Due to several years without being affected by a hurricane in Florida, Emergency Managers throughout the state are worried about complacency among Florida residents."It does not take a major hurricane (Category 3 or stronger) to have a major impact. Just look at Isaac and Sandy,” said National Hurricane Center Director Rick Knabb. “We work closely with emergency managers, and they don't make those evacuation decisions lightly." The water around the peninsula of Florida and in the Gulf of Mexico is heating up, making it more likely a storm could develop and strengthen. Stay alert and keep your eye on the weather.
Emergency/Disaster Response Team
This team has the responsibility to quickly address issues that affect our organization in the event of an emergency. Our team is comprised of some members of senior management from different areas of the association. The rest of Senior Management would be “on call” to assist the Association with any emergency event. Other managers and supervisors will be directed to assist as applicable to their program areas.
Communication is an important factor in dealing with any emergency. We want to do the best job we can in insuring the safety of all our employees as well as the members and clients that we serve. We have established an emergency hotline for employees to call for information. Employees may call this phone number to find out whether we will be closing any of our locations due to the emergency (such as storm damage, lack of power, flooding, etc.) The Employee Emergency Information Line is 941-552-0411. Keep this phone number handy (at home, too!) so you know where it is when you need it.
How can you help? All locations should have plans in place to deal with emergencies. Batteries, extension cords, garbage bags (to protect items from water) etc. are a few of the items you can have ready in advance. Know where your shut-offs are for water, electricity, air conditioning, etc.
All programs should review all types of emergency plans/procedures with staff. Our Emergency and Disaster Preparedness Manual is in Section 10 of the Policy Manual.
The Shelter residential program needs to make sure you have extra water and food on hand as well as bedding, clothing, first aid supplies, etc.
Computer Equipment – In the event of a pending storm or other emergency, the IT department will issue an email with instructions regarding computer and electronic equipment.
Managers need to be sure to have a current Phone Contact List for your branch/program/group containing the names and phone numbers of your employees. That phone list can be an invaluable communication tool in dealing with an emergency. Make sure your supervisor has your current home phone and cell phone numbers. Remember, cell communications often lose their connection with high winds, and land lines are often the best type of communication.
Monitor the Weather
Besides hurricanes, we also need to stay informed about severe thunderstorms that can pose a danger of lightning and/or heavy rains and subsequent flooding. Keep an eye on the weather, especially with regard to outdoor activities.
For weather updates online go to:
The National Hurricane Center
The Weather Channel
Or a local TV station website
Sarasota County Emergency
Manatee County Emergency
Desoto County Emergency
Hurricane Guide/Information by County for Tampa Bay Region