The troubling images and videos from the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey are a reminder to take the hurricane season very seriously. As you may or may not know, the hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30, and we should take the time to prepare our homes and families in the event of a hurricane impacting the Treasure Coast.

I hope you will find some useful information in this article that will help you prepare for a storm, what you should do during the storm, and what you should be aware of after the storm has passed.

Storm Approaches 24-48 Hours:

• Check your emergency supplies

• Secure all windows, doors, and garage doors with plywood, shutters, protective covers, or bracing

• Make sure vehicles have a full tank of fuel

• Review evacuation routes

• Leave swimming pools filled

• Have extra cash on hand

• Secure outdoor lawn furniture, trash cans, etc.

• Visit your county or city's websites to stay informed

• Tune into 88.9 FM for local emergency management updates

Riding Out the Storm:

Fill bathtub and large containers with water and use for cleaning and flushing only. Do NOT drink.

• Turn refrigerators and freezers to maximum cold and open only when necessary

• Stay away from windows and doors, even if they are shuttered

• Be alert for tornadoes which often are spawned by hurricanes

If the eye of the storm passes over your area, be aware that improved weather conditions during it are temporary and that storm conditions will return

• Have a battery-powered radio and flashlight on hand

• Do not operate charcoal grills, propane camping stoves or generators indoors

Evacuation:

If you are concerned with the structural integrity of your dwelling, then you should evacuate or seek public shelter.

If you are in a well-built home and not in an evacuation zone, the best option is often to secure your residence, and shelter in place. Residents who live in mobile homes or in storm surge areas should always evacuate to a public shelter or stay with relatives or friends.

If you are elderly or have special needs or health concerns, you should evacuate. Residents can call the Special Needs Coordinator at (772) 287-1652 or apply for the Special Needs Shelter online at www.martin.fl.us/martin-county-services/special-needs-evacuation-assistance.

After The Storm:

If you are in a public shelter, remain there until informed by those in charge that it is safe to leave.

Report downed or dangling power lines to FPL at (800) 468-8243.

• Stay at home and avoid unnecessary travel.

• If power outage occurs, turn off or disconnect appliances and fixtures.

Place debris from damaged plants and trees in a separate pile at the edge of the pavement (DO NOT bag or bundle).

Place debris from damaged structures (screen enclosures, roof tiles, gutters) in a separate pile (NO floor tiles, appliances, fixtures, furniture or clothing).

• Place normal household waste in plastic bags and then inside of a garbage can curbside.

• Contact Waste Pro only for questions about household waste collection.

For more useful information, please take a moment and visit the Martin County Emergency Management website at https://www.martin.fl.us/EM

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