It’s that time of year for Florida. It began June 1 and will continue through summer in fall. We all hope that we will avoid a major hurricane but wishful thinking isn’t a good substitute for good planning. We just wanted to share some local resources and remind everyone to take disaster preparedness seriously.

The best thing you can do to keep yourself and your family safe is to have a plan! Here is a great publication put out by Indian River County that includes information about shelters and evacuation routes, tips to be prepared for a disaster, and contact information and other sources for information before, during, and after any serious event. http://www.irces.com/EM/documents/Disaster-Preparedness.pdf  Since it is very possible for the power to go out during a hurricane or tropical storm, go ahead and print that document out and keep it in a safe and accessible place.

Don’t forget our furry (and feathered and scaly, et al) friends! The Star Team are huge pet lovers with dogs, cats, bunnies and fish as part of our extended families. Public shelters do not accept pets so it’s important to have a plan for your pet in an emergency. Contact your vet for recommendations or possible boarding during storms.

Contact and make friends with a contractor or someone handy with tools. Putting up storm shutters or boarding up windows is a tough task and professional help can not only make it go faster but ensure that the job is done correctly. Remember your power tools may not be usable so make sure you have some cordless options ready to go!

As we said, the most important thing is to have a plan. Too often, we wait until the storm is almost upon us to start preparing. The Star Team cares about our community and its residents and we want everyone to be safe. We hope that you will make your preparedness kit this weekend. Don’t wait! Florida residents who have been through this before, reach out to your neighbors who are newer to the Treasure Coast and share tips and resources.

These storms are the price we pay for living in a tropical paradise. But with good planning, we can do a lot to make sure our homes, but more importantly, our family and friends, are safe during this season.