The 2011 hurricane season is rapidly approaching and forecasters are predicting another year of above-average activity. The hurricane season officially begins on June 1 and early preparation is the key to the safety of your family and protection of your homes and businesses. Predictions are for 12 to 18 named storms with 6 to 10 of these becoming hurricanes. Estimates are that 3 to 6 storms will become major hurricanes during the season.
Hurricanes can form quickly in the Atlantic or Gulf and become major threats to coastal and inland communities within a matter of days. While we know that the second half of the season is usually the most active, tropical storms and hurricanes do affect the state early in the season. If a hurricane approaches Central Florida, will you be ready? Will you have the supplies necessary to get you through the first 72 hours without a great deal of assistance?
Start by preparing the outside of your home. Trim back tree limbs that are close to the structure and consider removing dead branches or trees that may do serious damage. Tree limbs also frequently take down power lines. Contact your power company for assistance in trimming trees that are entwined with electrical lines. Look around the outside of your home for lightweight objects that could become airborne in high winds and either anchor them or place them inside your garage or storage shed. These items can become dangerous projectiles that can cause damage or even injury. Stock up on items such as tarps, wood and nails, in case emergency repairs are needed after a storm.
A disaster supply kit, prepared before the storm, will greatly help your family should disaster strike. According to the American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency there are four “basics” that you should stock in your home: water, food, first aid supplies and special items. These supplies should be stored in an easily transportable container such as a backpack, duffel bag or large covered trash can. It is advisable to have two containers, one for long-term needs and one in case you have to evacuate your home.
An average person needs to consume at least two quarts of water each day. You should store one gallon of water per person per day. A three-day supply for each member of your household is the minimum recommended. This water should be stored in plastic containers such as milk cartons or soft drink bottles and stored in a cool dry place familiar to all family members. Change your water supply every six months so it stays fresh.
Your food supply should also last a minimum of three days. Select foods that do not need refrigeration, cooking, or water in their preparation. Some examples include ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables. It is wise to have some high-energy foods such as peanut butter, crackers, granola bars or trail mix in your supply kit.
The first-aid kit can be purchased or assembled with some basic items. The kit should contain various size sterile bandages, antiseptic towelettes, antiseptic cream, tape, soap or other cleansing agent, latex gloves, scissors, tweezers, Band-Aids and triangular bandages. In addition, it should contain non-prescription medications such as aspirin, antacid and anti-diarrhea medicine.
Various tools and supplies can be put together for emergency use. Hand tools, a radio, flashlights with extra batteries, manual can opener, fire extinguisher, matches, plastic storage containers, plastic sheeting and toiletry items are a few examples.
Special items include such things as baby supplies, prescription medications, entertainment items and important family documents.
It’s never too soon to be prepared for hurricane season. This is a lesson we learned all too well during the 2004 season when we were impacted by three hurricanes. Take a minute to remember what lesson you learned and how differently you might react if we experience another hurricane.
City Council Meeting of May 23
The Maitland City Council met on May 23 at 6:30 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers. Below is a synopsis of that meeting. The next regular scheduled Council meeting will be held on Monday, June 13.
• Adopted on second reading an ordinance establishing the necessary regulations to control simulated gaming devices within the Maitland City limits
• The Council Minutes and Council/MAHA Workshop Minutes of May 9, 2011 were approved as presented and are now available on the City web page.
• A Resolution was adopted supporting the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s petition requesting that the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) consider (1) withdrawing its January 2009 determination that numeric nutrient criteria are necessary in Florida (2) initiate repeal of 40 C.F.R. 131.43, and (3) discontinue proposing or promulgating further numeric criteria in Florida.
• Approved the expenditure of $26,740 for an exercise center from Playmore, Inc. The exercise center will be installed at Dommerich Elementary school and is funded by a Winter Park Health Foundation grant.
• Introduced on first reading an ordinance creating an independent Ad Hoc Charter Review Commission and set the date for Public Hearing as June 13. The Commission will hold public meetings, receive suggestions for Charter amendments, review the Charter and forward amendments to City Council for their consideration.
To listen to the complete recording of the meeting, please visit www.itsmymaitland.com