Today marks the official start of hurricane season, and preparation remains the most important step we can take to protect ourselves and our families. We have already seen two named storms, Arthur and Bertha, develop in the Atlantic Ocean, which confirms what many experts predict will be an extremely active season.
The next six months will be particularly challenging given the continued presence of COVID-19. The City is taking appropriate measures that include putting proper protocols in place for its Emergency Operations Center, coordinating safe emergency sheltering options suitable in an infectious disease environment, and staying in close communication with the Florida Division of Emergency Management, the Governor’s Office, and federal officials to make sure the proper resources are in place and available to be deployed to our area if needed.
I encourage all of our residents to remain vigilant. Please take the time to carefully review your family emergency plan and check your hurricane supply kit to be well-prepared should a storm threaten our area.
Remember to have a three- to five-day supply of food and water, including at least one gallon of water per person per day, along with non-perishable food that is ready to eat, a battery-powered flashlight, a battery- powered radio, a first-aid kit, and a reserve of prescription medicine.
As part of your preparations, please determine if you live in an evacuation zone and where you would go if ordered to evacuate. It’s a good idea to keep a full tank of gas in your vehicle as lines can be long once a storm approaches. Make plans to secure homes, boats, pets and property. Check your insurance coverage, inventory your possessions, and remember to secure valuables and important documents. Please also ask your neighbors if they need any extra help or assistance.
In addition, now is a good time to trim trees, shrubs and other landscaping to minimize vegetative debris on your property. Also, you should assess your home for vulnerable spots and check the condition of shutters and backup generators.
To assist with your hurricane preparations, please be aware that this year’s sales tax holiday through June 4. During this period of time, qualifying items related to disaster preparedness are exempt from sales tax.
Finally, please visit www.fortlauderdale.gov/alertftl to sign up to receive emergency alerts from the City and check our website at www.fortlauderdale.gov/hurricane for more preparation tips and additional ways to stay in touch.
Remember, the most important thing we can all do is be prepared.