Important phone numbers
Emergency Management Office, 264-6500 (Also the number to use if you need to register for access to a special needs shelter. Those who registered in previous years must re-register this year)
Alachua County Storm Information and Rumor Control, 311 (will only be activated once an emergency is declared) Emergency, 911 Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, 367-4000 Alachua County Fire Rescue, 384-3101 American Red Cross, 376-4669 Florida Highway Patrol, 955-2150 POWER: In case of power problems, Gainesville Regional Utilities customers can call 334-2871. Clay Electric customers wanting to report a power outage may call the toll-free reporting line, (888) 434-9844. GARBAGE: To find information on Alachua County trash pickup call 338-3233. For city of Gainesville pickup information call 334-2330. GAS: Call 334-2550 if you smell gas or if a tree has uprooted a gas line. WATER/WASTEWATER: Call 334-2711 if you see a lift station in distress. INSURANCE: Questions and complaints: First, check with your agent or insurance company. If further assistance is needed, contact the Florida Department of Financial Services, (800) 342-2762.
Here is a list of Web sites that track the progress of approaching hurricanes: The National Weather Service: www.nws.noaa.gov The National Hurricane Center: www.nhc.noaa.gov The Federal Emergency Management Agency: www.fema.gov The Weather Channel: www.weather.com Florida Forecast: www.floridaforecast.com Weather Underground: www.wunderground.com/tropical
HAVE A DISASTER PLAN
1. Post emergency telephone numbers by the phone.
2. Install safety features in your house, such as smoke detectors and fire extinguishers.
3. Inspect your home for potential hazards (items that canmove, fall, break or catch fire) and correct them.
4. Have your family learn basic safety measures, such as CPR and first aid; how to use a fire extinguisher; and how and when to turnoff water, gas and electricity in your home.
5. Teach children how and when to call 911 or your local Emergency Medical Services number.
6. Pick two places to meet: a spot outside your home for an emergency and a place away from your neighborhood in case you can’t return home. Choose anout-of-state friend as your “family check-in contact” for everyone to call if the family gets separated.
7. Keep important documents in a waterproof container. Keep a smaller disaster supplies kit in the trunk of your car.
8. Keep enough supplies in your home for at least 3 days. Assemble a disaster supplies kit (as listed below). Store these supplies in sturdy, easy-to-carry containers, such as backpacks or duffle bags.
THE DISASTER CHECKLIST
GENERAL Flashlights and or lantern with extra batteries. Candles are not recommended because they can pose a fire hazzard if left unattended. A corded, land-line telephone. Cordless telephones do not work without power. Extra, charged cell phone battery and or car charger for cell phone. Radio, and or weather radio with extra batteries. Camera and film; extra batteries. To take photographs of damage for insurance purposes. Fire extinguisher. Emergency tools: hammer, screwdrivers, saw, nails. Sterno fuel and unit; charcoal and lighter or propane for gas grill.
CLOTHING, BEDDING One blanket and or sleeping bag a person, stored in a watertight container. One change of clothes and shoes a person, stored in a watertight container. Raingear, heavy/sturdy boots or shoes; work gloves, and hat or cap to wear in sun
MEDICAL, PERSONAL HYGINE Personal hygiene items. First-aid kit and manuals. Sunscreeen and insect repellent Bleach, for demolding Medications and specific medical information. Special infant needs — diapers, bottles formula and food
FOOD, WATER AND SUPPLIES Drinking water. One gallon a person, a day — a three day supply is recommended. (Replace stored water every 6 months) Special infant needs — diapers, bottles and formula, medicine. Pantry well stocked: canned goods, dry milk, dry cereals, powered drinks, pastas. Non-electric can opener; plastic utensils, disposable plates; garbage bags. Extra ice in freezer, when storm is approaching.
OTHER NEEDS Extra cash/credit cards. Car tank filled with gasoline. Flat fixer for tires, properly inflated spare tire Air horn or whistle (to call for help) Fill tub and large containers with water for flushing toilet if water supply stops. Pets inside or otherwise protected, ample supply of pet food. Loose outside objects stored or secured. Tree branches tied or cut. Inventory of personal belongings for insurance claims: A written list and proof of purchase (receipts, warranties) for expensive items. Supplement with photographs or video and keep with important documents in secure location (safe-deposit box, workplace or out-of-state relative).
BRING TO A SHELTER First-aid kit Prescription medicines Baby food and diapers Cards, games, books Toiletries Battery-powered radio Flashlight (one per person) Extra batteries Blankets or sleeping bags Identification Valuable papers (insurance) Credit card or cash
CHECK YOUR TREES
Survey trees near your home for damaged, dead limbs, insect infestation and lack of foliage at the start of the hurricane season.
In addition, some trees are more wind resistant than others according to a University of Florida study:
MOST WIND-RESISTANT Dogwood (Cornus florida ) Live oak (Quercus virginiana ) Sabal palm (Sabal palmetto ) Sand live oak (Quercus geminata ) Southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora )
LESS WIND-RESISTANT Laurel oak (Quercus laurifolia ) Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris ) Pecan (Carya illinoensis ) Red maple (Acer rubrum ) Silver maple (Quercus saccharinum ) Slash pine (Pinus elliottii var. elliottii ) Southern red cedar (Juniperus silicicola ) Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua ) Turkey oak (Quercus laevis )
LEAST WIND-RESISTANT Carolina laurelcherry (Prunus caroliniana ) Sand pine (Pinus clausa )