Hurricane season 2012 is just around the corner, and emergency planners are working hard to get the word out that preparation is key to survival.
We asked emergency planners for their Top 5 tips to help residents stay safe this season. Here’s what Thomas Iovino of Pinellas County Emergency Management said applies to Tampa Bay area residents:
- Know your evacuation level. “From that one piece of data, you know if you have to evacuate or if you can ride it out at home," Iovino said. Without it, "you’re not going to know what to do." To find your zone, check the evacuation zone maps for Pinellas County.
- Build your plan. “Like, today,” Iovino said. “It is not too early. Know where you’re going to go, what you’re going to do and who your plan involves.”
- Get papers together. “When it comes to recovery from a storm, you really have to have those important papers together,” Iovino said. These include insurance policies, birth certificates, titles and other legal documents.
- Pay attention to warnings. “When we put the word out that it’s time to do something, you’ve got to do it," Iovino said. "You want to be the first one done.”
- Don’t believe it can’t happen here.
For more tips on storm preparedness, just click on the "2012 Hurricane Guide" link below, or visit Pinellas County Emergency Management online.