By Mayor Shirley Gibson….
Hurricane Season begins on June 1st and ends on November 30th. While last year South Florida escaped the wrath of the season’s storms, other cities and states were t r e m e n d o u s l y affected. The 2010 Hurricane season proved to be quite active with 19 named storms. Five of these storms reached category 3 or higher. The 2010 season was by far the most active on record.
The 2011 Hurricane Season is predicted to be at least as active as the 2010 season. Are you prepared? We know the devastation hurricanes can cause; flooding, injuries, death, interruptions in various utility services, including down power lines and interruption of communication services as well as little or no access to food and water. We must approach this Hurricane Season with an eye towards preparedness.
The City of Miami Gardens’ goal is to maintain safety and continuity of services during any major storm; to make sure everyone, from children to seniors, are always prepared with a plan in case a storm should strike. There are many resources available all around you. Don’t ignore the information; use the information available to become more aware and informed. Some things you can do now include creating a family emergency plan, preparing a hurricane emergency safety kit for your family, pruning trees around your home, registering elderly and disable citizens on the special needs list, taking photos of your home (all angles) before the storm, and gathering important documents (including photos) and placing them in a secure and waterproof plastic zip lock bag. These are only a few things to get you started, but there is much more to do. A list has been provided to help guide you through the things you will need to think of should the Miami Gardens area be threatened by a hurricane.
A longer list does exist, however the short list includes some of the most important items and necessities you will need to have portable and stored in a sturdy easy-to-carry and water resistant container. Prepare supplies for at least three days of use:
• A three-day supply of water (one gallon per person per day) and ready-to-eat non-perishable foods such as tuna, peanut butter, canned fruit, and juice boxes
• A manual can opener and cooking utensils
• A battery powered radio or television able to receive HDTV signals, and plenty of batteries.
• A flashlight for each person in the family
• A first aid kit and reference guide
• Prescription and non-prescription medicines, eye glasses, contact lenses, and hearing aid batteries.
• Copies of important documents such as a drivers’ license, birth certificate, insurance policies, and social security cards
• Cash – ATMs, debit cards or credit cards won’t work when the power is out.
• Extra clothing, blankets and towels
• Special items for infants, elderly or disabled family members
• Emergency tools
• Extra home and car keys.
• Food and water for your pets.
• Tarps for leaks
• A list of important numbers and emergency contacts Being aware, informed and prepared are always the first defense and can save a life.
• Visit Miami Dade Office of Emergency Management’s official website dedicated to preparing for this Hurricane Season at http://www.miamidade.gov/oem/ and download your emergency toolkit guide in English, Spanish and Creole.
• Visit http://www.fema.gov/ to find information on preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation.
• Visit http://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/ for the National Flood Insurance Program to learn more about various insurance programs and insurance coverage pre and post disaster.
Hurricane preparedness/ readiness is a family and friend affair. Share these links with your Facebook and Twitter friends. We also encourage you to sign-up for Code Red Emergency Alerts by visiting the Miami Gardens Police Department website at www.mgpdfl.org and click on the “Code Red” tab to register.
For more information, please call Mike Gambino, Flood Plain Administrator, and 305-622-8000 x. 3106.