Tracking the Tropics
Gov. Scott, Mayor Gimenez hold hurricane news conference
On the Web
DORAL, Fla. (WSVN) -- Governor Rick Scott and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez spoke at a news a conference emphasizing the importance of preparing for hurricane season.
Several elected officials who attended Tuesday's meeting. The conference addressed the significance of hurricane preparedness, especially in the state of Florida.
"Preparing for the upcoming hurricane season should be a priority for every Florida family. Families should be prepared to help their loved ones for 72 hours after a disaster, so emergency responders can focus on restoring essential services and helping vulnerable populations," said Scott (Rep.-FL).
The governor added that there are a variety of programs in place meant to prepare people for severe weather conditions. However, he said, "Federal sequestration threatens to strain our readiness capabilities, so we're going to have, right during hurricane season, we're going to have some of our national guardsmen that are going to be furloughed off and on during the summer, so it's going to impact the readiness, and if something happens, it'll impact their ability to respond."
Federal budget cuts could put the squeeze on rescue and recovery efforts in the wake of a potential storm. State and local officials said, this year, preparing for the worst is more important than ever, and time is running short. The official start of hurricane season begins Saturday. Mayor Gimenez said, "So, as always, we are preaching the message of preparedness ... because, if you aren't prepared to care for yourself and for your family within the first 72 hours of the storm hitting, then you simply aren't prepared."
So what do you need to avoid the long lines after a major storm? Start by stocking up on the basics:
- Water ... one gallon per person, per day.
- Food ... the more the better.
- And make sure you have plenty of non-perishables: Soups, vegetables, fruits, canned meats... anything that won't go bad if the power goes out.
- And don't forget a hand-operated can opener.
Next up, securing your home. Being prepared for a storm means having the right tool to deal with every situation. Jorge Gonzalez of the Lowe's home improvement store said, "You know, the most important thing: batteries."
You will need a good supply of double-A, triple-A, C and D batteries to power flashlights lanterns and fans. And make sure you have all the right nuts and bolts for putting up your plywood or shutters.
Of course, if a real dangerous storm threatens our area, many South Floridians will be forced to evacuate, and this year there are some big changes for residents of Miami-Dade County.
Director Curt Sommerhoff of the Miami-Dade EOC said, "Last year, we had A, B and C hurricane evacuations zones. This year, we have A, B, C, D and E storm surge planning zones."
That means some people who have never been asked to leave could be ordered out. Relying on family and friends is best. But, as a last resort, the Red Cross is always there for anyone with no place to go.
Sofia Santana of the American Red Cross said, "Don't expect hotel accommodations. It's pretty... it's down to the bare minimums. You will be sleeping on a cot with 50 other people, maybe a 100 in a school gymnasium."
You will want to bring your own water and toiletries, and don't forget plenty of toys and games to keep the kids occupied. Plus, a battery-operated TV or radio to help you track the storm.
For more information, please visit http://www.floridadisaster.org.
(Copyright 2013 by Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)