It is the season to prepare for hurricanes

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By Capt. Jim Burton

We are in the historically most active months of the Hurricane season. I thought it may be a good time to mention some tips to prepare for the possibility of a hurricane. This can be considered a refresher for you hurricane veterans and a chance for our newcomers to learn about how to prepare. For a more detailed list of preparations and further information please visit our Web site at Marionso.com

At home you should have on hand:

At least 1 gallon of water per day per person in the home for 2 weeks.

Get non-perishable food and a can opener (not electric).

Obtain 2 weeks of reserve supplies for medical or dietary needs and     prescriptions.

Consider alternative cooking methods in the event power is out like propane or charcoal grills. Do not use these inside the home or structure you are living in due to deadly carbon monoxide poisoning.

If you use a generator keep it outside the structure you are living in; generators also can cause carbon monoxide poisoning when used in an enclosed area.

Check you insurance coverage to ensure you are covered during a storm, inventory expensive belongings to assist in settling insurance claims. Consider obtaining cash for emergencies; remember ATM machines do not work if the electricity is out.

Take a video or pictures of your home’s interior and exterior for insurance purposes to document the condition of your home prior to storm damage.

Store important papers, insurance, birth certificates in a safe place in case of flooding or home damage.

Secure outside furniture, and other items that could be blown by high winds and damage property.

If you have a pool, add extra chlorine due to possible heavy rains, if your pump is susceptible to flooding, remove it or cover it in plastic.

If you do elect to leave the county or go to a shelter please contact your family and or friends and let them know where you will be. Often during these events we receive calls to check on family members which takes us away from providing other needed services.

Marion County’s Emergency Management Office closely monitors storms and will open an information line (369-6807) for questions about shelters, evacuations and other storm-related questions when a storm is threatening Marion County. Emergency Management also registers people with special needs for placement or transportation to shelters set up to care for these type individuals. To find out if you qualify for special needs or for more information, call Emergency Management at 732-8181

Capt. Jim Burton is the commander of the Marion County Sheriff’s Southwest District office, 9048 S. W. Hwy. 200. For more information, call 402-6060.