the storm’s winds alone will set the Sunshine State back $19.4 billion. Of that total, $6.3 billion of the bill goes to insurance companies, leaving homeowners to shoulder the other two-thirds of the losses. The worst hit areas are in Lee and Collier counties.




COVERAGE I’ll take a look at your policies. I’ll help you make sure your coverage is hurricane-ready. And don’t forget flood insurance. There’s a 30-day waiting period before it starts, so now’s the time to get it. I can help. For more easy ways to prepare, call me first. Cathy Sink 239-561-8600 13111 Paul J. Doherty Pkwy., #110 Fort Myers, Florida 33913


Auto insurance issued by Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Company, Northbrook, IL. Property insurance issued by Castle Key Insurance Company and Castle Key Indemnity Company, St. Petersburg, FL. The assets and obligations of the Castle Key companies are separate and distinct from those of any other company in the Allstate group.


GET YOUR Supplies


upplies are a critical part of every family’s health and safety and should be gathered well in advance of hurricane season each year. Once a storm is imminent, time to shop will be limited, and if supplies are even available, you will have to search for them. Many residents of Southwest Florida experienced shortages on plywood, batteries, flashlights, water, generators and other such storm necessities during the recent busy hurricane seasons. Each time a storm was predicted to make landfall near Southwest Florida, lines were long, shelves were bare, and stress levels were high. It pays to be prepared! Supplies can be divided into several categories, but the essentials should be gathered and kept easily accessible throughout the hurricane season. Be sure to place the items that you will most likely need for an evacuation in an easy-to carry container. Keep gas tanks full. Keep cash on hand. Banks may not be open, ATMs may not be accessible, debit cards and credit cards may not be accepted if power is lost.

The essentials • • • •

One gallon of water per person per day. Additional water for food preparation and sanitation. Bags of ice. Partially fill plastic one-liter or larger soft drink bottles with water and place in the freezer. The bottles will freeze without cracking. If the power goes out, the frozen water will help keep the freezer cool and when the ice melts, the water will be drinkable.

SPECIAL NEEDS If you have family members with special requirements, such as infants and elderly or disabled persons, remember to include items and supplies that may be unique to their special situation.


Now Documents


¨ Important telephone numbers ¨ Record of bank account numbers ¨ Family records (birth, marriage,

¨ Disinfectant ¨ Toilet paper, towelettes, paper towels

¨ Soap and liquid detergent ¨ Personal hygiene items ¨ Household chlorine bleach ¨ Large bucket or trash can with

death certificates)

¨ Record of credit card account

numbers and companies

¨ Inventory of valuable household goods

lid for storing water to flush toilets

¨ Copy of will, insurance policies,

deeds, stocks and bonds

¨ Copy of passports, social security


¨ Baby formula ¨ Bread, crackers ¨ Canned fruits ¨ Canned juice ¨ Canned meats ¨ Canned vegetables ¨ Dry cereal ¨ Instant coffee and tea ¨ Peanut butter ¨ Quick energy snacks ¨ Ready-to-eat soups Medical

¨ First aid kits (for home and car) ¨ Insulin ¨ Denture needs ¨ Prescription drugs (minimum

Tools & Supplies

cards, immunization records, etc.

two-week supply)

¨ Aspirin or non-aspirin supply ¨ Contact lenses and supplies ¨ Heart and high blood pressure medicine

¨ Insect repellent ¨ Itch-relief cream

¨ Battery-operated radio or TV ¨ Flashlight and lanterns ¨ Extra batteries and extra bulbs ¨ Lighter or matches for your grill ¨ Antenna for your TV ¨ Extension cords (heavy duty

and three-pronged)

¨ Manual can opener/utility knife ¨ Plastic sheeting/tarps ¨ Duct tape ¨ Generator ¨ Gas cans ¨ Old towels for clean up ¨ Paper cups, plates and utensils ¨ Plastic trash bags ¨ Full propane tank ¨ Charcoal and lighter fluid ¨ Camp stove ¨ Sterno ¨ Thermos for hot food and

coolers/ice for cold food

¨ Tree saw for cutting fallen limbs ¨ Hand tools: knife, ax, pliers, screwdrivers, wrench

¨ Hammer and nails ¨ Fire extinguisher ¨ Fix-a-flat ¨ Mops, buckets, cleaning supplies

Naples East 4000 Tamiami Trail East (239) 775-6000

Grill & Fill Inc.


Photos taken Sept. 6, 2017 - Hurricane Irma

We will REFILL your LP Tank BEFORE and AFTER a Storm!

NOW would be a good time!

Stay PREPARED and avoid the lines!

HOURS: Mon-Sat 9am-5pm

Naples North 1970 J&C Boulevard (239) 513-1100


The Storm is

Now Over


elief supplies and other aid will be arriving as quickly as possible following a major hurricane. Insurance companies will send special disaster teams, as will the state and federal governments and a host of private organizations. It is very important to understand that it may take several days for them to arrive at the disaster site. Not only does it take time to gather and load the unique supplies that this area may require, but roadways may be blocked by debris and may be unsafe for travel. This is why it is so very important to have enough ice, water and food to sustain your family for at least three days! Assist the Injured Help injured or trapped persons. Do not move seriously injured people unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. Call for help. Give first aid where appropriate.


What to Expect Debris is scattered across roads, parking lots and yards. The nice, neat neighborhoods that existed prior to the hurricane will be covered with fallen trees and limbs, gutters, and other wreckage. In many cases, there will be no water, sewer, electrical or telephone service and no air conditioning or refrigeration. Roadways may be blocked for days or weeks. Devastation caused by Hurricanes Charley and Wilma demonstrated that a hurricane can be a traumatic experience — both physically and emotionally. The hardest part of dealing with a hurricane is the recovery process. It is important to understand that the disaster affected everyone. Be calm, patient and understanding. In this section, you will learn post-storm procedures and considerations, information on disaster assistance, generator safety and procedures to recover your boat.

First Things First Return home only after authorities say it is safe to do so!! Stay tuned to WINK News and for recovery information. • Avoid loose or dangling power lines. Report them immediately to the power company, police or fire department. • Drive only if absolutely necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed-out bridges. Allow emergency crews to remove fallen power lines and other hazardous debris. • Enter your home with caution. Open doors and windows to ventilate or dry your home. Beware of snakes, insects and animals driven to higher ground by flood water. • Check for gas leaks. If you smell gas or hear blowing or hissing noise, open a window and quickly leave the building. Turn off the gas at the outside main valve and if you can, call the gas company. If you turn off the gas for any reason, it must be turned back on by a professional. • Look for electrical system damage. If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires, or if you smell hot insulation, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. • Check for sewage and water line damage. If you suspect sewage lines are damaged, avoid using the toilets and call a plumber. If water pipes are damaged, contact the water company and avoid water from the tap. • Check refrigerated foods for spoilage. Discard any spoiled foods. Keep your refrigerator closed as much as possible to protect food from additional spoiling. • Take pictures of the damage, both to the house and its contents for insurance claims, and save receipts for reimbursement — including temporary lodging and food. Keep a record of all receipts, cancelled checks, bills and other documents received for repair work or temporary living.

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What the Storm Storm Debris It will be necessary to separate your curb side trash. Cleanup debris will be accepted by priority. As soon as roads are cleared, raw garbage such as animal, fruit or vegetable waste will be collected. The second priority will be normal household garbage including food waste. The third priority is yard waste. Place trees, branches and the like in piles that can be easily managed by collection personnel. And finally, the last priority will be construction debris such as lumber, roofing, concrete and similar materials. Your county may accept food waste at the Waste Management facility. Contact the facility for drop-off hours. DO NOT BLOCK YOUR ROAD WITH GARBAGE. Debris Removal Information Charlotte: 941-575-3600 Collier: 239-252-2380 DeSoto: 863-993-4831 Glades: 863-946-6020 Hendry: 863-674-5400 Lee: 239-533-8000 The Priorities • Pump or bail water out of the house as soon as possible. • Open the windows to let the house air out and give the walls and floors a chance to dry. • Shovel mud out before it can dry, then scrub floors and walls with a brush and mild soap and water. • Make sure all appliances are unplugged as a general safety precaution.

leaves Behind Pool Care Remove as much debris by hand as possible and lower the water level to normal. Add a chlorinator, as in the form of the 10 percent hypochlorite granules commonly known as shock. Super chlorinate again and clean the filter frequently until the pool is back to normal. Have the gas company reconnect the heater line. If your pool needs structural repairs, choose a contractor carefully. Household Tips Stoves & Ovens • Clean the outside with a grease cutter, then with detergent and water. • Clean the inside with conventional oven cleaner. Refrigerators & Freezers • To remove odors, wash the inside and the plastic door gasket with detergent and water. • Rinse with a cloth and clear water. Wipe dry. Washers & Dryers • Pour a disinfectant into the empty washer. Run a 15-minute cycle using the hot water setting.

Unplug the dryer and wipe the drum and dryer door with a cloth dipped in disinfectant solution. • Rinse with a cloth dipped in clear water. • Leave the dryer door open until all parts are dry, preferably overnight. • Leave the dishwasher door open until all parts are dry. Books & Papers • Place books on end with leaves separated. When they are partially dry, pile and press books. Alternate drying and pressing until thoroughly dry. • If books and papers are very damp, sprinkle some cornstarch between the pages to absorb moisture. Leave on for several hours, then brush off. • When papers and books are almost dry, try using an electric iron set on low heat to flatten the pages. • Separate the pages to prevent musty odors. • When books are completely dry, close them and clamp them closed to help them retain their shape. • Photocopy important papers because they may quickly disintegrate, even if they have dried out.

GENERATOR HAZARDS From 1999 to 2010, nearly 600 generator-related carbon monoxide deaths have been reported. 1.


sure to read the owner’s manual and follow the manufacturer’s

recommendations! 2. Do NOT use a generator until it is properly grounded.

Looting/Curfew As soon as the hurricane ends, looting can begin. With walls and more blown away – and since many homes belong to snowbirds summering up north – homes become easy targets. The fear of looting is widespread within the community and many residents stay in their damaged homes to protect their valuables. However, it is important to note that incidences of crime are actually statistically lower after a disaster. A curfew may be enacted for several nights to combat theft and vandalism. 38

3. Plug devices directly into the generator. NEVER “back feed” your house circuits or connect your generator to your house wiring. Do NOT overload the generator capacity. 4. BE AWARE OF CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING. Never use a generator indoors, outside under a window, on a covered patio, or in any space without adequate ventilation. NEVER OPERATE INDOORS! 5. Keep flammable items away. The generator exhaust system is very hot. 6. NEVER refuel your generator inside your home or while it is hot. A serious fire could result. 7. Prevent electric shock. Do NOT use in wet areas. 8. Check all electrical cords to be sure the insulation is in good condition and check the oil and fuel level before starting motor.


Hurricanes and tropical storms can cause damage to personal property, flooding, and even personal injury. Even if you and your property are unharmed, power outages are a guarantee and can last for a couple of days or possibly weeks. Losing power during the hottest months of the year is difficult, but sustained outages are also a safety hazard for your family and your home. A major health concern of a power outage is that it only takes three days for mold to grow in ducts and vents of an air conditioner that isn`t running and after seven days it begins to appear on the walls. A power outage can also leave your home without a security system, making it vulnerable. Installing a home standby generator will allow you to safeguard your lifestyle and personal property in the aftermath of a storm.


You’ve invested in the piece of mind a generator provides so why not ensure it powers up when you need it most? Routine, periodic maintenance is essential in keeping your generator in optimum working condition. Despite having regular maintenance, just like your car, a generator is an engine and can still malfunction, leaving your generator inoperative. That is why Naples Generator developed a monitoring system, to make sure that your generator is always ready for any power outage. Our monitoring system uses a cellular device to keep watch on the generator and transfer switch at all times. It will notify Naples Generator and the customer if a failure should occur, such as the generator not starting or the transfer switch malfunctioning. A good maintenance program along with the monitoring system on your home standby generator really can be the difference between a storm simply inconveniencing you, or it causing significant harm to your house, and your family`s safety.


Dangers of







appliance to dry it inside. A tube




dangerous. It has components that will retain very high electric voltages •




Unplug the appliance and let it dry thoroughly. When you notice the moisture on the outside has


hat should I do after a storm has passed? Although the storm has passed, there are many dangers that still exist. Take the proper precautions to prevent further crisis. Play it safe and focus on yourself, family, neighbors and emergency workers during cleanup and repair. If you have any doubts about safety, err on the side of caution. Help keep utility telephone lines clear for emergency calls by only calling to report downed power lines. However, if your neighbor’s power has been restored and yours is still out, please call your utility company.

dried, do not assume the inside has dried. Let the item continue to dry for a few more days. •

Placing the equipment in the sun will help, but monitor the item closely. LCDs can be damaged by over exposure to bright sunlight.

After you are certain the item is completely dry inside and out, plug it in. If it will not work right away, give it another day to dry.

If the power indicator lights come on, leave the equipment on





then turn it off for about 30 minutes. Repeat the process, leaving the appliance on for an extra five minutes each try. •

If an appliance power indicator does not come on, and you’re sure the outlet works, unplug it and take it to a repair shop. If










immediately and take it to a repair shop.

How can I keep my family safe after a hurricane or major storm? Often the most devastating time during a disaster occurs during recovery. Having to return to your home or business, assess damage and perform clean up can be a very difficult task. Make that time safe and productive. • If your electrical equipment has gotten wet or is near water, turn off the power at the main breaker. If you must enter water to access the main switch, call an electrician to turn it off. • Do not turn electrical equipment back on until it has been inspected by a qualified electrician. • Stay clear of downed power lines, as they may still be energized and dangerous. Puddles of water contacting downed lines are just as dangerous. • Do not trim trees or remove debris located near downed power lines. • If you must remove debris from in or around your home, do not pile it under or near electrical lines or equipment. • If appliances were on when the power was lost, make sure all appliances are turned off. If left on, they could pose fire hazards when the power is restored. • Refrain from using candles. Use a batteryoperated flashlight as light source.

How is power restored after a storm? • After a storm has passed, your electric provider quickly begins to assess the damage to the electric system. • Your electric provider then begins restoring power to essential services such as hospitals, traffic signals, shelters, communication centers and law enforcement. • Next, power is restored to the greatest number of customers in the least amount of time. • Finally, individual services or services that need to be reconnected after repair to the customer’s damaged electrical system are restored. What If My Neighbor Has Power But I Don’t? First, check all circuit breakers by resetting them. If your breakers aren’t the problem, one of the following situations may have occurred: 1. You may be on a different power feeder line or power transformer. 2. The transformer serving your location may be damaged. These are the last system devices to be repaired because resources are focused on restoring the greatest number of customers first. 3. Your weather head conduit (the pipe and wire extending above your roof) is damaged or bent. If so, you must have an electrician repair it and have an inspection before power can be restored. 4. You own your own underground service and it may damaged, which could be caused by tree roots. If so, you must have it repaired by an electrician and inspected before power can be restored.

IRMA FACT: Hurricane




the morning of Sept. 10, 2017, knocking out power to more than 6.8 million people.



RESTORATION PROCESS WORKS 1. The first step in our restoration plan is damage

assessment, which includes physical inspection of our facilities. Once damage assessments have been made, LCEC begins repairs.

2. Next, we repair main circuits,

and restore critical facilities such as hospitals, police and fire stations.

3. The next goal is to repair lines to get the greatest number of customers on as soon as possible.

4. At last, LCEC begins restoring power to those small pockets or individuals still without power.


Health & Safety Concerns Health Care Due to structural damage, the offices and operations of medical facilities and hospitals may very likely be limited. A mobile health unit may be available to provide services to residents with minor medical needs such as cuts, scrapes, bruises and illnesses. Stay tuned to WINK News for information regarding medical treatments. Carbon Monoxide Carbon monoxide is a colorless, tasteless and odorless poison that can be prevented. Do not burn charcoal or gas grills or gaspowered generators inside a house, garage, vehicle or tent. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include: fatigue, weakness, chest pains, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, headaches, confusion, lack of coordination, and impaired vision. Food Safety Food that has not been refrigerated for two hours or more and has an unusual odor, color or texture and is no longer cool to the touch is considered unsafe. Officials say, “When in doubt, throw it out!” Drinking Water Do not assume that public water in hurricane affected areas is safe to drink. Use bottled water for eating and drinking until there are public announcements about water safety. If bottled water is not available, boil tap water vigorously for one minute. Hand Washing/Sanitization Wash hands often with soap and clean water. If unsure about the water source, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to decrease the risk of illness, infection and disease causing bacteria. Mold Molds are fungi that can be toxic and cause severe reactions for many people. You should replace baseboards and wallboards that have been damaged by water because mold and mildew will form inside walls. A phenol compound such as Pine-Sol or Lysol is best for pressed wood. It is also necessary to replace insulation, carpet and furniture that have been damaged by water. 42

Mosquitos Heavy rains and flooding lead to an increase in the mosquito population. Public health authorities recommend following the “5 D’s of prevention.” • Dusk & Dawn – avoid the outdoors from sunset to sunrise. • Dress – wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks.

DEET – use repellents containing DEET, usually 30% solutions. Do NOT use DEET on children under 2 months old. Drainage – check your home and neighborhood, and dump standing water where mosquitoes can lay their eggs.

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Shelters Do’s and Don’ts Some items you should consider bringing when going to a shelter: • Drinking water • Snacks or special foods • Lawn chair and/or bed roll • Pillows and blankets • Books, magazines or electronics with headphones • Medications • Change of clothing / personal hygiene items


f an evacuation order has been issued, officials stress that you make every effort to leave the area. Places to evacuate to are a better option

• • • •

than a public shelter:

Staying at your house if you are not in an area under evacuation, or if you do not live in a mobile or manufactured home Friend or family member living outside the evacuation zone(s) Hotel/motel Other part of Florida not under evacuation

If you have no safe place to go, shelters will be open! If you must go to a shelter, here are some important things for you to consider:

• • •


What you need to know about Shelters: There are a shortage of evacuation shelters. If you have a safe place to evacuate to, plan to use your alternate location rather than a public shelter. Shelters are not hotels! They will not be able to provide you with any conveniences or luxuries. Bring your family’s disaster supply kit to ensure proper provisions. Not all shelters are open for every storm. Only those shelters that are safe from the direction and intensity of each storm will open. Stay tuned to WINK News for up-to-the-minute disaster information. Food and water should be available, but there may be a slight delay in initial service. Cots are not provided in general population shelters. No weapons, smoking and alcoholic beverages! Weapons and liquor are not permitted in shelters under any circumstances, and could lead to your arrest. Service animals are allowed at all shelters. Pets are NOT allowed in public shelters, as they are ONLY allowed in shelters labeled PET FRIENDLY. All service animals must have vaccination records and be caged. You must also provide their food, water, leash, and litter box. Persons with special needs MUST be pre-registered. You can register with your county’s Emergency Management Office. Special Care Centers are opened on an as-needed basis.

Special Needs Shelters: A special needs shelter is a temporary emergency facility capable of providing care to residents whose medical condition may require the use of electrical equipment, oxygen, dialysis and individuals with physical, cognitive, or medical conditions who may require assistance from medical professionals. Eligible persons desiring special needs sheltering should pre-register with Emergency Management. Some things you should know about Special Needs Shelters: • You must register every year. Your application is good for one calendar year only. • You must have a companion/caregiver accompany you during the time you shelter, as we have a limited number of staff working. • You will receive a confirmation letter and instructions to advise that your name is on the registry, and what to expect if shelters are opening. • Although special needs shelters provide more care than a general shelter, they do not provide the level of care found in a medical facility. Pet-Friendly Shelter info: Prepare a supply kit for your pet as you would for your family. Especially when planning to go to a pet-friendly shelter. Prepare a shelter supply kit for your pets, including: • Non-perishable food and water • Medications • Sturdy cage or carrier to comfortably hold your pet • Collar and leash • Up-to-date vaccination records Keep several photos of your pet with you to help identify your pet if you become separated. Place identification on your pet’s collar and consider using a microchip to identify your pet. Microchipping will make it easier to locate your pet if you become separated during an emergency event. Animal Services offers a walk-in, low cost microchipping program to County pet owners.


Area shelters & Refuges of last resort Shelters will open when determined by Emergency Management officials who will make an announcement at the time of a storm. Please note: Hospitals in the six-county region are not designed as shelters.

CHARLOTTE COUNTY Emergency Operations Center 941-833-4000 emergencymgmt/Pages/default.aspx PLEASE NOTE: Do not depend on a particular shelter/refuge site being open. Shelter/refuge sites



863-993-4831 |

Emergency Operations Center 239-533-0622 |

Emergency Operations Center

BE ADVISED: We will NOT open all of these

Arcadia Desoto Middle School South Florida State College - Special Needs

may or may not be opened depending on the size of the storm and the predicted landfall area.

*All Charlotte County Shelters are now Pet Friendly

shelters during any single event. The opening of shelters is dependent upon the nature of each specific event. Pet and special needs shelters will be available in every storm; locations will be

GLADES COUNTY Emergency Operations Center

863-946-6020 |

announced prior.

Bonita Springs Bonita Springs YMCA

Port Charlotte

Buckhead Ridge

Cape Coral

Kingsway Elementary School

Buckhead Ridge VFW

Island Coast High School



Liberty Elementary School Port Charlotte Middle School

Maple Grove Baptist Church

COLLIER COUNTY Emergency Operations Center

239-252-3600 | *Pets are accepted at all of the below middle and elementary schools.

Immokalee Immokalee High School

MOoRE HAVEN Glades County Health DepartmentSpecial Needs

Corkscrew Middle School Calusa Park Elementary Cypress Palm Middle School Golden Gate High School Gulf Coast High School Lely High School North Collier Regional Park - Pet Friendly* *Pre-registration is required

Oakridge Middle School Palmetto Ridge High School - Special Needs Only* Sabal Palm Elementary School

Germain Arena

Fort Myers South Fort Myers High School

Moore Haven High School

Lehigh Acres


Harns Marsh Elementary School

Muse Community Assn. West Glades Elementary - Special Needs

Immokalee Middle School


Estero Recreation Center

E. Lee County High School Harns Marsh Middle School Mirror Lakes Elementary School Varsity Lakes Middle School Veterans Park Recreation Center

HENDRY COUNTY Emergency Operations Center 863-674-5400

Clewiston Central Elementary School

North Fort Myers N. Fort Myers Academy of the Arts North Fort Myers Recreation Center

San Carlos Alico Arena

Clewiston High School


Clewiston Middle School - Primary Shelter

Oak Hammock Middle School

Eastside Elementary School Westside Elementary School

LaBelle Country Oaks Elementary School LaBelle Elementary School LaBelle High School LaBelle Middle School - Primary Shelter 45

Important numbers & websites

Emergency Operations Centers This is the state’s

To Volunteer and Donate

Lee: 239-533-0622

Emergency Operations Center’s

Collier: 239-252-3600

website for up-to-date statewide

Charlotte: 941-833-4000

information, news alerts and

DeSoto: 863-993-4831

contact information about storms,

Glades: 863-946-6020

evacuations, storm surge and shelter

Hendry: 863-674-5400

800-725-2769 •

Agency help for pet

website. It offers detailed

FEMA Disaster Assistance/

instructions to prepare for natural

Registration: 800-621-3362

Contractor Information

disasters, including action plans,

TTY: 800-462- 7585

safe rooms and the National Flood

FEMA Fraud Hotline: 866-720-5721

Report false claims: 800-323-8603

State of Florida Emergency Info 24-hour hotline: 800-342-3557

Division of Workers’ Compensation: 800-742-2214

U.S. Small Business Administration: 800-659-2955 TTY: 800-877-8339

• •

Florida Association of Electrical

Insurance Program. •

Cross keeps residents informed

Florida Wall and Ceiling Contractors

about response and recovery

Association: 407-260-1313 •

Associated Builders and Contractors

operations. •

of Florida (ABC): 813-879-8064

Safe & Wellness Helpline to see if

Financial Services is an organization that is mobilized to assist with

Financial Services Hurricane Help

American Red Cross Offices

line: 800-227-8676

Red Cross Food, Shelter and

Lee, Hendry, Glades and Collier:

banking and insurance concerns. • This is the Federal Alliance


for Safe Homes, an organization

Financial Assistance: 866-438-4636

Charlotte & DeSoto: 941-629-4345

dedicated to promoting disaster

DCF Information: 866-762-2237

Charlotte, Sarasota, Manatee

safety and property loss mitigation.

Elder Helpline: 800-963-5337

counties and Tampa:

Attorney General’s Price Gouging

Manufactured Home Owners is a

Collier, Lee, Hendry, Glades:

consumer advocate that promotes

hurricane safety.

Hotline: 866-966-7226 •

Report unlicensed activity: 866-532-1440

• • •

Verify contractor licenses: 850-487-1395

Power Companies

Agricultural and Consumer Services:

FPL: 800-468-8243


LCEC: 800-599-2356

Domestic Animal Services:

Glades Electric Co-Op:

239-533-7387 - Lee


239-252-7387 - Collier

After a disaster Online Resources •

You can donate food, water and money: The National

The Harry Chapin Food Bank, 3760

Oceanic and Atmospheric

Fowler St., Fort Myers. Call 239-334-7007

Administration experts at the


National Hurricane Center are leading authorities on Atlantic Basin hurricanes and tropical storms.

46 In the event of a storm, the Florida Department of

844-221-4160 The American Red

Contractors: 407-260-1511

people are OK or in a shelter: • This is the Federal Emergency Management Agency


American Red Cross: 800-435-7669

information. friendly lodging in Florida.

Salvation Army Donation Hotline: The Federation of



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Weather information



hen a hurricane strikes, you may be forced to leave your home but you don’t have to be without the WINK News storm coverage Southwest Florida counts on. Even when you can’t watch TV you can stay up-to-the-minute with the WINK Weather Authority Team.

Chief Meteorologist Jim Farrell, Meteorologists Matt Devitt, Scott Zedeker and the entire WINK Team can also be heard on the radio, online and on your smartphone. In addition to WINK TV, follow WINK’s storm coverage on 96.9 WINK-FM, and 97.7-FM Latino. Watch LIVE coverage on the website and on the WINK News App. When severe weather strikes, count on the WINK Authority Team to keep you informed no matter where you are!





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2018 WINK News Hurricane Guide  
2018 WINK News Hurricane Guide