this information appeared in the October issue of the Bird Bay Bulletin...
EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS FOR BIRD BAY RESIDENTS – THREE IMPORTANT POINTS!!
HURRICANE SEASON IS AGAIN UPON US, BEGINNING JUNE 1, and they are predicting another active one!!! Our thoughts turn to Emergency Preparedness and what it means for us as residents of Bird Bay, Venice, and Sarasota County. Hurricane Irma really gave us a scare and, as bad as it was in some areas, it could have been far, far worse! So here we are again, encouraging Bird Bay residents to seek out as much information and be as prepared as possible, in order to minimize the emotional trauma that comes along with severe weather events.
1. BE INFORMED…
SIGN UP FOR CODE RED:
CodeRED is a FREE emergency alert system utilized by Sarasota County and the City of Venice for residents. The service automatically notifies users of severe weather such as hurricanes, tornadoes, flash floods, etc., depending upon the warnings an individual chooses to receive. It will even notify the user of water main breaks in your area.
REVIEW THE CITY OF VENICE HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS GUIDE:
The City of Venice has published the 2018 Hurricane Preparedness Guide. Take a few minutes to review and be prepared for the storm season that runs June 1 through November 30.
On the Web:
Links to the Venice 2018 Hurricane Guide and Code Red Information can be found on the front page, in the News section, of the Bird Bay Website (www.birdbayofvenice.com)
Call the City of Venice directly at 941-882-7401 for assistance.
REVIEW YOUR INSURANCE COVERAGE: Unless you have specifically purchased flood insurance, you will NOT be covered in the event of storm surge.
KNOW YOUR EVACUATION LEVEL: The Sarasota County Emergency Management website shows evacuation levels in the event of a disaster (e.g., hurricane). Level A would be evacuated first in the event of a Tropical Storm in which Hurricane force winds would be approaching the area. At that time, open shelters will be broadcast on the news.
NOTE: Bird Bay Phase II (Bay Houses on the water) is in Evacuation Level A, which means residents there would evacuate first. Additionally, parts of Heron Cove Circle and Waterside are also in Level A, so we encourage owners to access the Sarasota County website and check to see where your residence is located. The REST of Bird Bay Village lies in Evacuation Level B.
- To familiarize yourself with the evacuation map, go to: https://www.scgov.net.
- Hover your mouse over ‘Residents’ at the top of the page. You will see many options.
- Under ‘Health & Safety’, click on ‘Evacuation Zones.’ An interactive map will appear, with tools to zoom in on Bird Bay residences.
GET ON SOCIAL MEDIA: On Facebook, search for Venice Florida Municipal Government and Like the page so you will receive its messages. On Twitter the handle is: @CityofVeniceFL.
PURCHASE A NOAA WEATHER RADIO: These special radios may be purchased at telecommunications stores.
TUNE IN: To Sarasota County Emergency Management on government access TV Comcast Channel 19.
2. ASSEMBLE A SURVIVAL KIT:
IMPORTANT TO NOTE: The Club House at Bird Bay Village is NOT approved or equipped to meet Sarasota County Emergency Management specifications as a hurricane shelter and will not be open in hurricane conditions.
Wherever Bird Bay residents choose to hunker down, they should have a survival kit that will sustain each family member for 72 hours, as that is the most critical period following a disaster.
- PILLOWS, BLANKETS, AIR MATTRESS, SLEEPING BAGS
- EXTRA CLOTHES, SHOES
- PERSONAL HYGIENE ITEMS:
- TOOTHBRUSH, TOOTHPASTE
- TOILET PAPER
- SOAP/ TOWEL
- FIRST AID KIT
- IMPORTANT PAPERS IN WATERPROOF CONTAINER/ZIPLOC BAGS
- BOTTLED WATER/NON-PERISHABLE FOOD /MANUAL CAN OPENER
- PET CARRIER/ PET FOOD/WATER
3. MAKE A PLAN:
PREPARE FOR STRONG WINDS: Bring in all outdoor belongings, including loose patio furniture, bird feeders, garden ornaments, etc. Items left outside can be blown into windows and through doors during hurricanes and can cause total collapse of the structure.
REGISTER FOR TRANSPORTATION, IF NEEDED:
Sarasota County now has a transportation plan in place to assist residents with getting to a hurricane evacuation center if they do not have a means of transportation or cannot drive themselves. To utilize the program, residents must complete a registration form. Residents who pre-register will receive an automated telephone message with information about the location of rally points and pick-up times.
The plan will provide Sarasota County residents and their pets with transportation to a general population hurricane evacuation center. This program is only activated when an emergency has been declared in Sarasota County and evacuation centers are open. Transportation will be offered at designated rally points throughout the county, although rally points may change depending on the severity of a storm. In Venice, the rally points are Venice Community Center, 326 Nokomis Ave. S.; Garden Elementary School, 700 Center Road; and Taylor Ranch Elementary, 2500 Taylor Ranch Trail (off U.S. 41). For more information, click on this link: https://www.scgov.net/government/emergency-services/emergency-management/transportation-plan-hurricane-evacuation-centers or call the Sarasota County Contact Center at 941-861-5000.
EVACUATE OR STAY?
Anything more than a category 1 hurricane will likely generate a “mandatory evacuation” in most parts of Bird Bay Village. In any event, the survival kit mentioned above is a MUST!
When you leave:
• Top off the fuel tank BEFORE gas supplies are in danger of running out!
• Leave THREE days prior
• Determine your route – I-75 is NOT the only option! There are plenty of back roads to take the run north/south, so decide in advance HOW you will leave!
In case of a storm, Bird Bay encourages residents to make their own plan to evacuate or make arrangements to go to an authorized hurricane shelter. At this point there is no plan to open the Bird Bay Clubhouse during a hurricane. The Bird Bay Clubhouse is located in evacuation zone B, the second lowest area for flooding and storm surges.
IMPORTANT TO NOTE: The Clubhouse at Bird Bay Village is NOT approved or equipped to meet Sarasota County Emergency Management specifications as a hurricane shelter. The Clubhouse does not have a generator and Bird Bay staff cannot be asked to manage the Clubhouse during a hurricane.
If we all take preparations seriously, there will be much less angst in the aftermath of disaster…see you on the flip side!