June 1, 2010 - Today, marks the first day of the 2010 Hurricane Season. Each year, the Season begins on June 1st and ends on November 30th. An “active to extremely active” hurricane season is expected this year according to the seasonal outlook issued by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center – a division of the National Weather Service. The outlook ranges exceed the seasonal average of 11 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes. As with every hurricane season, this outlook underscores the importance of having a hurricane preparedness plan in place.
The Office of Emergency Management advises all employees to take the steps necessary to ensure hurricane preparedness at home and at work. Review your overall preparedness carefully with the understanding that Tampa is susceptible to hurricanes being that it is a coastal community within a hurricane-prone state. Be prepared to survive the storm.
You may not be with your family when disaster strikes, so it is important to have a survival plan for your family to help ensure their safety and comfort during difficult times. Understand that after a major disaster, emergency workers may not be able to reach everyone right away, and in some cases it may take three or more days for help to arrive.
Know your home evacuation level so that you can make appropriate plans for your family when directed to prepare for storm conditions. Pick up a Hurricane Guide from any Fire Station or from the Office of Emergency Management.
Prepare an emergency supply kit. Keep loose items in airtight plastic bags. Gather the kit’s items in easy to carry containers or duffel bags. Put them within reach, near the exit you use most often. Check and update your kit at least once a year.
More information on individual and family preparedness can be found at www.Ready.gov and www.hurricanes.gov/prepare.
Family Disaster Plan
-Discuss the type of hazards that could affect your family. Know your home's vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind.
-Locate a safe room or the safest areas in your home for each hurricane hazard. In certain circumstances the safest areas may not be your home but within your community.
-Determine escape routes from your home and places to meet.
-Have an out-of-state friend as a family contact, so all your family members have a single point of contact.
-Make a plan now for what to do with your pets if you need to evacuate.
-Post emergency telephone numbers by your phones and make sure your children know how and when to call 911.
-Check your insurance coverage - flood damage is not usually covered by homeowners insurance.
-Stock non-perishable emergency supplies and a Disaster Supply Kit.
-Use a NOAA weather radio. Remember to replace its battery every 6 months, as you do with your smoke detectors.
-Take First Aid, CPR and disaster preparedness classes. Become involved in the Greater-Tampa Community Emergency Response Team (GT-CERT).
The City will conduct its annual Citywide Hurricane Full-scale Exercise on June 15th. This exercise is an excellent opportunity for all departments and employees to evaluate critical components of their hurricane response plans during clear skies. Every department and individual employee should consider what their response will be in the event of a hurricane.
A very important aspect in properly planning for and coordinating efforts before, during and after an emergency event is gathering information to identify and allocate available resources to carry out all necessary functions. The Know Your Role (KYR) annual survey facilitates obtaining important information from employees for emergency planning and response purposes. Employees should go to the INET to review/update their existing information obtained during last year’s Know Your Role survey window, or to complete an initial survey if necessary. Employees should review/update or complete the survey by Friday, June 11, in order to finalize emergency management planning efforts.
Visit the Office of Emergency Management online at: http://www.tampagov.net/hurricanes
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