Be Prepared, Save Your Sanity, Sleep Well Tonight

It’s that time of year

We are currently looking at the potential for Hurricane Irene to come our way this week. If you would like to see the latest information on the storm, check out The National Hurricane Center website. Hurricane Season continues through November 30th.

Be “in the know”

For some interesting information on emergency preparedness, please check out the Palm Beach County Emergency Management website.

There you will find a live feed of notable news and information for the county going on right now and a citizen’s homeguide that contains a wealth of information in regard to preparation for, survival during and clean up after a storm.

The website makes available pdfs which contain listings of stores within the county that can be generator-powered if needed and the gas stations with transfer switches. Good to know.

You will find a link to SAMS, which is a search tool showing where disasters may threaten you in Palm Beach County. You can search by house, block, neighborhood, city, etc. by typing in an address to see where that address lies within the evacuation zones.

An Evacuation Route Map is also available. Take a few minutes to check it out and be informed.

There is a link for storm shelters as well as requirements, conditions and instructions to help you plan in case you need to go to one of these facilities.

Those with special needs can find information on Special Needs Sheltering. Space is limited. Please check out the criteria for using this facility. There is a special needs program application that needs to be filled out in advance, and all the information in regard to requirements for this shelter is available on the county’s website.

If you would like to volunteer to assist during an emergency such as a hurricane, there is information and a Volunteer Application there as well.

An Emergency Supply Kit list is available in PDF format: (shown)

Prevent the bruises you’ll get later when you kick yourself for waiting until it’s too late. If you’ve ever stood for hours in line at Lowes or Home Depot for plywood, at the grocery store for a few cans of less than appetizing grub left on the shelf or stressed out while fighting the hoards of frantic residents trying to beat you to the gas pump, you’ve probably also discovered there are ways you’d rather spend half a day.

Your best bet is to beat the crowds and be prepared before the residents of Lake Park and the surrounding cities go running en masse to nearby stores and gas stations. Canned goods, non-perishables and plywood are easy to store and have on hand throughout the season regardless of whether or not a hurricane watch is in effect. There is nothing like walking into the store only to find all the shopping carts gone, the shelves nearly wiped out and the lines a mile long. You’ll be kicking yourself if you wait.

Save your sanity. Plan ahead.

Stop today and fill ‘er up, make a run to the store and pick up some batteries, some basic non-perishables and take a few minutes to start picking up any yard debris lying around. No sense waiting until time has run out and the task is overwhelming. Keep an eye on the storm track, but beware of the media’s tendency to over-hype everything for a story. Be prepared so you’ll be able to help others. If these storms are good for anything, they do have a way of bringing neighbors together. Be one of the prepared few so you can be an asset rather than a liability to your neighbors!

A little preparation and some good old fashioned common sense will go a long way to helping you sleep well as the storm approaches.