MESSAGE FROM JIMMY MORALES
If there is a price we pay for living in “Paradise,” it’s that for five or six months out of every year, we face the potential for some very destructive weather. It is important to understand that we need to invest in preparation and mitigation in order for our community to bounce back, no matter what hazards we face. By understanding our vulnerabilities and knowing ahead of time what actions we can take, we are better able to protect our assets and, most important, stay safe. Unlike other possible threats, with hurricanes, we tend to have the advantage of time. Forecasts usually allow us several days to brace for impact, we as a City are well prepared to come through a storm and to maintain continuity in our lives and businesses. For those of us who have lived here and experienced hurricanes first-hand, it is up to us to help inform and educate those in our community who are unfamiliar with their impacts. Hurricane Matthew was a close-call last October and we are pretty lucky to have missed its impact. That is no reason for complacency. If anything, now is the time to check your batteries and equipment, to do a trial run of installing your storm shutters, and to make sure to replace those items you “borrowed” from your ready kit. If you are prepared for a hurricane, you are prepared for almost any hazard. By planning in advance where you will go and how you will communicate with your loved ones; gathering supplies to protect yourself and to sustain you and your family for an extended period of time; and by staying connected to reliable information, you increase your chances of riding out a storm or facing any challenging situation, including disasters. The City has plans in place to handle man-made threats and public health concerns in addition to natural disasters. But our preparedness is designed to augment the efforts of the entire community. That is why it is important to follow the advice put forward in this guide and think about the overall safety, security and resiliency of your own family and that of your business.
Remember to start with a plan, build your preparedness kits and stay informed.