Prepare now for Hurricane Irma

Over the last 50 years, Southwest Florida has enjoyed many hurricane-free seasons. But in 1960 Hurricane Donna, a strong Category 3 hurricane, swept up the county’s coast from Everglades City to Bonita Beach causing substantial storm surge flooding along the entire coastline.

In 2004, the state was rocked by a series of storms named Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne.

In 2005, Category 3 Hurricane Wilma made landfall just south of Marco Island causing heavy damage in both Hendry and
Glades counties.

Hurricane hazards come in many forms, including storm surge, heavy rainfall, inland flooding, high winds, tornadoes and rip currents. It is essential that your family be ready before a storm approaches, and that you have a 72-Hour Disaster Survival Kit prepared. Remember, the first 72 are up to you!

Every home should have a 72-Hour Disaster Survival Kit. Prepare a minimum three-day (72 hour) supply for each person – don’t forget the pets. Although hurricanes are our focus at this time of the year, other events could require evacuation. Brush fires, hazardous material spills, floods, and tornados all have the potential to disrupt our daily activities.

At the minimum, your 72-Hour Disaster Survival Kit should contain the following:
• Food – at least enough for three days for every person;
• Water – at least one gallon per day per person (three gallons per person for a three-day supply);
• Blankets/Pillows;
• Cash;
• Cell Phone Car Chargers;
• Clothing – seasonal/rain gear/sturdy shoes;
• First Aid Kit (including medicines and prescription drugs);
• Flashlight/Batteries;
• Keys – extra set of home and car keys;
• Mosquito repellent;
• Radio – Battery operated and NOAA weather radio;
• Special Items – for babies and the elderly;
• Toiletries (hygiene items/moisture wipes);
• Toys (books and games);
• Tools – keep a set with you during the storm;
• Important Documents (in a waterproof container) – insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, Social

Security card, etc.;
• Pet care items, including, proper identification/immunization records/medications, ample supply of food and water; a carrier or cage. muzzle and leash.
Remember to keep your vehicle fuel tanks filled.
Gather important documents (birth certificates, insurance policies, health records, mortgages, deeds, titles, financial documents) in one place, ready to take with you. Any documents you may need after a storm or flood should be gathered now and kept in a protected place.

In Hendry County, only the Primary Evacuation Shelters will be open starting Friday, Sept. 8 at 3 p.m.

LABELLE SITES:
• LaBelle Middle School – 8000 E. Cowboy Way.

CLEWISTON SITES:
• Clewiston High School – 1501 S. Francisco St.

SPECIAL NEEDS SHELTER:
• The Special Needs Shelter at West Glades School is slated to open at 2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 8, for those who have pre-registered.
Persons with Special Medical Needs MUST pre-register with Emergency Management by downloading the form at hendryfla.net. Please bring three days worth of food for both yourself and the caregiver who will be coming with you. (A caregiver must accompany each medical needs patient.) The Special Needs shelter for both Hendry and Glades counties is the West Glades School Hendry/Glades Special Needs Shelter and is located in Muse at 2586 S. County Rd. 731 SW Building # 300.

These secondary shelters will be opened if necessary:

LABELLE SITES:
• Country Oaks Elementary School – 2052 NW Eucalyptus Blvd.;
• LaBelle High School – 4050 E. Cowboy Way;
• LaBelle Elementary School – 150 Cowboy Way.

CLEWISTON SITES:
• Central Elementary School – 1000 S. Deane Duff Ave.;
• Eastside Elementary School – 201 W. Arroyo Ave.;
• Westside Elementary School – 205 W. Arroyo Ave.;
• Clewiston Middle School – 601 W. Osceola Ave.

Non-Wind Event and Tropical Storm Evacuation Centers: (Not Hurricane Shelters)
• Harlem Community Civic Auditorium – Corner of 2nd St. & Carolina Ave., Clewiston;
• Montura – Flaghole VFD – 455 Del Sur Ave., Clewiston;
• LaBelle Civic Center – 400 Hickpoochee Ave., LaBelle;
• Felda Community Center 1050 CR 830, Felda;
• Pioneer Plantation VFD – 2499 Hendry Isles Blvd., Pioneer.

GLADES COUNTY SITES:
• West Glades School, 2586 S. County Rd. 731 SW Building # 300, Muse.
• Moore Haven High School, 700 Terrier Pride Rd, Moore Haven.

Sandbag Distribution Centers are currently open at the following locations:
• Montura Fire Department, 465 Delsur Ave, Clewiston;
• Pioneer Fire Department, Hendry Isles Blvd, Clewiston;
• Clewiston Public Works Yard, 1200 S Olympia St, Clewiston;
• Harlem Community Civic Auditorium – Corner of 2nd St. & Carolina Ave., Clewiston;
• Bob Mason Park, 497 CR 78, LaBelle;
• Rodeo Grounds, SR 29 S, LaBelle;
• Felda Fire Department, 1100 Co Hwy 830, LaBelle.

Also note that all bridges will close when winds reach in excess of 45 miles per hour.

For more information or to pre-register call Hendry County Emergency Management at 863-674-5400 or e-mail eoc@hendryfla.net LaBelle High School – 4050 E. Cowboy Way in Hendry County. In Glades County call Emergency Management at 863-946-6020.

The Clewiston News is published every Thursday.

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