Hurricane season officially begins June 1st and now would be a good time for the residents of Manatee County, in Florida, to go over their hurricane preparedness list. You can start by checking the new evacuation zone map that came out this year.
New and better technology was used to determine the true high and low areas in the county, so what was considered high ground in the past, could possibly now be low enough that the residents in those areas will have to evacuate – even if the hurricane is a category one.
This is important because of flooding due to the storm surge that is created by these storms. Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach, Anna Maria and other cities along the west coast of Manatee County have always had problems in this particular area, but now it has been determined that this flooding can affect areas far inland.
Of course, Manatee County not only has to contend with flooding from the Gulf of Mexico, but also from the Manatee and Braden Rivers. Anyone living near these rivers should be prepared to evacuate.
If you go to www.mymanatee.org and click on view the new evacuation zone map, you will see what areas are affected, locations of all the evacuation shelters and the evacuation routes.
It has been predicted that the 2017 – 18 storm season will be higher than normal. It’s estimated that there will be 11 to 16 tropical storms this year – 6 to 8 of them could become hurricanes and at least 3 to 5 of those could well become hurricanes that fall within the category 3 or higher range.
My advice when it comes to hurricanes is to board up your house and leave town, but even that can defect the purpose if you happen to go to a city that turns out to be in the path of the storm. You can always go to an evacuation shelter, or if your home is on high ground, and you feel it is sturdy enough to withstand winds of 75 to 200 miles per hour – then prepare to hunker down and ride it out.
Either way, your home pantry should be stocked with everything you will need if your city or neighborhood is struck by a hurricane and you end up stranded there. It should have everything you need and a little more. There are some items you need to include that you probably will never think about, that’s why I added the list below. Compare your list to it and see if you have everything.
Hurricane Preparedness List
• tuna • chicken • ham • beef stew
• beans • peas • corn • potatoes • tomatoes • soup
• fruit cocktail • peaches • pears • applesauce
• cereal • instant oatmeal • dried fruit (raisins, apricots, plums) • pastas • rice • bread
• crackers • energy bars • rice cakes • peanut butter • pudding cups • trail mix
• instant mashed potatoes
• You can choose from wide selection of military grade or civilian MREs. Companies to check XMRE, Eversafe MREs, MRE Start, Meal Kit Supply
Space prevents me from completing the hurricane preparedness list, but you get the general idea. You can also add canned evaporated milk and powdered milk. Don’t forget to add water and the small cartons of fruit juice – as well as some kind of grill for cooking and all your personal items like medicine, needles, alcohol swabs, pads, tampons, diapers, powder, deodorant, toothpaste, brushes and combs.
You should also have paper plates, towel paper, toilet paper, paper cups and bowls and your plastic utensils. Why not add some kind of hand sanitizer to your list, as well as an ice chest to store ice, water and anything else you want to keep cold. Last, don’t forget your pets and the food they will need.
The people in Manatee County, Florida may not realize the importance of hurricane preparedness or any of this, especially since we haven’t experienced a major hurricane coming through our county since October 1946, and luckily for us, that storm was already losing its strength by the time it made landfall.
We have had some close calls however – hurricane Donna in 1960 and hurricanes Charley, Frances and Jeanne in 2004 all had certain parts of Manatee County experiencing wind gusts up to 125 miles per hour.