St. Johns County Emergency Management and Health officials want residents to have a storm plan

St. Johns County Emergency Management and the Florida Department of Health in St. Johns County are monitoring Tropical Depression 9.

Both emergency management and health officials want to remind the community to make emergency preparedness plans.

“Having a plan is extremely important. Even if this storm misses our community, it’s always a good idea to stay prepared throughout the hurricane season,” said St. Johns County Emergency Management Director Joe Gimanco.

DOH-St. Johns Health Officer Shane Lockwood, MPH, said, “It’s never too early to prepare yourself, your family, your property and your business for emergencies involving severe weather.”

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Officials suggest St. Johns County residents prepare or update individual and family emergency plans, restock household hurricane supplies and confirm registration for evacuation or shelter assistance if needed during an emergency event such as a hurricane.

Officials offered these tips to help with preparedness efforts.

  • Make a hurricane plan: A key way to deal with a disaster is to have a plan. After an emergency or disaster, you may lose access to basic services such as electricity and water and be subject to limited or no access to essentials such as food and water. The Florida Department of Emergency Management provides an interactive online tool, Get a Plan!, to help families and businesses stay prepared.
  • Determine the risks to your home and property: Update your emergency plans and supplies before a storm threatens Florida. It’s important to be prepared before and after a storm.
  • Know your evacuation zone: Develop an emergency evacuation plan and review it carefully with your family and children. Be sure to include your pets in your evacuation plans.
  • Keep gas tanks at least half full: Residents are encouraged to keep their vehicle tanks at least half full during hurricane season to ensure they have enough fuel to evacuate as soon as possible without worrying about long lines at gas stations and to avoid gas shortages before a storm. For more information, visit www.FloridaDisaster.org/HalfwayFull.
  • Stay informed and connected: Identify your trusted sources of information for any severe weather event. Reliable and timely information is critical to taking appropriate action in an emergency.

  • Make a disaster supply kit: The state Department of Emergency Management recommends keeping a well-stocked emergency preparedness kit that will last you and your family for a minimum of seven days. Each individual or family disaster supply kit differs based on personal needs. The following is a list of essential items that should be included:
  1. Water (at least one gallon per day per person for five to seven days)

  2. Non-perishable packaged or canned foods (enough for at least five to seven days)

  3. All required medication in their prescribed bottles (enough for two weeks)

  4. First aid kit

  5. Flashlights with extra batteries

  6. Weather radio

  7. Lanterns, candles and matches

  8. Fuel and propane

  9. Pet care items (including any pet medication)

  10. Other important documents (stored in a waterproof container

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For information on evacuation routes, evacuation assistance and the location of hurricane shelters in St. Johns County, visit the County Emergency Management website at www.SJCEmergencyManagement.com or call 904-824-5550.

And the state Department of Health provides valuable information to help with emergency planning at www.FloridaHealth.gov/Programs-and-Services/Emergency-Preparedness-and-Response/Prepare-Yourself.

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