For immediate release - July 8, 2005
TAVARES — As hurricane season enters its second month, the Lake County Department of Public Safety Emergency Management Division is closely monitoring activity and encourages all Lake County residents to have their family disaster plan in place.
“Lake County may escape serious effects from Hurricane Dennis, but it serves as a sharp reminder that it is never too soon to prepare, especially during hurricane season,” said Jerry Smith, Emergency Management Division Director.
Two hurricane preparedness actions families should assemble include a family disaster plan and a disaster supply kit.
The first step to creating a family disaster plan is to hold a family meeting to discuss the dangers of severe weather and other emergencies. From there, families should openly discuss escape routes in the home and teach every member important emergency numbers, such as 9-1-1 and emergency help lines.
Families should also designate two emergency meeting places outside the home — one near the home and another outside the neighborhood. You can also select two calling points, possibly a friend or relative, where family members can check in to, in case they are separated from the rest of the family.
A well-thought-out 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. With the pending hurricane season, preparing your family disaster plan is the first step. Household emergency plans should be kept simple. The best emergency plans are those that are easy to remember. Other actions families may need to take to prepare for hurricanes is to remember to have enough cash on hand and the family vehicle’s tank full of gas. After a storm, many gas stations and banks may be out of service.
Preparing a disaster supply kit will help your family better cope with a severe weather situation. Some items that should be in every supply kit include:
One gallon of water daily per person for four days.
Enough non-perishable food for the household for at least three to five days. Non-perishable food includes packaged or canned food and juices, special foods for infants or elderly and snack foods.
To cook and serve the food it is recommended that a disaster supply kit also contain a non-electric can opener, cooking tools and fuel, paper plates and plastic utensils.
Toiletries that should be included in a disaster supply kit include toothpaste and brush, deodorant and soap, shaving equipment, personal hygiene supplies, shampoo, wash cloth and towel, and toilet paper.
It is recommended at least a month to two weeks supply of prescribed medicines be on hand, as well as a typical first-aid kit with Band-Aids, antibiotic cream, headache medicine and antacids.
Blankets, pillows and raingear are also good items to include in case the family has to evacuate to a hurricane shelter.
A battery-powered radio and flashlight with extra batteries.
A waterproof bag containing important documents, such as insurance, bank account and Social Security cards; and a list of important phone numbers including the family’s local pharmacy, doctors and designated contacts to call in case of an emergency.
For more information about hurricane preparations, log on to the Lake County Hurricane Guide.
Office: (352) 343-9609; Cell: (352) 455-0445