Pinellas County Emergency Management prepares Pinellas County for hurricane season with three essential steps.

By J.C. Barrott

As hurricane season approaches, Pinellas County Emergency Management gives us three things to enhance resident safety over the next five months.

Know your risks:
The first thing is for residents to know their risk along with how a potential storm surge would impact their region. Residents of mobile homes and those that are medically dependent on electricity should also learn about their risks as well. To learn about which evacuation zones along with the evacuation procedure visit disaster.pinellas.gov.

Make a plan:
A good plan would be to have an updated hurricane kit. A great idea would be to take advantage of the Florida Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday. The holiday runs from June 1st to the 14th and qualifying items related to disaster preparedness are free from sales tax. A list of qualifying items can be found at floridarevenue.com/DisasterPrep. Another resource that can be used to plan would be Pinellas County Hurricane Guide which can be found at https://pinellas.gov/make-a-plan/hurricane-guide-english/.

Residents who have specific needs or require assistance may be eligible for the Special Needs Evacuation Program. To learn about eligibility, visit pinellas.gov/SpecialNeeds.

Sandbags will not protect your home from storm surge or high water, but they can be a useful tool to stop flooding of up to 15 inches. Residents can learn more at: pinellas.gov/sandbags.

Pinellas County is home to the second largest boating community in Florida. To learn how to secure your boat for a hurricane look at pinellas.gov/BoatPrep.

Stay informed:
They recommend using trusted sources of local news to stay up to date on all hurricane information. Residents can sign up for news alerts with Alert Pinellas at this link: https://pinellas.gov/alert-pinellas.

Hurricane Preparedness Expo:
A good supplemental source to those listed above would be the Hurricane Preparedness Expo that takes place on June 1st at Tarpon Springs Public Safety Facility. Those who attend will learn more about hurricane preparedness from professionals.

For more information on emergency preparedness and updates visit disaster.pinellas.gov.

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