Hurricane season starts June 1 and runs through November 30. Staying informed and prepared in any emergency can help you navigate through this season.
Some essential items for preparedness:
· Non-perishable foods
· Portable phone charger
· Pet supplies
· First Aid Kit
· Important documents in a waterproof envelope
For a more comprehensive list of essentials, check out Pinellas County’s Hurricane Preparedness Guide at: http://www.pinellascounty.org/emergency/allhazardguide.htm
Pinellas County has an app called Ready Pinellas that can update you on storm information and other emergencies occurring in the county. http://www.pinellascounty.org/emergency/default.htm
If you are a pet owner
Make sure your pets go with you! Remember, if it is not safe for you then it is not safe for your pet. Service animals are accepted at every Red Cross shelter. Make sure to check Pinellas County and City of St.Petersburg websites for updates on shelters that welcome pets. Talk to your vet about boarding or check out https://www.petswelcome.com/ to find what hotels take in pets.
Some essentials for pet preparedness:
· Pet feeding dishes and water bowl
· Flea and tick medication
· Leash and harness
· Vaccination/shot records
· Kitty litter (for cat owners)
· Dry food or canned wet food
For a more detailed list, please visit: http://www.pinellascounty.org/emergency/petpreparedness.htm
In order to know when to evacuate, it is important to know your zones. This is based on your location. You can utilize the Ready Pinellas App or http://kyz.pinellascounty.org/ to see your specific zone. For more information or for questions on your evacuation zone, please visit: http://www.pinellascounty.org/emergency/knowyourzone.htm
If your home is in an evacuation zone, then shelters may be open where you evacuate for safety. There are different types of shelter options available depending on your needs.
Public shelters: This is an option that is a last resort if you are unable to leave the county, seek shelter with friends or family or host home.
Pet friendly shelters: You must register with a pet shelter. Fill out the registration form and bring it with you when entering the shelter.
Host Homes: A voluntary program offered by faith organizations, community groups, and employers to provide a safe and comfortable shelter alternative. Participating organizations match members who live in a non-evacuation area with those who must evacuate.
Special Needs Shelters: : If you have any medical, physical, cognitive or mental health needs then a special condition shelter is designed specifically for special conditions. These shelters are equipped with nursing staff to assist clients with medical needs.
You must register for a Special Needs shelter.
Complete and print a registration form:
Mail the completed form to:
Pinellas County Emergency Management
Public Safety Complex
10750 Ulmerton Rd., Building 1, Suite 267
Largo, FL 33778
Call Pinellas County Emergency Management at (727) 464-3800 to receive a form by mail.
Other options: talk to your friends and family who may live in areas that may not be impacted by a storm for shelter options.
Hotels and Motels: Whether in the county or on the road, hotels and motels are a temporary shelter option. In Pinellas County, there are locations in non-evacuation zones that may take pets or have accommodations for wheelchairs.
Preparing your home
Pinellas County Emergency Management provides different checklists and resources to prepare your home, whether you own or rent. For more information on preparing your home, visit: http://www.pinellascounty.org/emergency/prepareahead.htm
If you have a loved one in a long-term care facility, talk to the facility about their plan. Every facility has different plans for caring for their participants.
Buses will continue to run routes to help people get prepared for a storm until it is no longer safe to travel. Rides are free during an evacuation. You can plan ahead by locating your nearest bus stop and public shelter. Learn more on the PSTA website at www.psta.net.