We would like to extend a heartfelt thank-you to Batallion Chief Corey Adamski of the Naples Fire-Rescue Department, Cpl. James Klewecki of the Collier County Sheriff’s Office and Wade B. Haubert Jr. of Collier County Emergency Management for speaking at our most recent Family Forum, regarding hurricane preparedness and personal safety. Thank you also to Naples Therapeutic Riding Center for once again being great hosts. We learned invaluable information on how best to prepare for a storm, sheltering options, emergency alert services and more.
For those of you who weren’t able to attend, please see a recap of the important information (as well as photos from the event!) below.
(Note: Clicking on any of the green headings will take you directly to the webpage for each service.)
Disaster Readiness for People with Disabilities and their Families
Family Network on Disabilities has developed the two disaster readiness booklets for people with disabilities and their families. We understand first-hand how stressful and confusing these times are for any family and how much more so when families have a loved one with special needs who requires more planning and support. These booklets help you make a plan and prepare.
The City of Naples uses CodeRED to send EMERGENCY notifications by phone, email, text and social media to keep citizens informed of emergencies. Please take a moment to register to be notified by your local emergency response team in the event of emergency situations or critical community alerts. Examples include: evacuation notices, bio-terrorism alerts, boil water notices and missing person reports.
Collier County encourages all residents to sign up for Alert Collier, the County’s new mass notification system. When you sign up with Alert Collier, you can enter up to five addresses within the County boundaries that you would like to receive emergency alerts about. Enter your home, work, relative, school or any other address that’s important to you. Should an alert be issued for that location, you will receive a notification.
Special Needs Registry
The Florida Division of Emergency Management, in coordination with each local emergency management agency in the state, developed a registry to allow residents with special needs to register with their local emergency management agency to receive assistance during a disaster. The statewide registry provides first responders with valuable information to prepare for disasters or other emergencies. This registry helps Collier County keep track of its citizens with special needs and also is a required step to gain access to a Special Needs Shelter if necessary in the event of a hurricane. However, shelter access is through medical priority. Registering with the Special Needs Program automatically enrolls you in ALERT Collier for emergency communications.
Find Your Evacuation Zone
At this county resource, you can enter your address to find your evacuation zone. If an evacuation is ordered because life-threatening conditions are present, or will be present, zones are designated as a “mandatory evacuation zone.” For a tropical cyclone event, we should “Run from Water and Hide from Wind.” So, if you’re threatened by the storm’s surge you should go to a safe location before the threat arrives. How far should you go if your plan dictates you need to evacuate? Again, we evacuate to get out of harm’s way – the water threat. Therefore, for most of our tropical events, you only need to go inland (to the inland side of I-75) within Collier County. Naturally, you can go further away, but remember for every 24 hours ahead of the storm, the storm may deviate 75 miles from the projected track. So, if you choose to go outside the county, don’t consider going to another coastline vulnerable to storm surge should the storm’s track change.
Prepare a Go Kit!
If you had 5 minutes to evacuate, would you be ready?
Pack a backpack with basic supplies, food, medicines, ID, bedding and cash so you are prepared.
Year-Round Safety Tips:
To alert first responders in the unfortunate event of a car accident, personalized seat belt covers are available by order which specify important medical details. These are very helpful to responders by providing vital information to help them understand the special needs of your loved one.
Smart911 is a free service that allows citizens across the U.S. to create a Safety Profile for their household that includes any information they want 9-1-1 to have in the event of an emergency. Then, when anyone in that household dials 9-1-1 from a phone associated with their Safety Profile, their profile is immediately displayed to the 9-1-1 call taker providing additional information that can be used to facilitate the proper response to the proper location. Information about any individual in the household with special needs can be very helpful to emergency responders.
Do you have any concerns that your loved one might exit your home without your knowledge while you are sleeping or otherwise engaged? If so, you can order a Security Window/Door Alarm that provides a simple-to-use, cost-effective security system with 120-decibel alarms, which is loud enough to awaken and alert you to the opening of a door or window. Thanks to the NCH Safe & Healthy Children’s Coalition of Collier County, we have 20 of these alarms available for free at the STARability office. Please email info@STARability.org or call 239.594.9007 to request one.