Residents should take action during Hurricane Preparedness Week
Now that we are into May, it’s important to start thinking about hurricane season, which begins June 1. Last year Volusia County experienced its second hurricane in less than a year when Hurricane Irma struck Sept. 10. More than 4,800 homes, businesses and government facilities were impacted at a time when many people were still recovering from Hurricane Matthew.
Hurricane Preparedness Week is May 6-12 – a time emergency officials encourage residents to prepare for a potential land-falling tropical storm or hurricane. Residents are encouraged to:
- Download Volusia County’s emergency preparedness app. The app includes weather alerts and current conditions, preparedness checklists, links to county sites, shelter status, locations of the nearest open shelter and sandbags, evacuation information, push notifications and more. The app also aids in the damage assessment process as residents can submit damage reports along with picture documentation. The app is available for download in the Google Play store at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ocv.volusiacountyema&hl=en
and the App Store at https://appsto.re/us/MBOYib.i
- Create a family preparedness plan, which the app can help you do as it has a checklist of items you’ll need during an emergency. For help creating a personalized family disaster plan, visit www.floridadisaster.org.
- Decide now where you will stay if an evacuation order is issued. Arrange to stay with friends or relatives who live well inland if possible. You will be more comfortable there than in a shelter. For those who have no alternatives, Volusia County will set up hurricane shelters at key locations across the county. Again, these shelter locations will be viewable from the emergency preparedness app when they are opened.
- Consider purchasing flood insurance, which is typically not covered under a homeowners insurance policy. According to officials, it takes 30 days after purchase for a flood insurance policy to take effect. Also, if a hurricane is within 500 miles of Florida, flood insurance policies will not be written. To learn about flood insurance, visit www.floodsmart.gov. The website can help you rate your risk, estimate premiums and find an agent.
For more information about disaster preparedness, call Volusia County Emergency Management at 386-254-1500 or visit www.volusia.org/emergency.
Residents should also follow Orange City and Volusia County Emergency Management on Facebook and Twitter.