GAINESVILLE, Fla. — With a tropical storm bringing hurricane-like winds to central Florida, residents are looking to the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension service for tips on how to make it through.
In Florida alone, 16 disasters including hurricanes, tropical storms, tornados, flooding, severe storms and straight line winds were declared between 2004 and 2013, says Angela Lindsey, the UF/IFAS Extension representative for the Extension Disaster Education Network. Many UF/IFAS Extension agents are members of their counties Emergency Operation Centers, and are ready to help residents across the state.
Lindsey, an assistant professor in family, youth and community sciences, says it’s not too late to prepare for the worst. She offers the following tips:
- Stock at least one gallon of water per person per day for three days.
- Buy nonperishable and packaged foods that require little or no cooking. If the power goes out, food in the refrigerator may spoil.
- Buy flashlights and extra batteries.
- Make sure you have a first-aid kit handy.
- Have all emergency numbers available in case utilities go out.
- Get a battery-operated radio so that you can keep abreast of updates.
- Fill up your car with gas before the lines get too long.
If flooding makes it necessary to evacuate, Lindsey suggests taking:
- First-aid kit
- Canned or dried provisions, can opener, spoons, etc.
- Bottled water
- Extra prescriptions and medications for your family
- Spare eyeglasses, hearing aids and batteries, if needed
- Warm, protective clothing
- Important papers, such as driver’s license, insurance policies and property inventory.
“Residents shouldn’t wait until the last minute to prepare for this storm,” Lindsey says. “Know where the emergency shelters are located, plan a safe route if you have to leave and, above all else, remain calm.”
By: Beverly James, 352-273-3566, firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Angela Lindsey, 352-273-3552, email@example.com