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County: July is loose-ends month for hurricane preparedness | Environment

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County: July is loose-ends month for hurricane preparedness
Environment, Weather
County: July is loose-ends month for hurricane preparedness

Pinellas County residents have been busy the past few months finding their home's evacuation level, stocking survival kits and preparing important papers. But have all of the finer points in those survival plans been considered? With storm activity traditionally light in July, it is the perfect month to tie up the loose ends for hurricane plans.

Pinellas County wants to remind local residents and visitors that some items frequently overlooked include:

Pet preparation

Should an evacuation be ordered, many pet owners will risk everything because they haven’t made arrangements for their pets. Create a plan that includes food, medications, identification and anything else a pet will need, and decide now on a pet-friendly shelter such as at a friend’s home or at a hotel that welcomes pets.

The car needs a kit

Residents may have their homes prepared, but what about their cars? Jumper cables, a flashlight, a first aid kit, a small tool kit and some extra nonperishable food and water may mean the difference between getting to an evacuation destination safely and being stuck on the road.

Need a lift?

Residents who are mobility impaired and have no other transportation option can register for special needs evacuation assistance. Should an evacuation order be issued, the local fire department will make arrangements to pick up the registered person and transport him or her to a special needs shelter. Residents who believe they may qualify can call their local fire department for more information.

What about medications?

Since pharmacies may be closed after a storm affects an area, it's critical that residents get enough prescription medication to last a minimum of two weeks. Florida Statute 252.358 and 462.0275 require all insurers and managed-care organizations to suspend refill-too-soon restrictions when a patient seeks a refill in a county under a hurricane warning or in a state of emergency. Remember to also include over-the-counter medications.

Renters need a plan, too

While an apartment may be in a non-evacuation zone, what are the landlord’s or property manager’s plans to secure the facility in the event of a hurricane?  Now is the time to check out the plans.

For more information on hurricane preparedness, call Emergency Management at (727) 464-3800 or  visit www.pinellascounty.org/emergency and join Pinellas County Emergency Management on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pinellasem.  Pinellas County government is also on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Pinellas County complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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